5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Own Business
I like being my own boss. Actually, I love it. There are so many benefits to running your own business – you schedule your days, so your lifestyle can be family-friendly, and you have low overheads working from home. However, there are some things I wish I had been aware of right from the get-go, as they would have saved me time and hassle down the track…
Time is money
It’s not all lunches out with friends, midday trips to the hairdresser and gym sessions whenever you feel like it. Don’t get me wrong, you can do those things, but you also have to balance it out with a little thing called work. I’ve learned to space out the nice things that break up my working week. I’ll head to the gym twice a week during ‘work’ hours, and I’ll allow myself one ‘treat’ (lunch out, a visit to the beach or massage) a week. It actually keeps me more motivated, knowing I have something to look forward to and some interaction with actual people in the outside world, as opposed to me, myself and I at home alone in front of the laptop.
Templates make everything quicker
At first, I was creating everything from scratch, but I realised templates are actually the way to go. Now I have an invoice template, an analysis template and image templates set up for all the different format images I use. It saves me loads of time streamlining some of my business processes this way, and it makes me feel more organised too.
Invest in a good accounting system
You don’t have to pay lots of money to get your billing and invoicing in order. If you’re just starting out it’s fine to have a simple Excel spreadsheet tracking your invoices and their status. Come tax time it’s better to have a system rather than having to spend hours figuring out how much income you made and what your costs were. Down the track you can look at a system like Xero, which automates your billing and keeps track of everything.
You are everything
When you start out, you are not only an employee, doing the actual work you’re employed to do. You’re also the sales team bringing in new business, the marketing team promoting your business, the finance team making sure the money is rolling in and bills are paid, and the Managing Director looking at overall strategy and goals for the future. Each of the roles you play in your business takes up a chunk of your time, and you need to allocate this time within your work day to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Make time for self-care
No one tells you when to take breaks or when to leave the office when you work for yourself. You could work from sun up to sun down if you chose too, but you wouldn’t be very productive! Regular breaks are needed during each work day, and time off on the weekend is an absolute must, even if it’s just one day. Exercising, eating well, seeing friends, spending meaningful time with family – all of these things make up a happy, healthy life. It’s not all work!
What other things do you wish you’d known before starting your business?
Yours in social,