Running a business means that you’ll be learning all the time. There are some jobs where you can show up every day and do the same thing for years, but owning a business isn’t like that!
In many ways the business learning curve has got steeper, because we all need to get to grips with technology (like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, the latest mobile devices, marketing online) as well as the different aspects of running a business (bookkeeping, tax, legal issues, selling) plus your own area of expertise (making/sourcing your products, delivering your service). That’s a lot to learn and it’s changing all the time.
Don’t panic, though. There’s no point in trying to keep up with absolutely everything, you just won’t have the time. Yes, you will need to be a multi-tasking kind-of person to succeed, you can’t do everything yourself which is why it helps to know your strengths and pay someone else to cover your weaker areas.
There is a mind-boggling amount of free information out there on the internet and a lot is good quality, too. But reading so many different opinions can leave you feeling overwhelmed and with no clear path forwards. Sometimes you just need to step away from your computer and clear your head but it’s also worth investing in training from time to time. A good training course will take you through what you need to know step-by-step, instead of having to work your way through various blog posts using trial and error. That saves time and frustration.
Too much time on the internet can knock your confidence, too. It’s good to research your competitors, but too much time spent comparing yourself to others can bring you down. Don’t forget that you’re reading other people’s marketing material and for that reason they won’t tell you about their doubts and failures. But you can bet they have their bad days just like the rest of us.
The great news is that home working, ‘lifestyle’ businesses, spare room start-ups, mumpreneurs, work-at-home-mums, kitchen table tycoons (…and all the other weird and wonderful labels that we’re given!) are on the increase, so there are some great courses and communities popping up. You are definitely not alone!
Don’t forget that an important part of learning is simply asking your clients what they want. It’s amazing how easy it is to get caught up in thinking, planning and listening to experts when the answer could be as simple as just talking to your customers.