Here are ten things I wish I’d known before I started out in business
1. Don’t be a GENERALIST, be a SPECIALIST
When you’re starting out it is so tempting to say “I can do that” “and that”, “and that”, however, if you had a serious illness you’d be eager to see a specialist, not a generalist. That’s why specialists earn more.
2. Don’t be CHEAP, provide VALUE
Look at your hourly rate as an employed person, and double it. Then double it again. Why? Managing your business will mean a lot of time away from fee earning. Marketing, Finance, Product Development … all take time. If your rate is too low you’ll be out of business in no time.
3. Don’t buy too much PRINT
Print is still a great way of getting your message out. Get a few hundred leaflets out to your target customers and follow up any leads generated with enthusiasm. A box of several thousand unsent brochures will feel like a ball and chain around your foot.
4. Don’t produce print or websites without a bricks and mortar address
Would you buy a product or service without a bricks and mortar “contact us”?
5. Don’t use a mobile phone number as your main point of contact …. Unless you consciously choose to be a one-man-show
Nothing shouts “one-man-band” louder than having a mobile number as your main point of contact.
6. ANSWER YOUR CALLS
Having worked hard to generate interest in what you’re doing, don’t fall at the first hurdle by failing to answer your telephone.
7. Do get to understand your telephony and connectivity options – and go “business to business” if you want quality service
All telephone companies are not the same. You don’t have to deal with BT.
8. Don’t lie to cover up your mistakes, to err is human and I’ve never lost a client because of admitting to an error.
Be honest, confess to your mistakes, just don’t make too many!
9. Don’t skimp on legals. Partnerships have a reputation for being a bad business model for a very good reason!
Ask any legal professional to tell you one of their horror stories. Getting agreements in writing will save you your sanity as well as thousands of pounds.
10. Don’t work 12 hour days every day and expect to be an interesting human being. Work fewer hours but with strong FOCUS, start work fresh and have a life out of work!
Talk to TelePA, our very human team can provide you with some outsourced support that will help your business grow.
© Judith Ludovino, October 2019