The 10 most important things to prepare yourself for before you start your own business!

Written by  //  September 3, 2015  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Are you about to start your own business or go freelance? Here are the 10 most important things to prepare yourself for before you begin!  

you have to start to be great zig ziglar quote

Here’s my list of the 10 most important things to prepare yourself for before you start up on your own. If you’re already in business, what would you add?!

1. Time disappears

When I started working for myself I was surprised at how quickly time passed and how little I got done! So here’s a tip: keep a timesheet. Really! With a timesheet you’ll be able to see exactly where your time is going and that’s the first step to working out how to manage it better. 

If you’d like to experiment with keeping a timesheet the how-to is here.

2. Marketing is a BIG part of your job

Of course when you go out on your own you need to find customers, but who knew it would be such a BIG job?! Goodness, when you’re not very comfortable selling your stuff (or your services) the marketing part can feel quite overwhelming.

But don’t panic- here’s a SIMPLE tip! Get into the habit of doing a little marketing EVERY day, and you’ll find it a LOT easier!

You also might like these Ten Little Marketing Tips

3. Customers are harder to find than you expect

Following on from number 2 above, not only is marketing a big part of your job, but getting a decent number of customers takes longer than anyone ever expects!

Here are three tips:

  1. Don’t give up! It takes time but if you do the work you’ll get the customers
  2. Plan for longer without cash! It will take a while to get a good flow of work so make sure you’ve got some savings to live off for a wee while.
  3. Expect to spend 30% of your week on marketing. YUP – that much!

4. Pricing speaks volumes about your quality

This is something that’s super-important to know!

The first thing most of us do when customers are hard to find is that we drop our prices. And then we drop them a bit more, and then we drop them even further, until boy are they really low.

But then we still don’t get lots of customers. What’s the deal with that?!

Hmm. It’s because your low prices are giving people the wrong vibe about your work!

Most customers aren’t experts in what they’re buying so they use price as a guide to quality! YUP! I know it sounds insane, but most customers assume that an item with a higher price is of a higher quality. If you’re selling cheap stuff, potential customers will believe it’s poor quality. 

So be confident and keep your prices up. You’re worth it.

[As an aside if pricing is a thing you struggle with, you’re not alone. And that’s why we cover it in masses of detail in the Healthy Income Program]

5. You need to double your hourly rate!

If you plan to sell stuff you make (like dresses, cakes or jewellery) or you sell your time (like a copywriter, music teacher or bookkeeper) you’ll probably want to use your ‘hourly rate’ as a starting point for pricing your product or service.

Most of us start by picking for the hourly rate an amount we’d like to earn. So if I wanted to earn $25 an hour I’d pick that. But that’s really NOT the best thing to do because at least half your time is going to be spent on marketing and admin (yes, really!)

Instead you’d be better to use an hourly rate that’s DOUBLE what you want to earn! Indeed! Want to know more? Read this!

6. Imposter Syndrome happens

Not long after you start working for yourself you’ll probably start suffering from Imposter Syndrome. It’s when you get the wobbles and think you’re not good enough to be successful. Happens to all of us. You just need to know it’s NOT true! You are totally good enough!

To stop Imposter Syndrome try these tips on believing in yourself and read this on how no one else knows what they are doing either!

inhale confidence exhale doubt

7. It gets a little lonely

Working for yourself is fabulous but if you’re used to working in a team it can be a bit lonely! There’s no one to whinge to, no one to gossip with and it makes for a very small Christmas party! Seriously though – it does get lonely because you and you alone have all the responsibility for the business. The good thing is though that there are lots of other solo and small businesses to buddy up with so think about:

  1. Joining an online community (like our 100 Day Goal Facebook group and the Healthy Income Program group)
  2. Starting a Real Life group of solo business owners and arrange to meet up at least monthly to talk about business. I have a lovely bunch of business buddies who I met through Table of Fabulousness. You could start something similar.

8. Admin is a killer

Admin takes ages! Invoicing, bookkeeping, legals, plus marketing admin like newsletters, website maintenance, techie things that go wrong. Gah! This is just part of business but it’s a bit painful!

My big tip here is to outsource as much admin as you can so that you can concentrate on doing the work that only you can do! It’s money well spent.

9. Important business-y stuff doesn’t get done

You’ve probably heard the expression “Work ON your business, not IN it”. Well when you’re the only person in your business you (obvs) have to do both. And that’s a bit tricky. You kinda end up spending all your time on the urgent day-to-day stuff and never get to the strategic/planning type work.

My tip here is that you need to force yourself to make time for the important but not urgent stuff. Things like updating your website, developing new products, exploring new channels: all the stuff that’s important but doesn’t need doing today! Here’s a technique that helps me do it!

10. You need Tuning-in time!

Here’s a problem I struggled with for a couple of years before I realised it was an actual thing!

When you work away outside your home and have a decent ( 20 minute plus commute) your travel time tunes you into your “work head”. So your commute not only gets you physically from home to work, but mentally too!

When you work from home, it’s easy to physically go straight from “home” to “work” but mentally we struggle with it! Most of us can’t actually just swap from “home head” to “work head” – instead we need some sort of transition. (So while you might think faffing around in the morning is procrastinating – it’s NOT! You’re doing super-important tuning -in!)

Here’s some info about Tuning-in time and why we all need routines and rituals to get us started!

11. You’re going to LOVE it!

Working for yourself isn’t easy, but it’s a fabulous adventure.  I think you’re going to LOVE it!

♡ YOU!♡

What do YOU think are the most important things to prepare yourself for before you go out on your own?!

♡* More *♡

If you enjoyed this you might like our weekly Snacks! It’s a lovely email newsy thing with bits and bobs and sweet stuff for your small business. It’s FREE and you can get it here!

 AND! On 7 September we start the Healthy Income Program again. If you’d like to join us details are here.

 

 

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Fancy getting a weekly Snack of sweet stuff for your small business? Just pop your details in below.

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