Posted May 29, 2019 - Emma Mills in Uncategorized
Launching your own business takes dedication, passion and a lot of hard work. However, most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that all the hard work and sleepless nights brainstorming ideas was well worth it.
The other day, my team and I was doing some business planning and looking at where we’d like to be in the next three years. Then, we did a bit of reverse engineering and thought about what needs to happen over the next few quarters to get us closer to that end goal.
All that business planning also got me thinking. In three years, Mi-PA will be 14 years old. It seems like forever ago when I started and back then, I didn’t know anywhere near as much as I do now. It also got me thinking about what advice I would have given to my younger, inexperienced self. What advice would have helped me back then?
Self-employment has risen rapidly over the last few years and despite the fact so many of us are working for ourselves, it can be difficult to find any good advice in the beginning stages.
So, I’ve decided to share a few of my tops that I would give to myself and anyone who is thinking or just embarking on their entrepreneurial journey.
When I first set out to work for myself, I did what most self-employed people do. I joined a dozen networking groups and got up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast and talk to potential suppliers and customers.
Meeting people who are on the same journey as you can help you learn a lot. Besides, the more exposure you get, the more opportunities will be open to you.
I never considered myself to be a natural entrepreneur. I didn’t grow up and immediately start working for myself. It took time to learn the skills and build a network of people to bounce ideas off and socialise with.
I’ve always been one to believe that entrepreneurship is something that can be learned, taught, honed and developed. Through the years, I’ve had a lot of mentors and business coaches to help me get clear on my goals and map out what I needed to do to achieve them.
Networking and developing business friendships can help you build your confidence and seize new opportunities. When it comes to business, sometimes it really is about who you know.
So, get up early, go to those networking meetings and start building meaningful relationships with people who can relate to what you’re going through.
When you first start out and you’re struggling to find clients, it’s tempting to charge a little less or offer a discount so that you know you’ll have money coming in.
If I could go back in time, I would have told my 26-year old self to charge her worth. Back then, I would constantly run into the type of clients that always asked for a lower price for my services.
This happens a lot to self-employed people and yes, it’s super annoying. You’ll probably get a lot of people who ask you for a discounted price and some might even bring you a counter-offer after you sent them the final quote.
When I was starting out, I would lower my prices because I didn’t want to turn people down and I needed the work. I couldn’t afford to turn people away and I didn’t have the confidence to really charge my worth. That’s all changed now. But back then, I would’ve made a lot more money if I had the mindset and confidence to charge my worth.
Research has shown that the price someone is willing to pay for your services is not always based on your experience. Just because you’re a ‘beginner,’ it doesn’t make your work any less valuable.
In fact, higher prices can often make you and your work seem more desirable. After all, the more expensive the wine, the better the taste, right?
You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s impossible. Back when Mi-PA was in its infancy, I would work from my bedroom. I was a one-woman band and did things like diary management, monitoring, and managing emails, booking travel and core PA things like that. They were my bread and butter tasks that I loved to do.
But I often got asked to do other jobs and tasks that weren’t in the original agreement. For example, I had a few clients that wanted me to make some sales calls. And, I would do them even though it really wasn’t my favourite thing in the world.
Looking back, I would have told myself to double down on the things that I was really good at and not worry about all that other stuff. Cater to the people who need and want your services and don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Niching down is important in business. It helps build your credibility as an expert in your industry. And, you can always pivot and add additional services to your arsenal as your business and team continues to grow.
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