5 Things You Need to Know About Being in Business During Your First 12 Months
From a tax perspective in July I officially hit my second year of business, however, I didn’t actively start marketing and calling myself at that point a hypnobirthing practitioner until November. So that’s when I feel I hit the two year mark as a fully-fledged business owner who was truly going it alone. Whilst I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak, the learning curve since stepping out from the security of a monthly wage has been a steep one. Although, I’ve loved most of it there are a few things that would have made this journey a little easier if someone had shared these jewels with me from the moment I started out. So think of this as my gift to you.
1.You don’t need to know everything
In an industry where you’re surrounded by amazing people, who know so many incredible things it’s easy to feel intimidated by another person’s expertise. Jon Acuff, motivational speaker and author, says ‘don’t compare you’re beginning to someone else’s middle’. So true. You only need to know more than your client’s to be able to help them and if you’re posed with a question you can’t answer, it’s nothing a pen, a piece of paper and a quick phone call to a peer or a mentor won’t sort out.
2.Don’t get involved in other people’s politics
It’s funny, because in an industry where the motivating factor for all people who get involved is to care for and empower women. You’d be amazed at how much crap there is flying around amongst practitioners, carers and teachers who have differing perspectives on which way is the ‘right way’. My advice for newbies, is don’t be surprised by it, even though you’re not in an office, the same playground antics still prevail, but don’t get involved. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to defend your perspective. Take what works for you, leave what doesn’t and stay focused on your ‘own lane’.
3. Creating a website does not build a business
Lots of new practitioner obsess over their websites….I still obsess over mine, I’m waiting for version 4.0 to be unveiled in June, it’s a bit ridiculous. My saving grace is I built two of my sites myself so it hasn’t all been money down the drain. But the truth is even if you spend a shed load of cash, making your website do its own version of Singing in the Rain, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a plethora of clients banging down your door to get into your classes or programs. And you would be surprised by the number of practitioners out there with truly crap websites that are attracting clients from seemingly everywhere. Why? Sometimes it’s time. They’ve been at it a bit so clients hear of them simply because they’ve been on the circuit for a while. But more than that they have created a network, of professionals and clients who are talking and referring on friends, family and customers. They are held in such high regard, most of their clients aren’t even visiting their website. My point, don’t get hung up not putting yourself out there if you haven’t got a website yet, you can still do it, people buy people not websites.
4. Being good at your job doesn’t guarantee referrals
I speak to lots of practitioners who are really good at what they do, but don’t get referrals. We all know social proof is a great encourager to get clients on board with you. This can be done in a number of ways, but the easiest way to ensure you get your clients talking about you is to ask them about their experience of working with you.
5. Getting a referral isn’t the same as creating raving fans.
Once again it isn’t about ‘just’ being good or even great at your job. One of the things that stuck with me from an online marketing course I invested in last year was in order to stand out from the crowd you need to delight and surprise people. A good rule of thumb for doing this, is think about what can you give at the beginning, middle and end of your experience that your client’s aren’t expecting? When things don’t go to plan how you can deal with it in a way that leaves people knowing that you care, even if you can’t give them what they want? Surprising and delighting people doesn’t have to be a big thing, in fact personalising something in a small way can etch your service into the memory of client forever more. How do you surprise and delight people?
Are you new to business? How much of this are you already doing? What’s working for you? Is your business more established, what do wish you had been told?