Top Tips for your First Year in Business
Here at The Little Marketing Company we have now completed our first year in business. While it came with its ups and downs, as all new businesses do, we learnt a lot from our first year in business. We know firsthand how hard a first year in business can be and therefore we would like to share some top tips with you. These will help you and your business in your first year.
The best way to get your face, your business and your brand known by people is to get out there. Do everything you can to meet lots of new people. Work hard to build strong connections online and in person, build that relationship with them. I attended lots of local networking groups and this really helped to create that community around The Little Marketing Company.
Set Up Systems
It can be so easy to get lost in the business in those early days. You focus on networking, getting new clients, making new connections and more. Then you get new clients on board and the focus is all on making the clients happy. However it is essential that you put systems and processes in place. Not only will it be much harder to do at a later stage, but you’ll save so much time and stress by having the systems and processes in place from the beginning.
Keep Contact Details Correctly.
Using a good quality CRM (customer relationship management) system to keep all your contact details in one place from the beginning is a great idea. You can then use the CRM system to view leads, clients, which client purchased what from you and when. A good CRM system will also help you manage customer data and lead data with ease. It will make your business GDPR compliant when used correctly and it can support your sales management too.
There are lots of different CRM systems that you may want to consider for your business. The popular ones that we would recommend are Zoho, Hubspot, insightly, Salesforce, Base CRM and many more. The best thing is to check them out and see what’s right for your business.
Understand The Importance of Good Planning
It is essential that you never underestimate the importance of planning and being organised. Without a plan in place how do you know where you are going, how you will get there and what you will do when you are there?
We would recommend that you set yourself a goal for the first year in business. You then need to break this into smaller goals to achieve by the end of each quarter, break the quarter goals into monthly goals, these into weekly goals and then daily goals. Take the time to understand your goals and how you will get there. Make sure you celebrate the small wins when you achieve those goals along the way.
Have A Support Network
The biggest struggle for many small business owners is that they often feel alone. Make sure you build a support network of family members, parents, friends or even people you meet networking. This support network is what will keep you going on those tough days. Without my amazing support network The Little Marketing Company wouldn’t be what it is now!
While it may be tempting to put all your focus on developing your business, you need to focus on developing the biggest asset of your business too – you! This can include courses and workshops, online learning, a business coach or mentor for example.
I found reading books to be a great way of supporting my personal development. These are some of the books I would recommend to any in their first year of business; Susan Jeffers – Feel the fear and do it anyway, Shaa Wasmund – Stop talking, Start doing, Action Book , Alison Mitchell – Time Management for Manic Mums and Mike Michalowicz – Profit First.
Write A Marketing Strategy
When you start your own business it is tempting to do it all. In theory the more places your business can be seen, the better your business will do. However this is not the case, in fact this technique can lead to lot of time and money being wasted. Instead we would recommend that you write a marketing plan.
Writing a marketing strategy will help your business grow and thrive. It will keep you focused on your goals and how you will achieve them. A marketing strategy will help you to budget your marketing spend and make clearer business decisions. A marketing strategy will also help you measure the results so you can see what has worked and what hasn’t. Your marketing strategy will help you avoid wasting your 2 vital resources; time and money!
It’s A Rollercoaster
It wouldn’t be fair of us to talk about the first year in business without telling you that it will be a rollercoaster. Your highs will be really high; however your lows will be really low. There is nothing that can prepare you for these highs and lows so you need to make sure that you review your successes. On those bad days look back on what you have achieved and how far you have come. It’s a good idea to remind yourself of your ‘why’. Why did you decide to start your own business in the first place? Make a vision board so you can look back and remind yourself why you are doing this.
Make Time For You
As we have said in an earlier point, you are the biggest asset to your business. It can be so easy to forget about yourself and your health, but you need to. You will be busy trying to make your business a success and rushing around to sort everything out working in the business and time working on the business. However you need to embrace and enjoy the moment. By putting yourself first and creating time for ‘you’, everything else will fall into place. Especially juggling so many different roles: Mum, Step mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunty and a Friend…
If you are just starting out in business and would like to have a chat I’d be more than happy too, it can be a lonely place when you are starting up.