This is a post I wrote a few years ago. That was back in the early days of Briar Copywriting.
Twelve years on, I’m still going so I guess I must be doing something right.
Starting your own business like the perfect work solution. However, it’s tough. There’s no safety net, no regular income, many unsocial hours (especially at the beginning), and it can be incredibly stressful.
Anyway, enough of that. Here’s the original post. Enjoy.
Are you a woman in business?
Do you remember when you had your first child?
Months of excited anticipation gave way to sheer terror when you realised the birth was only days away. Then you endured hours of intense pain as you tried desperately to help your new baby find their way into the world.
Then finally, after a monumental and exhausting journey, it was all over and you were handed your new baby, wrapped up tightly, eyes blinking, totally dependent on you.
Lost in that moment of bliss, you gradually began to realise the midwife had handed you your baby, but forgot to give you the instruction manual.
In a way, that’s exactly the same as starting out in business for the first time.
Your business idea was conceived some time ago. Never forgotten about, it gradually began to grow and develop in your mind until you knew it was the right time to bring it forth into the world.
Your mind awash with things to do, you worked your way down that painful list of opening bank accounts, incorporation, insurance, PAYE, stationery and utilities. Not even to mention having to grovel to the bank manager for a loan to get you started.
Eventually, you emerged from your to-do list, exhausted but the proud owner of your brand new business.
There’s just one thing missing – customers.
You’ve been so wrapped up in setting everything up you didn’t have time to get a marketing strategy together. In fact, you’re not entirely sure what it should be.
No one handed you a manual to make your business a success (sound familiar?), so you’re on your own and it’s up to you to bring your business to the market.
Understanding your customers
Before you can decide on your marketing plan, you have to understand your customers because you have to know where to find them.
Local networking is always a great idea (especially if you are a B2B business), but that pool of potential customers will only last so long – even though you hope you will also get other referrals.
Cold calling and direct mail is always an option, but how many people do you know who actually buy from unsolicited approaches (I don’t)?
Getting your presence felt online is a great option as you can reach a much wider audience. But a strategy is vital if you want to ensure your customers can find you through the search engines and social media.
As with parenthood, in business you can only be prepared up to a point. Something is always going to happen that will throw you off kilter if you’re not careful.
The trick is to remain calm and focused on your end goal. It will be a rollercoaster ride, but it will also be rewarding.
Over to you
What are the experiences that you remember most about starting out in business?
Are there any things you would do differently?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Having said all that, despite the hours, tears, and stress, I wouldn’t have it any other way.