Well I can’t believe I’ve been a year in business already! Since I launched Vivacity Marketing it’s been quite a roller coaster ride, and there have been some definite highs and lows along the way, but it’s been so much fun!
So in this blog I thought I would share with the the top ten lessons I have learnt from my first year in business…..
10 things I have learnt from my first year in business
1. Invest in a range of mentors
I understood the importance of working with a circle of mentors since launch, in areas that I was lacking experience and knowledge, so I had a circle of mentors supporting me throughout my first year in business:
- One Small Step Coaching – I worked with Lanna Hill to develop my business plan, and to coach me through a period of growth.
- The LinkedIn Mentor – I worked with Darrel Griffin to get a thorough understanding of how to transition from being an employee to being a business owner on LinkedIn.
- Hubdo – Pete & Helen Nicholls Director and Owners at Hubdo, the wholesale digital agency I am partners with has been fundamental to helping me grow and become a better Marketing Consultant and Hubspot Consultant.
- GameFace – Kerrie Allen has mentored me on how to build my business into year two and beyond, and helped me to bring on my first team member!
- Villa Management – Brooke Vulinovich has taught me everything I need to know about Instagram!
- Kinesiologist & Mindset Coach – Rachel Dhanjal is a miracle worker and has been imperative to my success in business this year.
- Serena O’Neill – Body Language Coach.
If you are not already doing so, invest in your own circle of mentors, to help you be even better at what you do!
2. Commit to ongoing professional development
The journey of professional and personal development will never end. I have consumed that many audio books and podcasts I have lost count!
I have completed numerous Hubspot certifications and my Duct Tape Marketing Consultant certification, Facebook Ads certification, SEO certification, and I am currently doing another Digital Marketing course too. I’ve even had to dust off my HTML coding skills again!
It’s so important to invest in your professional development, and never stop learning.
3. Expect to work long hours
Once I started running my own business, the hours I worked were pretty much 7 days a week, to get my head around all the new task I needed to do such as admin, accounts, sales and marketing!
I have sacrificed time with friends and family to build my business up to be where is today. But I love what I do, so it’s been worth the long hours, and I know as I head into year 2, I will work more efficiently and just 5 days a week instead of 7.
4. Allocate a marketing spend and have a strategy
Many small business owners I meet make the mistake of not allocating a monthly marketing spend in their business, and not having a marketing strategy and plan in place.
Since launch I have had a marketing budget, strategy and plan in place, which has meant that I have built a six figure revenue business in the past 12 months. So if you haven’t already done so set your spend and start planning your strategy and marketing activities, and watch your business grow as a result.
5. Outsource where possible
For the first 6 months in business I was doing it all, as budgets were lean, however that is no way to efficiently run a business. So I learnt very quickly that I would need to outsource where possible .
I hired virtual assistant and outsourced some tasks to her. And I have a couple of other freelancers that I outsource to also, which has freed up my time to work on my business.
6. Set your goals
One of the great things about working with Lanna from One Small Step Business Coaching, is that I built my business plan with her right before I launched. So I was forced to set myself some business goals. This was such a great exercise to do for two reasons:
- I knew what I was working towards achieving each month.
- I smashed my goals out of the park in year 1!
7. Be flexible and listen to your market
When I launched Vivacity Marketing, I didn’t offer Marketing Coaching as a service. But the more I was out and about in the small business community, chatting with other business owners, I identified this gap in the market.
Many small business owners are really overwhelmed and just don’t even know where to start with marketing their business. So I added Marketing Coaching to my range of services, and this has now evolved to also offer building a Squarespace website, for start ups on a tight budget, in our coaching sessions.
8. Get out and network!
Anyone who has met me will know I love to chat, and I love meeting new people! So getting out into the small business networking community in Perth has been a key activity in my business. It’s been where a large part of my new clients have come from, and it has really helped to raise my brand awareness, and to build trust within this small business community.
It can be daunting if you don’t enjoy chatting as much as I do, but go on give it a go, you might even enjoy it!
9. Regular exercise & meditation
Unlike many people, I love exercise. I love how my body and brain feels afterwards. So building regular exercise into my weekly schedule has been so important to clear my head, and get my heart rate pumping. I finish off each day listening to a guided meditation to calm my busy mind before bed.
I believe that if you have a healthy body and mind, you will be able to handle the pressures of being a business owner, and survive the first couple of years!
10. Give back
And my final learning I would like to share with you is the importance of giving back as business owners. I discovered Opportunity International Australia a couple of months into my business journey. When I learnt about what they do, and micro finance loans I just knew I had to get involved.
So I was able to gift money each month to this amazing cause this year, and I can’t wait to gift even more money next year, and make an even bigger impact, in helping to families break the cycle of poverty.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me during my first year, to the amazing business owners I have met along the way, I am so grateful for each and everyone one of you. Now bring on year 2!
www.vivacitymarketing.com.au – Helping you build a vibrant business.