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WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM RUNNING A BUSINESS – PART TWO

I previously wrote a blog on what I’ve learned from running a business but due to the fact that I continuously learn and things continue to change and grow, I thought I would write a part two.

If you would like to read the previous post, you can find it here.

VALUE YOUR EMPLOYEES

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. When they feel valued and appreciated, they will give more than what you ask. It’s important to remember that people who work for you, also have lives, families, other responsibilities and its important to take these things into consideration when making decisions.

LEARN NEW SKILLS

It’s always important to learn new skills when you are a business owner and especially when you are just starting out. Skills that are important to learn are marketing, communication, human resources and financial management. There are a ton of books available on these exact topics.

DEAL WITH YOUR CLIENTS’ GRIEVANCES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND AS GRACEFUL AS POSSIBLE

Your clients are just as important as your employees. Your clients or customers will not always be happy with you and there will be times when grievances are brought to the fore. It’s important to take note of all the issues your clients / customers are unhappy with and deal with them as soon as they come up. Letting issues fester will only cause it to get worse.

YOU NEED TO PUT IN THE HOURS

Yes, you get tired. It’s easy to veg out in front of the television and tell yourself you’ll do that thing tomorrow or later but when later comes, something else will take priority. When you’re building a business, especially in the beginning stages, its vitally important to put in the time and work on and for your business, even when you are exhausted. I have a day job as a news producer and when I get home, I am a mom and a wife but once the kids are down, then for a couple of hours, I need to be a business owner and work on building my company alongside my husband. We do have our days when we procrastinate but we always regret it. It’s better to put in the hours today so that you can see the results tomorrow.

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STOP TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND START DOING IT

As business owners, we all have things we want to do for our business to make it better, to grow and to make more money or gain more clients. It’s easy to speak about these things but much harder to put it into practice. It’s important to try new things and to attempt new strategies. Even if it fails, at least you know that you tried.

TAKE RISKS

We all know the saying, “No risk, no reward” I’ve found that to be very true since starting this entrepreneurship journey. You will never know what’s on the other side of this journey if you don’t take a few risks. It doesn’t just have to be financial risks but it can be putting your trust in someone and hoping against all hope that they won’t cost you your business.

SEARCH OUT OPPORTUNITIES TO SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS

For us as a music school it can be competitions, showcases, events and networking opportunities. It’s important to put your business out there so that people can be made aware that you exist. It also helps you to make connections and network with other people in your industry and we all know that your network equals your net worth.

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL BUT DON’T PLAN TO FAIL

As I said before, you will fail and you will make mistakes and it’s important not to be ignorant of that fact. Don’t plan to fail but be prepared in any event. Failure is simply part of the journey.

INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS

Invest time and money into your business. This is especially if you’re building something that you want to last for a lifetime.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR COMPETITORS AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND THEN DO IT BETTER

I’m not saying stalk your competitors but visit their websites and check out what they are doing. What do they have that you don’t . What are they doing that you aren’t and see if its something you can implement or even do better.

INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES

This is an important one. Your employees are your capital. Invest in them, train them and encourage them. Let them know they matter and give them room to grow. Make them a part of the business and involve them in the growth of the business.

LEARN TO LOVE THE ADMIN

This is especially important in the beginning stages of your company when you are still very hands on in the business. Eventually you will be able to hire people to do the admin but until that happens, learn to love the admin side of the business. It’s hard and tiring but it helps you to see where your business is going and how its growing.

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FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR YOUR MISTAKES

This is a hard one, especially for someone like me. I can be very hard on myself and I hate making mistakes in the business because I know I work with clients, I work with people’s children and their money and time and it’s important for me to do it right but I am flawed, just like everyone else and making mistakes will always be a part of the process. Once you see the lesson in the mistake, forgiveness will come.

STAY CALM WHEN DEALING WITH AN ANGRY OR UPSET CLIENT

Again, like I said in the previous point, I work with people, their children and their time and money and clients, especially parents don’t want to waste their time and money on something that will not be worth the investment. Sometimes you will upset your client and it won’t always be your fault but be gracious about it. Be understanding and always remain calm. Exploding on a customer or client will never help the situation.

POLISH UP ON YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Communication is key in everything. Again, this is important when you are hands on in your business and you deal with clients, customers and investors directly. It’s important to know how to speak to people, how to articulate yourself and how to relay messages. This is one of the reasons my husband and I decided to put me in charge of dealing with our students and parents because between the two of us, my communication skills are better. It also helps that I work in a communication orientated industry like Journalism. Communication skills are also important when you are trying to sell your product to a potential client or customer.

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READ MORE ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY

I can’t emphasize this enough. Knowing what is happening in your particular industry and staying up to date with events and announcements will always be important and will help for conversational topics when you’re networking. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest news in your industry so that your business doesn’t fall behind and out of touch.

As we continue on this journey of running and owning a business, a music school to be more specific, I’m certain that we will continue to learn and grow. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll write a book.


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