I can’t believe it has been a year since I started this adventure with Whezzit. I took over the business in August last year and having never run my own business before it has been one big learning curve!
1. Here are a few things I have gleaned so far: Guard your family time – It is easy to get wrapped up in your work especially if it is something that you enjoy and without knowing it neglect those closest to you. A friend of ours shared an amazing story at his father’s funeral. He said that it didn’t matter what his father was doing, whenever he walked into the room, his father would stop everything and focus his full attention on him. How beautiful is that? This might be more of a challenge for me as I work from home and I homeschool but I really think it is relevant. I often tell myself to be there in the moment, not just half attentive but fully there. This is an ongoing challenge for me.
2. Have experts around you – Somethings are just easier left to an expert. By now I am sure you have realized that I am not very clued up when it comes to technology…I am a firm believer in wrestling with something until I have mastered it but this is an area that I am willing to let go of. Having an expert deal with certain things for me frees me up to do what I love…creating a platform for people and businesses. Here are a few of the services that support Whezzit on a regular basis:
- Windcape ZA – Pierre oversees my Website management & CRM
- Afritax – Louis is my Tax Consultant
- Goshawk Litho – Anitha arranges the printing.
3. Have a good team around you– I am quite happy to do everything myself and I am terrible at delegating but running this business, working a second job and homeschooling my girls I soon realized my need for help. Working in a team helps to share the load, add flavour, bring a different perspective and have a greater influence.
4. Relationships are key – I have always believed this but being involved in Whezzit has driven it home once again. This might sound strange but I take pride in my clients and their businesses. We took a trip to Port Elizabeth recently and I took great delight in pointing out to my husband all the businesses along the way that advertise with us. My favourite part of this business is the people. I think that these relationships are important to me because they give my work value. Although businesses need money to function that can never been the sole focus. When you focus on relationship first the rest follows…I hope! Early days, time will tell.
5. Look after yourself – ok I’m still learning this one! You can’t keep up with everything if you’re not taking care of the basics. Eat well, laugh, soak in some sun, and get some exercise. Rest is powerful. Sometimes when things are hectic, I force myself to do the opposite of what I feel, I drop everything and go for a walk on the beach. My mind tells me I should be working harder but in reality, rest achieves a lot more. Try it.
6. Lighten up – I have found that sometimes (okay, maybe often) things don’t go according to plan. I am very particular and naturally a people pleaser so I really do not like to make mistakes or mess things up…but you know what? S*%t happens. I have had to learn from my mistakes and use them to grow my relationships with my customers. After a recent hiccup my webmaster suggested I use the issue to reach out to my customers and strengthen the relationship. At the time I could think of nothing worse but he was right and my mistake created an opportunity to be vulnerable and connect with my clients ultimately growing the relationship.
7. It is ok to be uncomfortable – When you are uncomfortable you are growing.
8. Make Backups – Everywhere!
9. Have fun – I want to have more fun don’t you? Considering we spend so much time at work I really think it should be fun. Life is far too serious. Don’t get me wrong, I take what I do seriously but I am getting to the place where I don’t care what people think about me.
10. Invest in your business – spend money where it counts. Certain tools, programs and services can really make your life much easier and your business more effective. Think websites, wifi, phones, accounting programs, design software, machinery etc. There are a lot of free tools on the internet that are great too. Here are some of the tools I make use of:
- Quickbooks Accounting – paid subscription
- Canva – free and amazing for design!
- Adobe InDesign
- Border Internet – Internet and VOIP
- Hubspot CRM (Start Free)
11. Have everything in writing.
12. Be thankful – There is so much to be thankful for but sometimes we miss it. Don’t let stress overshadow the beauty and simplicity around you.
13. Be gentle with people – Most people are going through a lot.
My list could go on and on as I have learned a lot over the last few months…probably all old hat to all you veteran business owners.
I would love to learn from you. Please share some of your experiences and business principles…you have a wealth of experience and knowledge.