Starting your new business can be a massive leap. Maybe you are new to self-employment after working in the corporate world for 20 years? Maybe you have been made redundant which has given you the push you needed to be your own boss at long last? Whatever your reason for being in business firstly take a moment, sit back, and give yourself a huge pat on the back for taking the leap.
After your reflection take a moment. Smile and then read on.
From personal experience, I would say that taking the initial leap is probably the hardest part of starting your own business. You are filled with self-doubt of how will I make any money? How will I get clients? Am I good enough? Will I be successful? What if it doesn’t work and I end up failing?
There may be so many questions going on in your head, but I really do believe if you have got the courage to take the first leap into self-employment, what have you got to lose? If in the end it doesn’t work out, isn’t it better to have given this opportunity your best shot than wondering “what if” for the rest of your life if you don’t try?
So, the business is finally set up. You’ve got your name, website, logo, email address and business cards. What an exciting feeling! Now… where do you find your clients?
I discovered networking! The first networking I went to was an early morning event. I put on my colourful, smartly dressed outfit to reflect the “true Nicola”, organised the school run and off I went!
I walked into a room full of business people and immediately thought ‘oh no I can’t go in, I am not in business, I don’t have a business’! However, I plucked up the courage and went in. I was welcomed with open arms as Nicola, not who I worked for and completed the application form to join the group there and then. I stayed in this particular group for 8 years and 50% of my work at least came from this group.
Networking for me has always been a huge part of my working day since becoming self-employed 14 years ago. It is incredible for building trusting relationships, and gaining business which I believe was the main root of growing and developing my business.
Another very important factor of networking is also that once you have been recommended by a member of your networking group, the person who has been referred to you is more likely to use your services than go elsewhere. So, it’s a real winner as you will save time and unnecessary costs on marketing.
The support from the relationships I have built through networking has been truly amazing. There is nothing better than someone sharing the excitement of how your business is developing. Family and friends will be as supportive as they can with their knowledge, but to have other likeminded business people watching your back and getting referrals for new clients is brilliant.
Next blog I will be talking about is, who is your ideal client and how can you market to them, particularly so that your message relates to them and they make contact with you