We started our business in January 2016 and in that time we will happily admit that we’ve made many mistakes over the years. We won’t bore you with them all, but as Steven Bartlett says, ‘Fail Fast’, making mistakes helps you to get to your end goal quicker!
In reality that is very easy to say but not quite so easy to do, we often find it hard to deal with those failings taking them to heart and not seeing them for what they really are. First Attempt In Learning.
The more we experience, the easier things become. One thing we are great at is taking action and trying things, so you could say there are plenty of opportunities to learn.
This isn’t an extensive list but here are some of the mistakes we’ve made…
- Taking Our Foot Off The Pedal When Things Get Busy – it’s hard when you are busy to carry on prospecting for new work but if you don’t continue the pipeline will dry up meaning the new enquiries stop coming in! For us converting a new enquiry can take anything from 1 to 90 days. Do you know how long your average conversion takes? It is worth looking at this as it will drive you to continue marketing even if you’re busy.
- Not Understanding The Pattern of Our Business – our financial year starts in February and volumes of work tend to be split at 45% over the first 6 months and 55% over the second 6 months of the year. In the past we have stressed about this, worried that the work is drying up. Now we embrace the process. The first 6 months of the year give us time to breath, plan and prepare. The rest of the year is we know will be busier and there will be more implementing and getting the job done for our clients.
- Not Communicating Effectively With Each Other – one of the best things we did for our business was to get a Business coach. Steph our coach, check her business out here has helped us to communicate more effectively with each other. It is hard to have those difficult conversations, at times you can feel like your visions don’t align. We are polar opposites, ying and yang, salt and sugar therefore communicating with each other is crucial.
- Thinking That a Swanky New Website Would Drive Leads – new websites don’t automatically mean you will get more hot leads to your website. In fact its content, content, content and great SEO that drives people to your website. Your website is essentially your shop window, but your SEO is your footfall driver. Our two top tips for help in this area are Ubersuggest and the principles of ‘They ask you answer’ by Marcus Sheridan.
- Not Going With Our Gut When a Red Flag is raised by a Potential New Customer – from time to time you get that gut feeling that you are just not the right fit for a client but it’s hard to turn down work when you’re starting out.
This year we have turned 2-3 jobs as we just don’t feel like we are a good fit with the client. The first time we listened to our gut was about 2 years into business when we visited an Opticians.
The story goes… It was a very rainy day. We arrived at the car park and had a 10 minute walk and 1 umbrella between us. We made our way to the meeting and arrived looking very wet and wind swept. Emma had to ask for a towel and something to clean her glasses.
We were pretty much shivering and they didn’t even offer us a cup of tea, which in our book is just a bit rude. There were one or two customers in the store they were rude and abrupt with them.
We then got down to talking business and they started to try and drive us down on price. The red flags were everywhere and we decided there and then they weren’t a good fit for us! Believe us when we say if this is how it starts out imagine what these people are like to work with. Unreasonable, selfish and many other words that describe exactly the type of customer that none of us want to be working with.
Mistakes are inevitable, but what sets successful business owners apart is their ability to learn and evolve. As we have shared above, it’s clear that each misstep has been a valuable lesson in disguise. From neglecting prospecting during busy times to underestimating the importance of gut feelings with potential clients, we’ve grown wiser.
Our journey has taught us that communication, understanding business patterns, and prioritising content over aesthetics are paramount. Remember mistakes are opportunities for growth and success and we all make them.
We’d love to connect with you.
Here’s how you can connect with us…
Emma Kavanagh – https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmakavanagh1/
Kate Keene – https://www.linkedin.com/in/katekeene13/