I am glad to share my advice from my nearly two decade journey to create what I hope is one of the top Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing agencies in the world today.
It has not been easy as my parents were both teachers and I went to the University of Barnes and Noble to learn HTML back in the late 90s. No one in my family ever ran a business, and I had to learn the hard way how to make my business run.
So, here is what I have learned over the past two decades about running a business.
1 Seek Advice
Talk with, make friends with, and network with other people who run businesses.
Ask questions and listen when others give you great advice
2 Hire Someone To Help You.
Back in January of this year I finally found my #2, and she is doing a fantastic job taking a lot of the load off of my shoulders. At the same time, letting go and letting someone else do what used to be your job can be scary and it’s important to lay down ground rules with your employee. Set rules, and expectations. Have weekly ( at least ) reviews.
3 Hire a Bookkeeper
The finances of your business is what makes it grow. Unloading the tedious task of keeping track of expenses, vendor payments, payroll and income is better off left to an expert.
4 Hire a Virtual CFO
Yes, there is such a thing. Someone who can come up with a real financial strategy for your business. Do not rest on your laurels or on one or two big clients. Always be marketing for more business. This way when something expires, you always have more than enough income and work.
5 Set aside time to BE the CEO
Outsource what you need to, and budget time to strategize, market, and sell what you do. Start planning for phase II and phase III now. Come up with a plan for 3 months from now and then 6.
6 Don’t be afraid of debt.
As long as you have a plan, debt is actually a great tool to move you forward. Kabbage is great resource for working capital. They provide small business loans ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, and small business owners can use this working capital for various business expenses. Speak to the people at Kabbage, take out a PayPal Capital loan, and don’t rush to pay it back. Keep a buffer zone of savings for your business, for THE business itself.
7 Pay yourself FIRST
Separate your personal affairs and expenses and your business. Have separate bank accounts and DO put yourself on a salary.
8 Don’t punish yourself for taking a break.
Schedule time OFF. Time for family, time to read a good book or hang out with friends. Plan a vacation. Yes, by NOT working you make yourself MORE productive in the long run.
9 Be honest fair and ethical with your clients
Tell them what you have worked on for them every day and even what you have NOT worked on. We are all human and make mistakes or fall behind schedule. Those who are honest about it win. Those who go the BS route loose.
10 Schedule a Stern Storming Session
It can sometimes be hard to put into works, pictures, blogs, landing pages, and even tweets what the benefit is of working with you, and what needs and desires your target market actually has. I have developed a knack for this, and I would love to help you find the words and images that have been lacking in your marketing strategy.
Do or Do Not, There Is No Try.
Give yourself a vocabulary to use that is full of action works. I GET to do this now not I have to.
I am going to DO this and then this.
Make lists, lists can save your business, as Angel and Eric of Experience Pros say.
And push yourself through your own doubt and manifest more in your life as Faith Young does with her amazing clients at What Would Faith Do?
Believe in yourself and your vision, but also be sure you work with others to help you make it crystal clear. Start with Stern LLC; call 303.353.4354 or contact us today!