Running your own small business can become all consuming but it is vital to keep it in perspective.
Breathe, Breathe, Breathe
When you start running your own business, there are all sorts of things you find out about yourself like:
- how good you are at getting up early to go to those crack of dawn breakfast meetings and
- how much you love cold calling (not) or even
- how good you are at keeping accounts records including all those little screwed up receipts from the bottom of your car, bag and trouser pocket.
- What you may not find out for yourself however is how good you are at keeping a sense of perspective... ...and actually that can be pretty crucial.
You may find this scene familiar: "Well Ive put heart and soul into this, Ive sweated blood and I seem to be getting nowhere, I mean I am really beginning to wonder if this business is going to work"
And when did you start your business? What? Oh ages ago, I mean Ive had my logo done, got my brochure printed, had my website designed and been to networking events. Ive put press releases out and done mailshots. Ive had my car sign written and produced company polo shirts (hoiks up jumper, points disconsolately to white logo on blue polo shirt)
Yes, when actually did you start the business, I mean what date? "What, oh well I registered the company name about 18 months ago".
And you actually went out making contacts with potential customers when? "Well, from February 9th"
February 9th this year?
As in February 9th five weeks ago?
Gosh was that really only 5 weeks ago?
Uh Huh. If this does sound familiar, join the merry throng. I have had similar conversations with many a client. And its normally the most conscientious and hard working ones that beat themselves up about how little they have achieved.
One client of mine was completing a business qualification, was pregnant with her third child and did the admin for her self employed husband. We met monthly and she continually castigated herself for how little she had got done since the last time we met.
Eventually I asked her to work out exactly how much time each week she thought she could devote to her own business by keeping a calendar. I got a two word e-mail a fortnight later "one hour".
Let me tell you in four hours (effectively all she had between our monthly meetings) she could be hugely proud of what she had actually achieved.
Silly things can throw your sense of perspective. One very stressed client kept her to do list in her diary. Very sensible except that she had such a small diary that the list was crammed into a tiny space and looked as though it would take days and days to achieve. Buying a larger diary kept her to do list in proportion and gave her back her sense of perspective. Hopefully this article will help you recover the same, that is if youve made time to read it...
Business Fulcrum Limited. Through consultancy, postcards, copywriting and workshops we have 6 years experience in supporting small start ups who are thinking about marketing but don know where to start; are struggling to communicate their marketing message; are not quite sure of their target audience and wouldnt mind chatting through the thorny problem of pricing. www.businessfulcrum.co.uk
As we cannot be experts in every relevant subject, we would love to receive 'guest' articles that may be of interest to anyone running their own business or thinking of doing so. ADD YOUR ARTICLE