3 things I wish I’d known when starting my business
Last week was my 28th birthday. I always get reflective around this time. Maybe it’s the excessive amount of alcohol I foolishly consume to celebrate, or maybe its just a good time to look back on what I’ve done and what I still want to do.
I’ve been in business for 7 years now and I’ve learnt a lot and made many mistakes. Each has helped me and my business to grow. After a chat with a friend who is thinking about starting a “side-gig”, I came up with the 3 things I wished I’d known before I started my business…
1. Don’t undervalue your work
When you start out, it is very easy to believe that to find your first few customers you need to be cheaper than your competitors. That’s a totally fair estimation and partly true for service-based businesses: having a wide portfolio and more experience does warrant a higher level of payment. But the mistake I made was waiting too long before I realised the value I was offering and increasing my prices to the correct level. For about a year or two, I was around 10x cheaper than I should have been! Mad right?!
It’s hard to take the leap and put a higher price on your work, but the moment you do you will find customers that really value you. Your business will grow like never before. Don’t be afraid to cut out the cheapskates and do it as soon as possible.
2. Everything doesn’t matter equally
Every day I receive hundreds of emails and questions. If I tried to respond to them all I would never get any real work done. I don’t ignore people – but some queries can wait.
It’s so important to prioritise the things that make the most money for your business. In our case, that’s creating websites. Get the big stuff done first and then dedicate an hour or two to the support requests and day-to-day admin. The real discovery in this area is made when you take some time off from work and realise that the business doesn’t come collapsing down when you don’t respond to people. If it matters, you’ll get a second email 😉
3. Happiness is the most important measure of success
It’s easy to compare yourself to your peers, your family, your idols and your competitors. At the end of the day though, the only thing that matters is if you are happy or not. The point of being an entrepreneur is that you can do something you want on your own terms. It is tough and it is hard work, no doubt about it. But the moment what you’re doing is no longer making you happy is the moment you need to try something else. Don’t wait, life’s too short.
Thanks for reading!
Dan Wiseman Web Wise Media
About the author
Founder & director of Web Wise. He writes about web design, marketing, entrepreneurship, investing and games. Dan regularly speaks on these subjects and is available for coaching and consultancy.
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