Starting your own business can be one of the most fulfilling points of your career and if you can make your business a success I think it is one of the best things you can do.
But having your own business is a lot harder than many people imagine and combine this with juggling motherhood and family life and the dream can soon become a nightmare if you are not fully prepared for life as a small business owner.
If you are planning on starting your own business or are currently running your own business here are some tips that should help you get on and stay on the right track:
1) Before you start out, be realistic about what you want to achieve and the time frame you want to achieve it in. Most business’ take years to turn a profit and to reap the rewards you put in during the start up years and it is easy to forget this and 6 months in think, ‘where is all my profit?”
2) Work out a budget before you start. How much do you need to launch your business? How much will you spend on marketing/branding/retail site/content/social/SEO etc. It is also a very good idea to work out your family budget and decide if you need to use savings or a loan to help survive over the launch 1-2 years where business development can be costly.
3) Be wary of companies who prey on new start ups and want to offer you quick fix SEO solutions or links or web design. These are usually a waste of your money and if you are an ecommerce company, it is very easy to lose a lot of money fast and have your website delisted by Google by using ‘cheating’ methods to try and get traffic. Good quality links and organic SEO leads take time, effort and consistency – not by trying to beat the Google system. If you are considering using an SEO company to assist you ask someone for a recommendation and ignore the thousands of spam emails which claim to drive traffic to your site.
4) Make customer service your number one focus. Customers will either make or break your business. If they are not purchasing then you have no business. Treat everyone like an individual and give them individual treatment. Nothing should be too much trouble for a customer and everyday I see companies not doing this and it amazes me. Always over deliver and respond promptly to your customer. Their good experience with you will translate to more customers – likewise their bad experience can lose you a lot of money and give your business a bad reputation
5) Don’t try and grow too fast. If you try and do too much too soon then cash flow will become an issue and this is a common downfall of many business’. Instead grow at a rate that you can manage and don’t feel pressured to spend money you don’t have. Also rather than following competitors, do things your way and create your own innovation and lead rather than following someone else. Give yourself a point of difference in your domain and people will talk about you
Starting your own business is often a way to live your own dream which can be run around your family and away from a Corporate job but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication – but if you can do it successfully then I truly believe it is one of the best ways to achieve quality of life as well as secure your family’s financial future.
This article was written by Rhian Allen, Founder of Lose Baby Weight and The Healthy Mummy range which helps mums get fit and healthy post pregnancy in a safe and healthy way.