As I set up and ran my own, successful estate agent’s business for 12 years, I feel I have great empathy with those who have set up and are running small businesses.
I started my business from nothing and had no financial backing, so I understand the challenges of running a small business.
I encountered a number of challenges along the way, such as moving from my garage which was free (!) to paying rent on an office premises and then owning my own building! All of this whilst employing staff, growing a business, remaining sane and having a good work life balance! To say it was a challenge is an understatement.
I developed greatly as a person and value my learning journey very much. I learnt so many skills that I am now implementing in my coaching business and am using to help other people within my coaching and business consultancy company.
A great question to someone in my shoes is am I doing things differently the second time around? Am I completely bonkers to do it all again? Did I learn it all last time, so I won’t make mistakes this time? You’d think if you’ve done it successfully once, surely this time it will be so much easier!
Anyone in business needs to accept that to have your own business and to earn your own money you need a few core characteristics. You need total dedication, complete belief in yourself, to come back every day and keep going no matter how hard it will be.
You are the only one that is going to give you a wage at the end of the month. In the early days it may mean working longer hours than you ever did in your employed role. This can seem challenging as there won’t be instant proof of success, so how do you keep going?
This can be a difficult concept to non-self-employed individuals as despite needing to meet targets, you will always get a wage at the end of the month.
When you are self-employed, you are the one writing the invoice and if you haven’t had much work this month, your monthly wage isn’t always the same. It’s a fantastic feeling when you submit your own invoice for the work you have created. However, it’s important to consider the effort you’ve put in, the risks you’ve taken, the things you’ve missed or given up.
Starting a business from scratch takes guts, drive and self-belief, when people ask me how I started my business in Estate Agency, I, like a lot of others, would say I was lucky. Was it luck or as its pure determination and passion to succeed?
Where did I get business from? how did I go from me alone in my garage, to a building that I owned with 6 staff?
What I do know is that if you put the hard work in, believe in yourself, maybe sacrifice somethings for a period of time, you will get the rewards of raising that invoice eventually, the feeling of making your own success and creating an income for yourself is what will drive people wanting to be their own boss.
A real driving force for me was being able to offer a service second to none to my clients and seeing a client really happy with the fact they chose to work with you, this is such a fabulous feeling and drives you even more.
So, in a nutshell, my advice to anyone thinking of setting up their own business is without a doubt ‘go for it’, but plan plan plan and don’t give up you can do it.
Practical things to think about:
Where are you going to get your clients from?
How are you going to pay your mortgage at the end of your first month?
Do you need staff? If so, how will you find them, how will you pay them? How will you ensure they stay loyal to you?
Do you know what you need to earn each month to pay the bills, let alone a wage to yourself?
If anyone tells you that you cannot do it through – listen to them if they have constructive advice, if not let that be the fire in your belly to succeed and prove them wrong!
My next business advice blog will be about to Network or not to Network and my experience of this.