I’ve learned a lot this past year about running a small business. Here are a few of the most important things.
The world doesn’t end when you don’t check your email. Okay, maybe once in a while there will be something urgent, but rarely. Make sure clients (and friends and family) know that if there is something TRULY time-sensitive that needs your attention, they should pick up a phone. Otherwise, their email can wait a few hours. Or days.
Speaking of which, Inbox Pause has done SO MUCH for my sanity!
Stop waiting for things to be perfect. They never will be. Your new e-course will never be perfect, it will never be the perfect time to move, it will never be the perfect time to escape your 9-5. You have to make it happen. Jump in with both feet and go for it! If you keep waiting for “perfect” you’ll never do anything.
Make time to live your life. It’s easy, especially when you’re starting your business, to spend every waking hour working. It might not even feel like at times, because you’re so into what you’re doing. That’s great, but when you forget there’s a world outside and things to do, and people to love, the best business in the world isn’t going to make you happy. Take the weekends off, schedule a vacation, and go live your life! You’ll come back recharged and full of new ideas.
Do your dirty work. Unless you can afford to hire it out, you do need to do all those annoying parts of running a business too. Get your legal stuff in order*, don’t let your bookkeeping pile up, and keep up with any other boring or frustrating tasks. It’s so much easier to spend and hour or two a week on this stuff than it is to have it all hit you when tax season comes around and you’re neck deep in client projects.
Diversify your income. After this year I realized just how INCREDIBLY important this is. With only a single income stream, you’re screwed if your clients dry up. That’s why I launched my e-course, in the hopes that if there’s ever another lull in making websites, I’ll at least have some form of income. Don’t be stuck high and dry if your main income stream disappears!
If it’s not working, change it (or just stop doing it). I loved Indie Gift Box, but it just was NOT working for me. It required more time than I was able (or willing) to invest, and while I love promoting artists and handmade businesses, the structure of Indie Gift Box just didn’t allow me the freedom I wanted. So, I sold the company, and consequently was able to invest more time in my web design business. This meant that I not only got to spend more time doing what I’m really passionate about, but that I also more than doubled my income from last year. So if you really hate the direction your business is going, change it, or ditch it and find something that works for you!
What have you learned this year?
*Affiliate link for some kick-ass legal advice that I use and love.