Take a look back at everything you’ve achieved over the last few years when it comes to your business. You’ll see some ups and downs along the way but ultimately, you’re still here, still going strong and still working so there’s a lot to be proud of yourself right there.
The big question is: would you do it all again? If so, what would you do differently and why? In this blog we’re exploring some of the advice you would give yourself if you could turn back the clock and start your business again from scratch. Along the way you’ve probably learned some tough lessons, so how would you impart those business considerations to your younger self?
Perhaps you might start by telling her the good news, that you will be a success and all the benefits that come from running your own business. You might mention the ability to introduce a degree of flexibility into your working hours or the chance to work around school drop or pick up if that’s a part of your lifestyle.
You might also mention that as a sole trader, your profit and your finances are yours to do with what you will and that answering to no one else is a liberating experience indeed.
Of course, there will be some downsides and perhaps the biggest worry for any business owner is that of revenue and figuring out just how to attract the right customer to your business. Someone who is not only going to spend money on your product or service but also return again and recommend you to other clients.
You might tell your younger self to expect stress and a little anxiety, especially during those early phases when you’re just setting up. The overnight success you were hoping for didn’t materialize but that doesn’t mean it won’t and in fact, it was worth building up a steady customer base, no matter how slow it felt, for the benefit of a stable business later down the line.
Then, of course, there’s the tougher side of being a business owner and here you’ll want to be brutally truthful and tell your younger self that while it was all worth it, there were times when it brought you to your knees. There were the long, late nights working to get everything up and running properly, the compromises on your time. While you would much have preferred not to have missed that significant birthday, your business demanded you were there to stop it going south, so sacrifices had to be made.
There were times when work/life balance went out of the window and instead you were faced with all work and very little time for yourself or anyone else for that matter.
The truth might be ugly at times and bad at others but it also contains a lot of good and those tough times you went through have not been in vain. You’ve learned some good and valuable lessons and it’s this knowledge that drives you forward, destined to avoid making similar mistakes again and onwards to a brighter, more profitable future. Give yourself a pat on the back as you pause to reflect on just far you’ve come.