11. Make plans
Planning is important. It’s what turns dreams in to reality and clear direction is vital for any business. Work on a strategy, set goals and targets, plan the steps you need to achieve to meet these targets and give yourself a realistic timeline to achieving them. Without it, your business will fail as you will have no way to measure success.
But don’t lose the plot if and when they inevitably fall behind schedule.
These things will happen. Things change and you need to adjust. Sometimes it will be out of your control, other times it will be because you got distracted and weren’t as productive as you should have been. As long as the latter is the exception and not the rule, then congratulate yourself. You’re doing great!
Plans can be flexible but they need to be there in the first place.
12. Don’t stop believing!
I remember one of my first small business workshops when the tutor said “There will be days when you will wonder why you’re doing this and consider applying for the next job you can find.” I was all “No way man! I’m so excited, I can’t ever imagine a time I’ll feel like that!“.
Just over a year later and I have to admit, there has been more than one moment where I’ve wondered if going back to full-time-steady-salary-based-employment would be a better option. This has mostly been in the quiet moments when I’m slogging away behind the scenes and yet to see the reward or the times where I’ve been my own harshest critic and unsure of my ability to meet the exceptionally demanding and varied skills needed to be a small business owner. I haven’t got to the stage of seriously thinking about packing it in but I have seriously wondered if I’ve got what it takes. It all comes back to confidence. That and remembering why I decided to do this in the first place.
I was relieved to find out that this is normal for all small business owners. Especially in the early stages. The key to getting past it? Look at how far you’ve come. List all the little things, celebrate all the things you’ve achieved but most importantly, remember why you started.