Some call it the work/life balance, others call it a pyramid of success or you might even see it as a venn diagram where hard graft and success meet directly in the middle of a heck of a lot of effort!
Whatever the terminology, we’re talking about the balancing act of knowing how much work is needed to progress your business, when to draw divisions between life and work and goal setting that fits with the reality of your currently position.
It’s easy to presume it was smooth sailing for everyone who made it and that they must have had way more help than you ever will. The reality? Nobody makes it without guidance, advice and assistance but the core of your business is ultimately you and no-one cares about your dreams and ambitions as much as you ever will. Hiring a business coach, joining an entrepreneurial hub, advertising or placing your product/service in a physical or online shop is not ‘job done’. These are great opportunities and only a step on the ladder to your ultimate goal. You’ve got to then:
- Act on your business coach’s guidance and explore routes to success based on your time together, not simply waiting on them to give you homework, feedback or come up with ideas for you which you can either proceed with or veto. Use them as intended; a coach. Think about someone like Andy Murray. His coach gets the best out of him and encourages him but can never physically win the match for him. That’s Andy’s job.
- Attend as many suitable courses, workshops and inspirational talks that you can afford (in either time or money) if you are involved in a hub, programme or incubator. We’re all too often spoiled for choice with free support and are subsequently guilty of taking it for granted. You never know who you’ll meet, learn from or gel with at these events and it frequently goes beyond the speaker themselves.
- Advertising and placing products in a physical or online shop does not move the pressure to shift units onto the shoulders of the publication or shop owner. The term ROI (return on investment) is all so often used in these scenarios but guess what - both parties are taking a gamble! Maybe people will look at your advert and love your business, maybe they’ll tear the ad out or screenshot it digitally for later in the year or, as happens in many cases, they skim right by and didn’t even notice. Harsh, but true.
Placing your products in a store means the beginning of the advertising for both parties. The shop owner has to drum up interest in your product and so do you.
If something isn’t working for you, discuss it in a positive and respectful way. As often happens, you might not have given the platform or advert a chance to bed-in and the customers come looking for the product when you’ve gone and it’s too late. One behaviour that just doesn’t cut it in any business scenario is rudeness, a lack of respect and blaming others for the failure of your sales. Unless there was gross negligence, it’s simply damaging for your brand, your reputation and potentially dangerous for future negotiations in the business world as it becomes smaller the higher you progress and you could one day regret offloading all of your frustrations onto the provider of an opportunity, when it wasn’t given enough time or simply didn’t work. In the case of placing your products with a third party, the balance of work is either 50/50 or still requires more from you to ensure that you’re doing everything you can for your brand. These companies will be working with you but cannot guarantee results on a set timescale.
It’s clear to see that the gaining traction phase of your business is more work than downtime but here’s where the good news appears, from those who’ve walked in your shoes and have created the business success that you’re striving for…
Tips from experts
We know it’s tough to grow a business but it’s ultimately so rewarding. Be sure to congratulate yourself each week for getting to where you are through the unavoidable challenges every business faces daily and remember; we get it!
BrandM.A.D.E. has been developed by the comprehensive Eponymous support network to assist independents in their quest to grow, develop and be seen.
Want to know more? Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation chat about your business needs.