- Stop worrying about the money
- Find your niche and focus on it
- Focus on quality, not quantity
- Hire the right person for the job
- Let go of what you can’t control
- Get a mentor or coach who knows more than you do!
In every business there comes a time when nothing seems to be going right: you might have lost some clients, failed to meet targets, made mistakes with your products or services, or even found yourself out of pocket through bad investments that somehow managed to rear their ugly head at just the wrong time. I believe that if an entrepreneur gets through these times then they will inevitably make it big in their business because we are all human and being able to bounce back from failure is a fundamental part of being who we are.
As I said in the beginning, failure will happen at some point so it’s important to know how to react when these things come about. Like most aspects of running a business, there isn’t just one way to deal with failure and someone else also experiencing it might have an entirely different idea on how they reacted which is why I believe that reasons for failure should be dealt with on an individual basis; you can learn from other people but sometimes you need to find your own way of dealing with failures as everyone has their own personality and strengths.
However, there are some general tips that may help or at least put you in the right mindset:
#1: Stop worrying about the money
This is something that my wife and I have been forced to learn in our business; we simply can’t afford to focus on the value we are providing for our clients because, without them, we have no income.
Unfortunately, there will be times when you may face a temporary cash-flow problem which could make it difficult to meet your targets but this doesn’t mean that you should stop investing in your business. The simple fact is that if you give up at this point then your business has failed (I’m talking from an entrepreneurial perspective).
Mistakes like this are an inevitability of running a small business so it’s much better to recognize these mistakes now rather than ignoring them until they become unmanageable.
#2: Find your niche and focus on it
The reason I have chosen to mention this is because having a small business means that you will be working long hours for little pay. You might need to take a step back and do some work that isn’t as interesting to you but which will make your client base larger; the more clients you have, the less likely it is that they will all disappear at the same time.
In our case, we changed direction by creating an online course about social media marketing and selling subscriptions through Sellfy (if you’re interested in using their platform then feel free to use my referral link ). This also helped us cover those areas where we were doing no work at all (for example, Facebook advertising).
#3: Focus on quality, not quantity
This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way. In the past, we’ve tried to offer our clients as many services as possible but this simply meant that we ended up with unhappy customers and an over-stretched business. The solution came when we concentrated on what we did best; in our case, social media – despite the fact that it can be frustrating at times.
We still contact people from time to time (possibly more than necessary) but having contact only occasionally helps us maintain strong relationships which means that if/when something needs doing for them then they come back to us first! Sometimes you just need to slow down and make sure everyone knows why your company exists and what you’re trying to achieve.
#4: Look for alternative income sources
I wish I had these when I first started out; websites are an excellent way of bringing in extra revenue whilst you work on increasing your client base. There are also sites like Sellfy mentioned above which can help bring in some revenue if your business doesn’t quite have the momentum you thought it did!
Having other methods through which to earn money means that, should anything go wrong with one project then it’s not the end of the world as you’ll still be able to earn something (even if this is just $5 from AdSense or maybe even a dollar from Amazon). This takes the pressure off and keeps things fun.
Ask yourself; ” How can I increase my chances of being successful? “
#5: Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.
You can spend hours looking at other people’s businesses and wondering why you’re not making as much money; I’ve been there! The truth is that being inside your business, you have no real idea as to how well it’s doing but you can talk to people who do know or use Google Analytics (which isn’t perfect). If all else fails then be happy with the fact that you’re doing something which interests/excites you.
#6: Know when to stop
I mentioned this in my previous blog post too; sometimes things aren’t going to plan so just accept it and move on quickly. Focusing on a business that isn’t going anywhere will only mean that you waste time and money, neither of which are things you want to be doing.
Sometimes it’s better to accept that something isn’t working out rather than letting it drag on for months or years; trust me, I’ve done this before! By the end of a year, I had spent (and lost) $800 but was nowhere closer to my goal. It makes sense to find out if what you’re trying is actually working as soon as possible – in fact, this can tell you whether your plan has merit during the first month or two!
Try not to get caught up with one idea forever; sometimes your business won’t work out so don’t just keep throwing good money after bad because you’re too afraid to take the risk of starting something new.
#7: Set yourself a schedule and stick to it
As mentioned in my last article, this is incredibly important; by having a schedule you force yourself to get things done on time which means that clients will actually start paying you money sooner. Yes, there will be times when this just isn’t possible but as long as you stay realistic then it shouldn’t cause any problems.
I’m planning on writing another post about online schedules so watch out for it!
#8: Be honest with your clients/customers
There’s nothing worse than getting into an argument with one client over something simple like a broken link or spelling mistake. It happens more often than we’d like to admit and it’s always easy to find someone else who will be kind enough to overlook your mistake so please; don’t try!
By admitting your mistakes, you can save yourself from a world of potential pain. Clients will respect you for this and those who are happy with you now will likely stay that way.
#9: Be transparent and honest in how you choose whom to work with
Clients hate surprises; they want to feel in the loop as much as possible which means being upfront about everything. If any changes happen then tell them straight away otherwise they may think you’re trying something underhanded which doesn’t go down well. You wouldn’t let a child play with an expensive toy without supervision so why would you let your clients do the same?
Being transparent with potential clients can even help you to get more work from them. There are lots of people out there who have already been burned by other marketers so if you show that you’re not going to use them for all of your ideas then they’ll think twice about using someone else again.
#10: Be kind and respectful towards everyone
Sometimes things aren’t as straightforward as they seem; a client may be having an off day which means that things don’t go smoothly but instead of telling him this way, try explaining why it’s taking extra time instead. If he still seems annoyed then just keep working on the project because eventually, he will come round to see why you were doing what you did.
#11: Wait before you tell people about your company
Remember that you’re starting off a business here so it makes sense to wait until you have a few clients under your belt. Once they start coming in then there’s no need to be shy because not only will their success prove that you are going somewhere, the fact that you can provide them with work means that they’ll likely recommend you with friends or family too!
The more clients you have, the easier it becomes for new ones to trust you (plus it provides a great referral service, which is always useful). If this isn’t working out then try buying some form of advertising such as AdWords or Facebook Ads; if your product is good enough then it shouldn’t take long to get plenty of work through this method.
#12: Be clear about your payment terms
If someone doesn’t know how much their project is going to cost then it can be hard for them to plan ahead which means that they’ll use a different provider instead (which is what you want, after all). By having strict rules in place, you make sure that nobody will try and trick you; if the person just won’t budge then move on as soon as possible.
#13: Use a calendar or planner for planning
You might have noticed that I love lists – there’s probably another post coming up soon about those! I’m not really sure why but seeing something written down gives me such confidence so invest in yourself and buy yourself a nice planner.
One of my best buys was this lovely little thing; it’s slim enough to fit in any bag and I only use it for work which makes it so neat and tidy! Before I used this,
I would forget about important meetings or events but now they’re all in one place so I don’t forget them. My next purchase is going to be the personalized toolbox – I can’t wait to get my hands on that because you can have anything printed on there!