Is this just a fleeting idea or are you committed to changing your life forever?
Running your own business is a commitment. When you first start, you can’t switch off. You’re in charge. Of everything. That in itself can be overwhelming for some. How do you know how to do your accounts, or create a website, or pay staff, or any one of the 101 things you need to do as a business owner?
So, first things first, are you prepared to commit to a life change when you set up your business? I know you’re passionate about “your thing” and want to share it with others. Are you ready for the hours of thinking, learning, checking, worrying, doing that running a business involves? Remember these are extra hours on top of actually doing “your thing”!
Let me give you an example:
When I knew I wanted to share my new found bra fitting knowledge and help other pregnant and breastfeeding women to be comfy and supported in maternity and nursing bras, I knew I wasn’t just going to be bra fitting all day.
I worked out I needed to have a stock system. (spreadsheet), and a way of recording sales, (triplicate book and spreadsheet). I needed to have a way people could contact me, (phone number), and a diary that was clear to see when I could do the bra fittings (diary). That was about all I thought about when I first started.
It wasn’t complex. Everything was within my capabilities, and I just followed my instinct and common sense to create simple systems for:
- Getting stock to me
- Customers able to contact me easily
- Diary for appointments
- Recording sales (income) and stock sold
- Keeping track of expenditure on stock and incidentals (expenses)
For my start up business there was only me, at the start, so I didn’t need to think about payroll or anything like that. However, I did get in contact with an accountant straight away as I felt it was worthwhile getting an expert to do my accounts and tax return. Yes you can do it yourself, but I preferred to pay someone else to do this, so I could focus on what I loved doing – the bra fitting, and supporting women.
With my husband we worked out what times I could work on the business, and we put that in our family calendar. He would need to look after our boys whilst I worked, even though I’d be working from home. He committed to this important part of setting the business up.
Once I’d started getting appointments and was spending time contacting potential referrers, we realised that this would take more time than we’d allocated, if I was serious about growing the business. I was.
I only had limited time available, and when I went back to work part-time after my maternity leave ended, it was very clear when my business time was and my work time. That was good for me, as I didn’t need to think when a customer called.
We maintained a good balance in the early stages of time on the business, time doing the bra fittings, with my work and family time.
Growing a business takes commitment and the right support
As the business grew, and I realised I wanted to grow it further and support more women in a wider area, and yes, I did dream about support women across the world, I knew I needed more time to put into all aspects of the business. Over time I reduced my work hours to create another day available for the business. However, I was working more in family time than I’d expected to.
And then there were the family holidays. What would I do then? When the online business started to grow, I couldn’t just leave it for 2 weeks could I? Well, that wasn’t what I wanted to do. So my Mum would come and stay in our house, and she’d be on hand to sort out orders and help customers with their queries, and book appointments for when I returned.
It was a real family business. As my boys got older, they used to help sort the bra deliveries out by putting the bras on piles of band sizes. It helped them learn their numbers and letters, and we had fun working together on “Mummy’s business”. The family committed to what I was growing, and we all worked together to make it happen.
You may not have the same support as I did. So you’ll need to think about who can help you out when you have busy periods of work. Or who can do the admin or bookkeeping for you if that’s not something you enjoy?
As your business grows, you’ll realise if this is something you want to continue growing and to be part of your life, or not. I always thought of my first business as my baby. It was 4 months younger than my youngest actual baby, and I treated it with the same care and nurturing I did my human babies.
If you’re currently looking at starting or growing a business, or have a passion you want to develop, I suggest you ask yourself these questions:
- Am I ready to change my life to follow my passion?
- Who will support me if I commit to changing my life in this way?
- What skills or experts do I need to find to help me grow this idea successfully?
If you’d like help with developing your business idea, or how to turn your passion into a business, book a free explore call.