A little while ago I asked the crew on the Flying Solo forum what their “top tip” would be for other small business owners (or aspiring small business owners). Today’s post is the first in a series of top tips from soloists. And if you’re flying solo yourself or you’re a small business owner, the Flying Solo website and forum is a wonderful resource. Lots of great tips on the Flying Solo site, lots of lovely people willing to share their knowledge and advice on the forum. Get over there and check them out!
I’d be lost without post-its. Whenever there’s something you need to do, write it down immediately. Even if you intend to do it right away! I couldn’t tell you the number of time I’ve gone to do something, then been distracted and forgotten about it. Now I use post-its and I’m like a new man – it’s just like a to do list, only stuck somewhere that you’re bound to see it. [Ed: but then don’t you end up with post-its everywhere?!] That’s half the motivation. You have to keep doing the tasks listed on the post-its so you can throw them out. If you don’t do the tasks, the post-its float around for days and weeks, haunting you with a constant reminder of your own procrastination. Paul www.thebookbarn.com.au
That is: Make sure you give yourself time, seek help if you need it, and be kind to yourself in general. You can’t do your best work if you’re harried and rushed and feeling like crap because you’ve been burning the candle at both ends. When you treat yourself well, ultimately everyone else around you benefits. Anna www.copybreak.com.au
I think the most important thing to remember when starting out or even for an established business is that you don’t have to do it all yourself – there are many affordable options out there and tools you can utilise. When I first started my Virtual Assistant practice I thought I’d have to do everything myself and it was tiring! A family plus starting a business are not a good mix – one side loses out on valuable time. So I contracted some of my tasks to other virtual assistants and graphic designers. They were a life saver! I was able to get my business up and running in only two weeks from initial idea to actually getting my website up and being registered. I still use some of these contacts today for my business so that I can focus on what I do best. When you have a good contact list of people you can call to help you and contract your tasks to, you find yourself with a clearer head and able to focus more on the direction of your business. Phillipa Wirangi www.thevirtualpersonalassistant.com
Before starting a business you need to plan. Research everything and DO NOT rush this process. Without a plan most businesses will fail. The Plan doesn’t have to be written in stone or even on paper. Many successful small business owners may only have the plan in their head, but they do have a plan, and it is reviewed often. However to have the plan you need to have done the necessary research to ensure you are making the best decisions.
‘Business dont plan to fail, they fail to plan’
Patrick Burgess AIMM. ICF. www.theoneroom.com
I always recall when I started my UPS & Automotive Battery business ten years ago, and how I feared venturing into the unknown. Although I had already acquired the necessary product knowledge to start my own business, it’s quite overwhelming starting a business on your own. But, nearly ten years later and after putting in a lot of ground work and positive thinking I finally achieved the goal I had always dreamed of, and that is a successful profitable business and being my own boss. The one tip I would most definitely share is applying the following quote in every aspect of your life.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. — Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), The Note Book
Cesar Campos www.workathomeenterprising.com
I believe totally in fluid planning and taking your time to achieve the best possible outcome and having a backup plan just in case. By fluid planning I mean that your plan should flow with the changing tides of your business life but ultimately work towards a final destination that achieves your goals. So my one piece of advice is: Your business is now and the future, it’s not what happened in the past. If you have not achieved the business success you expected to this point don’t dwell on it, change the flow. Look what you can do now and in the future to get back on track and re-focus on those goals. Remember if you truly believe in it and know that you deserve it, business success is truly yours. www.brightbyte.com.au
Thanks so much to these Soloists for sharing their wisdom! What about you – do you have a top tip to share?