To mark the first birthday of FalconVA, I’ve spent some of the festive season thinking about the ups and downs of 2016. Like any good Project Manager this has led me on to the obvious end of project topic ‘lessons learnt’. To sum up my first year in business here are the lessons I learnt in 2016. I’m sure other small business owners will relate ….if I had been able to show myself this list a year ago it would have stood me in good stead for 2016…..
- Don’t give away your time for free, unfortunately there are people out there who want something for nothing, or are happy to waste yours and their time. I’ve learnt to keep my consultation times down to 1hr max and will not agree to any work without hours or pay being clearly determined first. After all you wouldn’t expect a plumber to come over and service your boiler without knowing how long it would take or how much it would cost!
- Time Keeping – with the kids at school those 6 hours before pick up can go really quickly, keep focused and use the hours wisely.
- Skills-swap where you can. I have happily helped out a hair dresser friend on a few occasions this year – a good hair cut is expensive – It was a few hours well spent.
- Grow a thick skin, you win some and you lose some. You can’t convert every lead so getting despondent over the lost ones is wasted energy. Move on!
- Sometimes its better to let go of the bad £££s to chase the good £££s – it’s more efficient to fill your time with clients who are willing to pay the going rate, you’ll only end up spending a lot of hours earning not a lot of £££s!
- Turn it around – I recently saw this quote on a marketing website “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” It really hit home with me and has helped me focus my activities for FalconVA in a much more client orientated way. I’m excited to see what the next 12 months brings.
- The first year of business is tough so if someone around you is an expert in their field, marketing, book-keeping or any other and they want to give you some free advice – take it and be grateful!
Here’s to 2017! I’m already wondering what my lessons learnt will be this time next year.