I'm sure this happens in many new and developing businesses the length and breadth of the country; the ongoing discussions between business partners about the next steps of their business plan to be implemented. How “they” will ensure that plans remain on time, how “they” will keep to budget and how “they” will make an astounding success of the venture and of course; a very healthy profit!
If you're anything like me your business runs from home; the business partner is more than likely to be the OH (other half) and is also likely to be the "silent partner" (I wish) which is quite interesting when the conversation centers on when "we " are going to be more successful; when are "we" going to bring in that all important big client, how “we” should be really busy by now as the business plan says so (extended finger pointing) and my absolute favorite; how “we" should manage "our" time as there's more to life than the business.....
Ummmm.........what's the social media abbreviation for a scoff ?
Managing a family (2 children and an OH which is really more like having 3 children) and a new business is difficult enough; so much to learn and I’m sure someone has sneakily changed the number of hours in the day as despite my early starts I just can’t fit everything in!
So to then try to excitedly explain at the end of the day what you have achieved to the “business partner” can be exhausting especially when all you get in reply to your “breaking news” moment that someone has registered an interest in your services by subscribing to your newsletter (2nd person to date!) .....is a raised eyebrow and a “oh, ok...anything else?” ....
Yup; I fee like my balloon tie has been tampered with and the inevitable “squeal” from the escaping air is both deafening and not anywhere near as funny as a fart.
But... as one half of the royal “we” I can’t let this get in the way of the millions waiting to be made or the dream house waiting to be owned; (face cupped in hands at this point) ...........sat on the side of a mirrored lake and viewed from a raised balcony with a glass of champagne in hand..... oh a girl can dream can’t she?
So, as someone who is “extremely” new to owning their own business I'm in no position to offer any real advice but yet I feel compelled to offer a few nuggets of my very limited experience......
- Starting up involves 24/7 (as well as 365 days a year until who know's when!) commitment in both body and mind BUT don't forget to live and enjoy your new life otherwise.. why are you bothering?
- Make it abundantly clear to all involved in your start up that your focus will be on developing those all important contacts so if you are tweeting whilst sat on the sofa watching your joint favorite programme; it's because you're working!!!
- Disappointment will come in waves as frequent as the tides but the quality of your work or service will shine through....so believe in YOU even if others seem to be looking in the other direction.
- Business plans are worth their weight in gold but also remember that they are meant to be fluid and should and must change if your services need to reflect unforeseen factors - don't just go blindly forward - re plan!
- Remain focused....difficult I know especially when all those well thought out plans seem to have a mind of their own and act like a wayward teenager....failing to deliver when expected, throwing major huffs and tantrums whilst refusing to answer any of your calls and e-mails remain unopened, unloved and ignored (sound familiar?). This is all part of the “growing up” process so embrace the experience and the problems that inevitably arise. DON’T think of them of them as a failure; they are all just yet another learning curve with a solution lurking around the corner just waiting to be discovered....honest!
- Friends you had at the start of your venture may not necessarily be the ones that stay with you to the point of success. I have found that despite great initial support; a few friends don't really “get” what I’m trying to achieve or how I am developing now as a business woman so trying to explain probably won’t help much. I am though very, very lucky to have a brilliant set of friends who are always willing to lend an ear and cast an eye over things for me for which I remain eternally grateful. Just remember; embrace the fact that with any good #twitter following; you will loose some friends but will inevitably gain more :)
- Finally; remember that although your OH may not be working with you on a day to day basis; he or she is still rooting for you as your success means they too will be able to share in your dreams and it’s at that point that the royal ‘we” will become both relevant and acceptable.
Though I must admit if “we” make one more remark about how to construct a successful e-mail campaign (he can barley type with one finger) he may not make it to my inaugural party.