If you’re anything like me, the leap into small business ownership was more like a series of fluttering attempts, a few hiccups and hops, and then a timid jump…when I finally “felt ready.” Truth be told, it took a lot longer than it needed to, in part because of my fear and hesitation, which held me back much longer than it should have. Admittedly, there was also a big gap in my professional presentation as a business owner, which sent mixed messages to my clients, and quite frankly, to me. At some point, I had to face the music, level up as a freelancer and embrace my future as a small business owner. It was time to be the real deal.
What does that mean exactly? Well, first, we’re talking about shift in mindset.
Do you remember when you first stepped out on your own? Maybe you were like me, timidly taking on a private “side job,” which I communicated over email, with no contract or business license. I was just working a quick hustle for some extra cash, which came however they wanted it to, whenever they wanted it to. A check here, cash there, PayPal over here…before the job, during the job, after the job. There was no rhyme or reason, no method to my madness.
Did I make those choices because I was a sloppy copy writer or because I didn’t value my clients or their experience? No. Most of those choices were made because I didn’t value myself. I was “just a freelancer” and didn’t believe that I was capable of wearing the title of “business owner.” So I didn’t take the time or energy to put the systems in place that really allowed me to take ownership of my professional path. Yes, my clients were happy. I was happy. But my growth quickly plateaued. I pigeon holed myself as a side hustle instead of cultivating my reputation as an entrepreneur.
What would I have done differently?
- Take it seriously. I should have immediately applied for a business license, making sure I had all of the proper certifications in place. My next stop should have been a lawyer, where I would have created top notch contracts that set the standard for relationships grounded in excellence and professionalism.
- Get organized. I should have clearly defined my products and services, pricing and payment terms. A well-developed workflow with appropriate systems in place would have set expectations on my time and my daily routine, which would have saved me the stress and chaos of trying to meet unrealistic deadlines while phoning it in as a mom.
- Communicate effectively. Without the appropriate systems in place, my communication with my clients and my team suffered. Projects fell through the cracks, invoices didn’t get paid – in short, I set myself and everyone around me up for failure, because I didn’t have a grasp on the business that was growing with or without my belief in myself as the owner.
How can you avoid making the same mistakes that I did?
Fix it. Today! The buck stops here. The very first thing you need to do is take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me. “I am a business owner. This is my business and I am responsible for the decisions that will make or break it. I am capable, talented and driven. It’s time to stop dancing around my fears and make it happen. Go get it done. I can do this.”
Next step is to tackle the three areas I mentioned above. Where? How? Why?
The great news…we have a whole slew of programs available to choose from when it comes to implementing the procedures, reporting metrics and systems that will help us thrive as entrepreneurs.
The bad news…we have a whole slew of programs available to choose from when it comes to implementing the procedures, reporting metrics and systems that will help us thrive as entrepreneurs.
I want to help you drive towards the most powerful tool that can level up your business with ease, efficiency and most importantly, clarity and purpose as THE owner (that’s you!). Say hello to my friends at Spera!
It’s time for a list. These are a few of my favorite things!
- Spera was created by independent contractors for independent contractors. That’s right! They went straight to the source – people just like you! How does it feel when you invest in something only to utilize 10% of it? Bad! Spera took the time to ask the right questions to the right people, and then, they acted on it, developing a platform that has what you need, when you need it, where you need it. How does it feel to invest in something that is 100% designed just for you? It feels pretty darn amazing.
- Spera is an all-in-one virtual office. And that’s what you need as a business owner. An office! Many small business owners fail to implement the proper systems because they are frustrated by having to hop from tool to tool to tool. That’s like setting up your office but then having to go to the kitchen to grab your invoices, to the bathroom to print your contracts and to the garage to meet your clients. Now, you have one place where you can manage your client experience from start to finish.
- Functional Task Management – Communicate with your team and your clients, set expectations on your time and make sure projects never fall through the cracks again.
- Customizable Invoices – Professional invoices that present your expertise and your brand with excellence, letting your clients know that you mean business!
