11 Dec Entrepreneurship: Reflecting on our First Year
It has officially been one year since we introduced Fawkes FX to the world- and what a year it has been! We’ve come a long way since the website launched, so while our team celebrates here in the office, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on this new business venture.
Even though we started with a couple prior entrepreneurs and a couple first-timers, our team has learned a LOT in the past year! So here are our best pieces of advice for new business owners, one for each month that FFX has been alive and well.
1. Do what you know
Starting a business is hard enough without having to learn an entirely new craft. Since your life will be dedicated to the business over the next few years, it isn’t worth the risk that you’ll end up hating what you set out to do. Stick to what you already know you love, and you’ll be MUCH happier in the long run.
2. Truly love your customers
There’s a big difference between actually caring about your customer base and just pretending to, and I promise your customers can tell! Take the time to learn your target market from the inside out- who they are, what they like/dislike, what their needs are, and how your product matches all of it. Then mingle and make friends with those people.
See #1- If you really love what you do, then really loving who you do it for should come naturally.
3. Don’t wait to answer the hard questions
There’s a lot to be covered when starting a business. Things like a business plan, branding strategy, and operational procedures are easy to avoid at first, but will be much more difficult to return to later on. If you tackle every question that comes up as quickly as possible, you and your business can just keep moving forward.
4. Set a routine and stick to it
After you start working for yourself, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. DON’T. Decide in the beginning how/when you are going to work, and make yourself do it every day. No excuses.
5. Never stop learning
You’ll never know everything there is to know about your industry, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! New information can help you see your business in a different light, making it possible to solve problems even before you even realize they’re problems.
6. Act like a startup
When a business starts making money, many entrepreneurs immediately start spending more and/or expanding into new opportunities. This is one of the easiest ways to stretch yourself too thin. Use extra funds to build infrastructure that will simplify your work, rather than buying irrelevant or unnecessary items, and tend to one blooming business at a time. Your ROI will thank you!
7. Take risks
This is especially true for marketing and product development. Consumers rarely get excited over things they’ve already seen, so new, innovative strategies are highly encouraged! If an idea doesn’t scare you a little, it probably isn’t going to bring the return you’re looking for.
8. Take care of yourself
Even though your business needs a lot of attention, don’t let it overshadow your own basic needs! Eat properly, get enough sleep, exercise daily, and allow yourself to have a personal life. Otherwise, you might drive yourself insane- and that won’t do you or your business any good.
9. Automate as much as possible
There’s no possible way that an entrepreneur can do everything at once, even though there are always a million things that need to happen at the same time. Our rule is, if you can have a machine complete the task, DO IT. There are several tools created specifically to help you juggle every day tasks, and we’ve even listed some of these small business tools in another article.
See #6 – Automated tools are one of the best ways to spend extra funds. Time really is money, and automation is the key to saving time.
10. Build an online presence
Yes we’re a web design company, so it’s our job to say that. But in all reality, making your business visible online is the best thing you can do.
Billions of consumers use the web every day to research and purchase products, but without a website and social presence, the only way that these people will know your company exists is if you meet them in person. Think you can meet as many interested people as Google? We can’t either!
11. Solidify a brand
Sooner or later, you’re going to realize that branding is necessary to “make it big” in business. So we’ll just spare you the anxiety by saying it now. Not only will tackling a brand identity give you a massive head-start in marketing your new business, but it will save you a ton of money down the road. Branding is a service that’s priced based on inherent company value- so it will never be less expensive than it is right now.
See #3 – Branding is one of the biggest marketing questions you’ll need to answer, but one of the easiest to procrastinate.
12. Celebrate every success- big or small
There are a lot of ups and downs in starting a business. Most times, the only way to survive the downs is to focus on the ups. By congratulating yourself after every accomplishment, you won’t ever get bogged down by negativity or discouragement. And that, overall, is the key to entrepreneurship success.
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL PARTNERS: