10 Things You Didn’t Know About Going Into Business For Yourself
Everything You Wanted To Know About Starting a Business But Was Afraid to Ask
The last few weeks have put most small business owners to the test. Right now is no time to go dark. Many are learning this. We’ve been working very hard with each of our clients to alter strategies and create new messages. They are going to get through this, and we will too. We started this business to be challenged and, with that, we truly are.
We also started our own agency for many other reasons, but one of the main was to be in charge of our own creative work. Math is math. If you own your own business then you’re in charge and control the direction. It’s pretty amazing. But starting your own business opens up a whole new world of discovery you may have never known about. Here’s what we’ve discovered in the last year.
You’ll Never Really Stop Working, and You’ll Like that
It’s not that you’ll have a laptop in front of you 24 hours a day, but you’ll find that work really never leaves your brain. It could be as simple as thinking about what coffee to buy for the office next week or as damning as stressing over a giant deadline at 11 pm. You’ll worry about your business just as much as you worry about a child. But you’ll love it just as much too. So for that, it’ll always be on your mind.
No Job is Too Small
If you’re funding the venture yourself, you’ll understand how every penny of it works. You’ll quickly realize that your time, though worth just as much as it was before, can be discounted significantly to put another notch on your office-headboard. Half a day’s work for $100 seems painful but will add up quickly when the bills are due.
No Job is Too Big
You know this industry, and you know quite a few people who are in it. You won’t get scared by taking on a giant project because you know you’ll find the people and resources to get it done. If you took the steps to start your own business then you’re the strongest person in the world and nothing will stop you.
Everyone You Know Is A Possible Client, EVERYONE
Being in advertising, I quickly learned to work into every conversation “So, who does your marketing?” It doesn’t matter if it’s a life long friend or the guy who makes the donuts. Once you start doing this you’ll quickly learn how many people work for a place who needs a bit of creative work, or knows a person who just started a business and could use a bit of a boost. No one is going to walk into your office asking for an order of marketing with a side of social media. Remember the thing you should be marketing the most is yourself.
You’re Going To Need To Figure Out Quickly How You Want People to Perceive You
Do you want to be seen as a large group of people? A one-man operation? There’s a fine-line between being a freelancer and the President of a one-employee business. It’s all how you want clients to see you. It’s okay to look bigger than you are, just know that you might get called out on it and you’ll need to back it up. But it also creates the room to grow, because you’ll need too as you read what’s next.
You Can’t Do It Alone
Throughout your career you might have often been referred to as multifaceted, and that’s great. But bandwidth is a math your body can’t fight. There’s also levels of greatness depending on their specific needs. You could be a great copywriter and an okay designer. I mean, your cousin LOVED the logo you made for him, but maybe a new client might want a bit more input. You need people. Whether you’re hiring them full time or using them on a contract basis, know that your limitations will eventually cause you to fail.
You’ll Want to Figure Out Your Brand Right Away
Are you a bunch of suits or gaggle of rebels in T-shirts out to break brands? Clients often look at the people creating the work as much as the work. If your message is “We’re professionally great” or “Fuck Authority” or somewhere in between, you’ll want to figure that out fast. It’s subtly going to be in your logo, your work, and even how you present yourself. When you’re figuring it out, be authentic and be yourself because clients can see a poser from a conference room away.
The Company You Left Will Want You To Fail
You watched people leave before you. You heard things about how the agency was better off without them. You heard about the horrible work they’re doing now. Now know these are the things they are now saying about you. They’ll ignore you at networking events. They’ll never acknowledge your work on social media. They’ll downplay your importance and talents to clients and people in your network. You can’t let it bother you. You can just let them eat their words with your success. Give them a lot to swallow.
But, Your Friends Will Admire and Support You Every Day
Not everyone wants you to fail. Your friends will shower you with praise as you took the leap they wish to do. They’ll see your progress, share your work and tell you every second of the day how proud they are. You’ll be planting the seed in them for when they take that leap. Oh, the things you will teach them.
You Can Do It
The tools to succeed are in you. If you want to make it, you will. It will require hard work and gallons of persistence. You’ll have shitty days and amazing awesome days. You’ll eventually move into a new office. You’ll expand your clients. You’ll hire good people. You’ll win awards. You’ll surpass expectation. You’ll kill it. You’ll never look back and wonder if you should have done it, you’ll just wonder what took you so long.