- Secure Payment Portals – Track incoming payments, pay invoices, send/receive money and give your clients a simple one-click option directly in their invoice. No more chasing checks.
- Spera offers a FREE complete 30 day trial. That’s right…an all access pass for an entire month. If you’re still hesitant about claiming your power and position as a small business owner, that’s ok. You can ease your way into it and give it a try! Once you access the possibility of life as an organized, professional business owner, you’ll crash through the door of opportunity and wonder…why in the world didn’t I do this sooner?
A Sure Fire Way To Get More Sales: Email Marketing
Let’s face it – it is tough being a mom and holding down a career. The 9-5 jobs are becoming remnants of the past that no longer serve the 21st-century woman. Online business has been increasing in the past ten years with affiliate marketing (this business venture is growing) and e-commerce shops becoming some of the most prominent sources of income for stay at home mothers.
With the number of people now taking their careers in their own hand (congratulations)- competition may appear to be much harsher and challenging now. However, that is far from the truth. The online world is getting bigger thus making it now a great time to start your own online business.
The best way to get a steady stream of income to your site is through email marketing. Email marketing is perhaps one of the most important factors in building your business. It is often said, “that the money is in the list.”
This phrase is talking about the email list that you acquire. It is difficult trying to go out and sell to different people – but when you have a list of people who has already bought for you, they will be more likely to do business with you.
It is important to understand this. Online shops are no different from physical stores. Treat your customers with respect and they will be more likely to buy from you. Make an offer and give giveaways to those on your email list and not only do you get their loyalty but they can also potentially refer family and freed s to your site.
Running an online business is not that difficult when you know the tools of the trade, and it is important that you build a list of loyal customers and that you not only keep them up to date on the best sales and offers but that you reward the customer base you have,
The money is in the list. Email marketing is perhaps the most undress strategy for many businesses which is why so many small online businesses fail, but when you understand the tools fo the trade, it is more than feasible to create a steady flow of income and to build a brand that will bring more people to the site every day.
It takes time, effort and diligence but when these attributes are used efficiently the days of working a 9 – 5 with a boss from hell yelling down your back will be just a fading memory. And is there really anything better than this?
The money is good, but it’s the independence that counts. Remember the money is in the list. So build that list.
24 Super Awesome Articles for Busy Working Moms
You may have noticed a bit of feast or famine over here at Chaos & Kiddos. Why? Because we’ve been sharing the love all over! Yup, that’s right. When we’re not here actively posting, it’s usually because we have the great honor to share our voice on other platforms. We thought you might like to keep up with where we’ve been! So…check out these 24 super awesome articles for busy working moms. Enjoy!
Need a little parenting pick me up? Look no further! Grab a cup of coffee and kick back for a good read. Pick up a few tips and tricks, and give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re doing an AWESOME job.
Tell the truth…We bet you’re working too hard! It’s ok. We all do. Let’s band together and give ourselves permission for a little TLC, a whole lot more community and the opportunity to thrive professionally and personally, being our best selves for those we love most.
Our very favorite!! Sharing the tips and tricks to help your business grow, the creative ideas that are making big waves in the entrepreneurial and those little reminders that get you back on track as a motivated, focused small business owner.
Health and Wellness
Last, but certainly not least, the most important part. Staying healthy and being well. The journey towards balance is just that…a journey. Join us as we walk together towards a more meaningful, enriched life.
Do you have any super awesome articles for busy working moms? Share them below in the comments! Let’s face it, time is a hot commodity around here, and most of us don’t have time to blog hop! So…if you’ve done us the great honor by taking time out of your busy day to stop here, then THANK YOU! From the bottom of our hearts. And if you have a resource to share, please do so! Any opportunity we have to connect a resource with a need, whether it’s our information or not, is a big win for us, and for YOU!
And that’s why we’re here. For you. XOXO
6 Quick Tips for Your Growing Business
Every small business owner dreams big. What starts as a tiny idea and a basement pop-up shop has high hopes for one day becoming a huge factory outputting 10,000 units a day. Or perhaps your home kitchen cupcake shop turns into franchises all over the country. Whatever business you find yourself in, you dream of growth. Big growth. But what happens when that day suddenly approaches? When and how do you take the next big step? Check out these 6 quick tips for your growing business and make sure you don’t become your own stumbling block by rushing and not following your due paces as your business expands.
