I did it! I started my own small business. My own marketing business to be precise! And boy oh boy, I couldn?t have been prouder of myself and any more scared sh!tless at the same time.
Why, you ask?
Well, because for all my professional life, I have worked for various companies with the duo purpose of fulfilling my marketing career aspirations, whilst earning a ?steady?, conservative income to contribute to my small (gorgeous) family finances. Company loyalty was something I took pride in trying to achieve. But, after two redundancies and one toxic working environment, I learnt that loyalty is unfortunately, a rare find in this day and age.
So, after my last redundancy and some time off (read: having a baby), I made the decision to re-enter the workforce. Off I went looking for job that ticked all the boxes, you might know the ones (especially if you have ever been a ?return-to-work-mum?) – close to home, school hours, flexible, pays well and of course, will accelerate my marketing career beyond my wildest professional dreams! After a few interviews and missing out on the job that I wanted so bad and actually thought I had in the bag, my darling husband uttered the most absurd question to me ? ?Why don?t you start your own marketing business??. My response? <insert shocked face emoji>. After a lot of discussions with him and other close family members about how I would make it all work, I bit the bullet and registered my business name and then BOOM! My small business was born ? Triple One Marketing.
What did I learn throughout all the procrastinating and the questions about starting my own business? A lot! But let me narrow it down to my top three that will most definitely help you start your own business!
1. Get the right support
I could not have made the decision to start my business, if I hadn?t had the support from my husband, family and friends. I?m not going to lie, I was very selective about who and how much I told about my business to people. It is human nature to speak to different people about different topics. We learn as relationships develop, what different responses we will get from each individual. So, for support on how to launch my business, I approached my brother and his wife, because they?ve had their own small companies before. For emotional support, I spoke to my sister. For marketing chats, I went to my good friend and ex-colleague who happens to be a marketing guru. For all of the above and more, I turned to my husband. It is so important to surround yourself with people who can support you, direct you, encourage you and be honest with you. This ensures that you feel empowered to keep going even when you think you can?t or shouldn?t.
1. Ask a LOT of questions
My main fear when starting my business, was accounting. I couldn?t even tell you what a profit and loss statement looks like and tax scares the crap out of me. So, I asked questions. I asked a LOT of questions. I asked other small business owners how they handled their finances, I researched (aka googled) online and spoke to my personal accountant. Lucky for me she happened to be all things finance to businesses and individuals. Want to know where to go to register your business or how to organise a logo or maybe you need to know who your competitors are ? ask, ask and ask. Ask your friends, ask another business owner who you admire for running their business so well or put it out there on social media e.g. can anyone recommend a web developer to put my website together? If you don?t ask, you won?t know.
1. Plan ahead
Ok, this is not a new concept. We understand that in order for anything to succeed, you must plan ahead. Assess the risks, eliminate the BS. But what I am talking about is more than strategy. It?s about setting yourself simple short and long term goals to hit as you start your business. For me, it was about the basics like, registering my business name and ABN, organising a logo and a website, getting the first couple of clients, putting together a service and price list, creating a marketing plan and oh yes of course, sorting my out my business finances and tax. These are just a few of the things that I planned and prioritised. It was so exhilarating to mark each task off as I worked towards launching my business! It?s important to also keep in mind that part of planning is taking your time and thinking it through.
There you have it. My top 3 tips for starting your own small business.