This month my business journey tips into it’s 7th year – which I’m pretty excited about because it’s my favourite number. And given that word on the street (the internet) says that 30% of businesses fail in the first 2 years and 55% during the first 5 years, I reckon it’s a good reason to celebrate.
However, it has not all been flowers and sunshine along that way, so I wanted to share with you my learning. So that if you’re somewhere along the way and wondering if you’re going to make it, I can give you hope. Because if I can do it, you can do it.
So, here are my 6 top tips for staying afloat.
1. Don’t make assumptions on what people can afford
This is one of my biggest learnings, and one I still fall up on occasionally.
We often make assumptions based on our own past experiences and personal lives. So, because I’ve been pretty poor in my time and money has been tight, I can often project that onto others.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve reduced my rates only to be told in the sessions that they own several properties in London and don’t really need this business to earn a living. Or have driven away in a brand new BMW. Or have previously worked with a coach who didn’t really give them what they wanted, but charged double what I do and boy aren’t they glad to be working with me now.
Your prices are your prices. I’m sure you’ve taken time to work out what you need to ask for to keep your business viable and yourself sane. Don’t apologise for it and stick to your guns.
2. You never know where a relationship will take you
Getting out and meeting people in real time has been an absolute catalyst for my business. Some of my biggest clients have been through randomly meeting people, liking them and then a few months later amazing opportunities arising.
If you’ve got the time to go to something and you have the mental energy to do it, then get out there.
The year of yes by Shonda Rhimes is on my reading list. And while we do need to say no sometimes to preserve our sanity, a little bit of yes to new opportunities can go a long way!
3. If your intuition tells you to walk away, walk away
There have been a few times in my business where I have had an instant funny feeling about someone. But you know what I like to think the best of people, so if they flatter me and make me laugh I can override my initial suspicions.
My intuition has been right. Every. Single. Time. Walk away people, walk away!
4. When it all seems too much give yourself a pause
There have been a few times where I have held my hands up high and said ‘enough already this is too tough’. And I have started searching for jobs, anything because it feels easier than having to run a business and keep all those plates spinning.
In those moments, pause. Hold fire. Give yourself a break. Wait a week.
Then sit down and work out 3 things you need to do to make running your business easier. They could be put your prices up, contact old clients and see if they need you again, do 10 minutes of stretching every day, or even working with someone like me. Focus on what you can do to turn it around. Because once you’ve tasted the freedom of running your own business, I’ve not met anyone who wants to go back.
5. Don’t sabotage your own earning potential
As women in business there are a few ways that we can ‘energetically’ sabotage our earning potentials. Going to go a bit woo woo here!
Perhaps you’re telling yourself you don’t want to earn too much because that might fuck up your tax credits, or your child’s father will see your flush and stop the maintenance, or you’re new the VAT threshold and think it won’t be worth the bother, or your frightened your friends will think you’re a wanker if your suddenly become successful.
Stop this now. The sky is the limit and you deserve it.
6. Rest is good
There was a post on LinkedIn about how people couldn’t expect not to post on social media for 2 weeks while they went away on holiday and expect to have a business still when they got back.
This is fear talking here.
You deserve a break. Switch off the email, the bleeps, the calls. Even if just for a weekend. Your business will not fold because you’re not posting on Facebook for a while.
Running on empty is not good. Create time to fill your cup back up whatever that means for you.
There so 6 years completed – 6 tips. So looking forward to my 7th year!! I’ve made it and you can too!!
Loving these tips? Why not read 49 things I’ve learnt by 40?