1. Plan. Don’t Rush. Be Patient. The excitement of growth can cause us to make hasty decisions. When the opportunity to grow appears, we want to leap right there and achieve the dream overnight. If you do not diligently outline your business growth plan and the specific parameters and timeline associated with its completion, you can find yourself spending more money than you have and stuck in poor decisions that sufficed short term but lacked long term vision. Take your time. Discuss every possibility. Communicate and commit to writing your 5, 10 and 15 year goals. Take your time to thoughtfully consider all short and long term implications for any decisions that you make.
2. Manage Your Money. Meet with a Financial Advisor. An extension of Rule #1, it’s time to outline your finances in minute detail. Make sure you have a crystal clear understanding of your finances, including cash flow, debt and the potential short and long term impact of any big money moves. Create a detailed financial plan to achieve your business growth without putting you out of business. The last place you want to be is in a larger facility with more debt and no cash. Take your time to plan and use cash wisely, consider creative ways to invest and fund your prospective growth and have a professional provide insight for all big decisions. You are in business for the long term, you need to manage your money like you believe that.
3. Utilize Your Resources. A further extension to Rules #1 and #2 is to consult legal counsel. Whether you’re signing a new lease, purchasing a property or remodeling an existing site, be sure to understand the liabilities and legal responsibility those decision entail. Have all contract agreements reviewed in detail and allow your lawyer to manage risk intelligently with your best interests in mind. Excitement can push someone to sign on the dotted line without reading the fine print. Simply put, that can be the kiss of death to any business. Take your time and make sure you, your family, your clients and ultimately, your business are well protected and legally sound.
4. Transition Deliberately. A move of any kind can cause a rupture in communication with your client. Even when the change on the horizon is mutually beneficial, people can oppose change and experience discomfort during the transition. Thoughtfully consider whether your business growth will cause any outages, delays to service or other adjustments to your usual workflow. Communicate with your client base so that they know what to expect and in what time frame. Acknowledge their importance by going above and beyond for any clients who might experience a bit of growing pains along with you. Whether you offer a “thanks for your patience” discount or simply take the time to pick up the phone or take them to lunch, let your clients know that the changes coming will help you to serve them better. Thank them for providing the opportunity for your business to grow.
5. Stick to the Plan. Hold yourself accountable. Better yet, nominate someone else to hold you accountable. Once you have a detailed written plan of action, stick with it. You made that plan after doing your homework, consulting the pros and seriously considering exactly what future you are moving towards. That plan wasn’t created on a whim…it was purposeful and designed for efficiency, effectiveness and ultimately, long term success. Don’t let your heart get the better of you by straying at a moment’s notice because you’ve just “gotta have it now!” Treat that plan like law. That’s not to say it won’t be tweaked here and there, but the fundamental foundation should remain in tact and you should be committed to staying the course.
6. Celebrate! The fun part! You’re about to accomplish something exceptional! All of that hard work, blood, sweat and tears are finally paying off. It’s an exciting, scary, exhilarating time for you. Take a moment to relish this part of your journey. It’s ok to pat yourself on the back and say “I did it!” Let your client base celebrate with you. You’re extending them new services, better quality, more attention and availability…this business growth is for them! And because of them. Create anticipation for your new grand opening. Set up an open house, share sneak peeks on social media. Help everyone hop on the thrill ride as you take the next professional leap.
If you keep these quick tips to business growth handy and refer back to them throughout your expansion process, you’ll be able to gut check your decisions and intentions. Ask yourself if you’ve fulfilled each point or if you’ve cut corners anywhere and left yourself exposed. Use it as a marker to remind yourself what you committed to when you decided to take the next big step. These quick tips to business growth won’t steer you wrong. Congratulations on a worthy accomplishment! We can’t wait to see you continue to grow in the years to come!