When family and friends ask me for my advice on starting a business, there are always five things that come to mind. These are things I wish I had known when I started my business back in 2020 and hopefully will help you on your entrepreneurial journey. Let’s jump in!
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
When you are starting your own business, it can feel like it’s you against the world. Between juggling your craft, admin work, social media, you name it, there are a million things on your plate all at once. Though Tik Tok can have you thinking that starting a business should only take you 2 hours a week, most business owners work 24/7 to make sure everything is running smoothly. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to ask (or pay) for help when you need it. This does not make you less of a business owner or reflect negatively on you at all. Take the opportunity to learn from others and don’t hesitate to ask people you know have been successful in business for their advice, even if it feels awkward at first. Hire help or outsource nonessential tasks so you can focus on essential ones (to see our services page click here). Always remain on the lookout for networking opportunities as a way to make new friends and colleagues that can provide guidance in areas that you struggle with.
2. Build a network for support and guidance.
They often say building a network is half of the battle of a good business. This is true for multiple reasons. The first is that a larger network can mean more clients or buyers for your business. The second- and what I believe to be the most important - is the opportunities that come with expanding your network. When you have a larger network you not only have a larger client base, but more people to turn to when you have questions, more friends to rally in your corner during big events, and more experts in your field that can help advance your business and career. And though networking might not look like it once did, a virtual world means more access to people whom you otherwise might never have been able to meet.
3. Don’t be afraid of failure.
Anyone who has been successful in business will tell you that failure is a vital part of success. Some of my best ideas and most innovative moments have been the result of a horrible failure. When things are not going smoothly, don’t take that as a sign that the entire concept should be thrown out; rather, adapt and learn from the mistakes you have made in the past. Even though it’s difficult, if you see every failure as an opportunity for growth, you will grow!
4. Stay humble and remember why you do what you do.
Humility is always a good trait to have - we’ve all heard the saying “Don’t get a big head or it might pop”. However, I have found that many business owners have an inflated sense of pride, especially if they are more successful than they initially thought they would be. Of course, I’m not telling you not to take pride in what you have achieved or to let others diminish your accomplishments. Instead, let your accomplishments speak for themselves, share them on the relevant platforms, and allow others to find out for themselves what you have achieved. In the moments when you are feeling put down or overzealous, remember why you started doing what you do and the place that you started from. Remembering where we came from helps ground us and remind us that we are still on a journey, not at the final destination.
5. Support others the way that you would like to be supported.
I love this one and share it with everyone that I possibly can! The golden rule of business - support others the way that you would like to be supported. Especially in our digital age, it is easier than ever to give and get support. Take the time to like others’ social media posts, complete their story polls, or comment on ideas that really resonate with you. Give friends and family a positive review on Google or follow their Facebook page. These little acts of support not only help others, but will also increase your social presence, encourage people to give you their business, and will ultimately help increase your reach. So don’t slack on showing support- give it freely and as often as possible.
The potential rewards of implementing these five things far outweigh the challenges of learning them. Whether you are a new business owner, considering freelance work, or almost ready to quit your 9-5, these tips are for you. Find our content helpful? Consider following along on the blog by subscribing. We post new blogs every Monday with helpful tips, insights, and stories like these!
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Author: Camryn Pickworth
As the head VA and owner of The First Pick VA Group I have found such great joy in sharing my experiences and top tips with other freelancers and aspiring VA's. I hope that our blog can service as a great reference for VA's and Clients alike!