STARTING A BUSINESS
Last year my husband and I registered our company Fray Music Academy. In April it will be a year that we celebrate the establishment of this school that has become our baby. It hasn’t been easy but it has been fulfilling.
I’ve always admired entrepreneurs and business owners but until I became one, I never knew what went into a successful business. Fray Music Academy has done well in this first year and I do believe we’ve been successful but we’ve definitely hit some bumps in the road and I imagine we will have many more going forward.
Running a business is not easy. You have to be on the ball and you have to be proactive. Especially if you are building something that you want to continuously improve on and something that you want to last. A legacy.
I co-own the school with my husband but, I am also the manager. I handle schedules, book new students, handle inquiries and our social media. I have found myself running and managing the school when I am on the bus or the train to my day job as a news producer. I think about FMA all the time when I’m making dinner, writing, or getting the kids ready for bed.
I dream of growth and I envision where we will be in the next 5-10 years. I constantly think about ways I believe we can improve, I always have ideas playing around in my head and I always try to find ways to keep our clients happy. I love it, even though at times I get frustrated, its always fulfilling when something we planned, comes to pass.
That’s how I know this business matters to me.
WORKING WITH FAMILY
My husband reminded me the other day that when we have a disagreement on something regarding FMA, we are not husband and wife. We are business partners. When we are discussing the school, we need to learn to keep our emotions out of it.
We don’t always agree on everything but its always important to listen to understand when the other person is raising a point. It’s not about who is right. It’s about what is ultimately good for the business.
Running and / or owning a business with a spouse or family member is never easy and you shouldn’t do it if you know that you cannot keep your feelings and bias out of it.
Here are some more things I’ve learned since we started Fray Music Academy. Just remember, I am not an expert, I merely write and share from personal experience.
YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Running a successful business takes time and every day is a learning curve.
YOU WILL LOSE CLIENTS AND YOU WILL LOSE MONEY
Don’t get discouraged. There will be financial highs and then there will be financial lows. Again, its all about understanding what works and what doesn’t.
YOU NEED TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY
You have to invest in your business. For us investing in our business means buying instruments and learning material for our students so that we can provide a good service.
THINGS TEND TO CHANGE IN A GROWING BUSINESS
Every day is different for us. Schedules change on a weekly basis and that’s okay. We just learn to adapt as we go.
YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL ALSO NEED TO CONSTANTLY LEARN AND ADAPT
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Don’t panic when things change. Grow with the change.
YOUR CLIENTS ARE YOUR CAPITAL
Without your clients, there is no business. Always remember that.
COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY ARE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Always be open with your clients. They will appreciate your honesty and transparency and will most likely stick with you till the bitter end.
MARKETING IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
No one will know about your business if you don’t market. Learn what works for your business and implement it.
ALWAYS FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS RUN MORE EFFICIENTLY
As your business grows, the way you do business must also grow.
GET RID OF PAPER AND GO DIGITAL
This was a painful point for me to write because I love my pen and paper but doing things digitally is more efficient and you don’t want your clients to waste time filling in paper.
DON’T DELAY WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
When you delay making decisions about your business, you delay its success.
LEARN FROM OTHERS AND LEARN TO TAKE ADVICE
There are many other business owners who have been where you are. Learn from them.
LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING
If you don’t love what you do, you won’t put in any effort in what you’re doing and it will filter through every part of your organisation.