1. Learn to love outsourcing
You will never be good at everything, nor do you need to try to be. While it might be fun to be in charge of the whole ship, your time will become your most scarce resource and I find women business owners in particular have more difficulty letting go of “doing it all” – find experts, build a team, and point them in the right direction.
2. Be honest with yourself about work/life balance
It’s OK to love your work, it’s OK to take the morning off to get your hair done, work weekends if you like, take days off to spend with your kids. Do whatever works for you – don’t let anyone tell you what balance should be
3. Value yourself
Too many startup business owners go in with the “I’m better and cheaper” mantra. Your skills are valuable, price them according to what the market will pay, not what your competitors are charging.
4. Find a mentor
These people will help you adjust to managing the ups and downs of running a business. And there’s no law says you can have only one at a time. Meet them regularly, ask them questions, people are usually happy to help.
5. Network your socks off
Don’t beat around the bush, get out there, go to every event – regardless of whether you are interested in the speaker or not. The more people you know, the better.
6. Invest in learning time management skills
I popped myself on a Priority Management training course about 12 years ago and while it was a lot of money for me at the time, it was the best money I’ve ever spent. Knowing how to prioritise what little time you have is critical to your success. Otherwise you’ll simply become overwhelmed by the demands on your time.
7. Recognise overwhelm
And step back. At times you will be busier and under more pressure than you can ever imagine. Recognise when this is happening and step back to give yourself perspective. Focus on the future, don’t panic.
8. Invest in your marketing
Don’t (please) be taken in with offers to get cheap business cards. Stand out from the crowd. Invest in a logo, make sure your business cards and website are top notch. Cheap might be appealing in the short term but it will cost you more in the long term.
9. Trust your gut instinct
It’s vastly underestimated in an era of big data where we should always be able to analyse everything within an inch of its life but over the years my gut instinct has also served me well. You know, those times when you can’t quite put your finger on it but you just have a feeling…..trust the feeling.