Starting your own business is an exciting process, but the journey comes with many trials. You start off feeling motivated, plan what you’ll call your business and set up your place of work. The excitement, love, and desire to do the best you can fill you with enthusiasm. Then reality sets in, and you panic. Here’s why starting your own business is like raising a baby.
Holding your newborn baby in your arms is one of the most emotive experiences in your life. Now, we’re not saying starting a new business could compare, but there are similar emotions involved. The sense of pride in something you’ve created and wondering what the future will hold are things both parents and business owners experience.
For new parents, reality usually sets in at 4 am as they’re trying to calm their screaming baby and taking ten-minute power naps to make it through the day. New business owners also find the early stages difficult. Naming your business and advertising are the fun parts, but what about when you don’t see immediate results?
Sticking it Out
The harsh reality is just because you think your business is incredible, doesn’t mean others will. When a baby cries, there’s a reason. Maybe it needs feeding, changing or isn’t comfortable and your business will show signs of struggle too.
New businesses don’t just attract customers and make money. Put the work in and stay positive. Advertising is a complex process, but A/B testing can save you time and money. One of the best things you can do is hire the services of an experienced content marketer. New parents find rocking their baby or singing to it encourages sleep and gives them some much-needed rest. Find out what works for your business and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Learning to Walk
Two of the proudest moments for new parents are when their child takes their first steps or says their first words. It shows they are developing correctly and deepens the bond between parent and child. If your business makes it past the development stage, it means you’re doing something right. The company started off small, but you’re gaining clients and moving in a positive direction, right? Unfortunately, not all businesses develop at the rate we desire, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
Walk Before Running
Some people throw themselves into running their business and end up drowning in a sea of tasks. We all know that building up to things in stages is better than rushing to get to your end goal. However, when it comes business, people often ignore this! Advertise locally first, and focus on achieving your primary goal. Building a small customer base and gaining their loyalty is more important than using every single channel to promote your business. Marketing directs people to your business, but it’s the product or service quality that makes them come back.
Raise Your Voice
Established businesses have their own voice. For example, people know Subway for its healthy sandwich choices and Netflix is popular with young people for “binge-watching” TV shows. If your business doesn’t have a voice, then it’s up to you to create one. Nurture your business and think about what makes it unique. Use content marketing to give your business a voice and become an authority for your visitors.
Growing and Defining
When children start school, they become more independent and form their own opinions about the world. Some parents can’t wait for this stage, but others feel lost and long for the sleepless nights and endless care back. Business owners also experience the same feelings, depending on their mindset. You might enjoy not having to run your business or you could miss all the hard work and constant maintenance. The most important thing to remember is the moment you stop growing, is the moment you fail.
Learning is Forever
Parents still need to teach their children and instill valuable lessons in them. Businesses that get too comfortable are almost certain to fail. One classic example of this is Blockbuster Video. The company was the worlds largest video rental company, but they refused to adapt to the changing wants of consumers. Netflix offered streaming services, and people no longer needed to rent videos in a physical location, which caused the company to go into administration.
In the last decade, we’ve seen tremendous advances in technology, and consumers prefer an online shopping experience. If you want your business to be successful, you need to move with the trends and give your customers what they want.
The Independent Stage
OK, there are many negatives that teenagers bring. These include mood swings, defiance, and laziness. However, we will focus on the positives, particularly one; teenagers can be independent. They can clean up after themselves, be left alone and take responsibility for their actions. This stage of development is a dream for business owners.
When your business reaches the independence stage, it means you can enjoy the fruits of your hard labor. More customers means you can hire people to run your business for you. Richard Branson doesn’t spend his days doing paperwork, does he? This is the time for luxury holidays, spa trips and quality time with your loved ones.
Like any teenager, your business will still need your support and guidance, so don’t neglect it. Think of the final stage as a balancing act between work and life and you’ll be on the right track. Check in with your staff regularly and arrange meetings to ensure the business remains successful.
Highs, Lows, Way to Go!
Just as our children fly the nest, you’ll have to decide whether you want to let your business go one day. Some people build a successful brand and reap the rewards of selling it while others prefer to keep their business. Whichever you choose, remember you deserve to enjoy your success. Being your own boss is a wonderful experience, but it won’t be easy. With time, dedication, perseverance and the right strategy, you can navigate your way through the business development stages and come out victorious.