What does it mean to have a teenage business?
Well, if you’ve been in biz over ten years, you already know. If you haven’t, it’s this: you’re probably pretty good at what you do if you’ve lasted this long. You’ve seen a lot. And you’ve got a lot figured out.
So what about when your business enters it’s twenties?
Guess what? There’s still lots to figure out. The world spins fast and change is constant. But you’ve managed to ride that wave this long without drowning. Yay!
But being in business for twenty years - a milestone I reached this year - seems kinda unbelievable to me. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Being caught in a start-up downsize pushed me to, reluctantly, put out my own shingle 20 years ago. Turns out, getting kicked out of that company was a very lucky break. (It didn’t feel that way at the time.)
Hitting this milestone in my business got me thinking about the people who are thinking about going solo - starting their own business - those brave enough to step out of (or who are getting tossed out of) a regular job to do their own thing.
I’ve got some advice for you. (Of course I do)
Here are a few things to think about while you procrastinate and start overthinking your next steps...
Don’t wait for outside approval.
Figure out what you need to get started, and just get started. This means that you shouldn’t be fussing over a website or a business card design if a phone call or a coffee meeting will lead you to your first few clients.
Just get working.
Chip away at your website in between your first few paid gigs. And pay for it with money earned from client work. Don’t overthink it. Just do it. (catchy)
And own up to them too. If you’re afraid to do something out of fear of making a mistake, it’ll be hard to be in business for yourself. It’s messy and mistakes will happen. Learn from them, of course. It’s how you deal (honestly) with mistakes that endears you to your clients.
Put it on repeat.
Be able to explain simply and clearly what it is you do and share it over and over again, to everyone.
Just figure it out.
You can adjust what you offer to clients as you go. Start with what you know and figure out the rest. That’s how it works. I am getting really good at figuring stuff out for clients. You can too.
If you aren’t, you won’t attract the kinds of clients you love to work with. And working with clients you love will keep you happily working as an entrepreneur for years (and years!) to come.
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The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
Small Business Guide ~ Archives
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