I’ve been accepting clients for Confetti Social for almost a year now even though I didn’t officially establish my LLC until September 2016 so I thought it was about time to share some lessons learned in my first year of business.
10 Lessons Learned in my First Year of Busines s
Invest in yourself
Investing in yourself is key as a business owner. When I first started my business, I was a little scared about investing in myself because I wasn’t really making much money in my business just yet but quickly realized that making investments in my business here and there was going to be necessary. You don’t need to spend mad money to be successful but having a social media scheduler, a good accounting software, and an email service provider definitely helps you stay organized.
Playing the comparison game does you no good
Oh, the comparison game. I’ve played this game one too many times and always left feeling a heck of a lot worse about myself so I try my hardest to refrain from doing it. I used to compare myself in terms of social media following, page views, income, and email subscribers. Although it’s important to evaluate what others are doing and work towards making ourselves more profitable, we cannot let ourselves get too sucked in or it will be detrimental to our wellbeing.
It’s okay to take a vacation
Honestly, it’s still difficult for me to take a vacation even though I’ve taken 3 since starting my business. I find it difficult to ignore my email for so long but sometimes a break is totally necessary. I always come back from vacation super eager to work on my business so having that time off really helps me get inspired again.
Always have a contract & accept at least half payment upfront
I know this sounds like a strange lesson but believe me, once you’ve been burned you’ll feel the same way. Having a contract for each client is absolutely necessary to protect both yourself and the client. These days I will not work with someone unless I’ve gotten at least half of the payment upfront because I’ve been shorted before and had to eat the costs so it’s definitely not worth it.
Don’t accept clients that don’t feel right
As business owners, we have the freedom to turn away any clients that may not be the right fit for us and when I first started my business, I didn’t follow this rule as much as I should’ve. I worked with companies I wasn’t interested in just to make money and that’s not how it should be. Now I only take on clients that I am truly excited about because that’s when I do my best work.
Don’t undervalue yourself
Another thing that I had to overcome when first starting my business was undervaluing myself. I didn’t charge what I was worth so I was constantly overworked and underpaid. Nowadays I know my worth so I won’t accept anything less than that.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
A lot of the time, your first year in business is a year of financial struggles and trying to get your business off the ground. I definitely have experienced that in my first year and sure have a long way to go but Rome wasn’t built in a day so my business doesn’t have to be either.
Work with a business coach
Not going to lie, I was a little skeptical before hiring my business coach for the first time but it was one of the best investments that I’ve ever made. She helped keep me accountable and reach new heights in my business that I never knew were possible. Knowing that I constantly have a support system from my coach really helps.
RELATED: 5 Reasons to Hire a Business Coach
Establish relationships with others in your niche
It’s so important to establish a good relationship with at least a few other people in your niche. Your first few years of business are going to be filled with lots of ups and downs so having a friend or two to celebrate your wins with is absolutely essential.
As a small business owner, you’re going to have to roll with the punches a lot so you need to be flexible. Although I have the ability to set my own hours, I do work a lot more than I did at my day job and that’s just something that comes with being your own boss. I’m doing what I love so I really don’t mind the longer hours. I think I’d prefer to work 60 hour weeks for myself than 40 for someone else.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the 10 lessons learned in my first year of business. It’s definitely been a year of experimentation and growth and I can’t wait to see what year two brings.
If you’re a small business owner, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned in your business? Please feel free to let me know down in the comments.