Blog - small business owners adviceWow! Here are some lessons from my first year in business. They come from my own lessons learned, fellow entrepreneurs or from my copywriting and social media clients:

1. Add a Facebook Admin

If you have a Facebook Business Page, make sure you add a trusted friend to be your Admin. They can then re-appoint you just in case Facebook locks you out. It has happened… Check out my instructions to add a Facebook Admin

2. Ask for 50% upfront

If you’re providing a service such as copywriting, ask for 50% of the cost before you start work. If the client values what you offer, they’ll pay. If they quibble, you might want to assess whether they’re a good bet to work for.

3. Buy a laptop

Tablets were not designed to run a small business. Invest in a laptop so you can easily switch between emails, social media and spreadsheets. Your frustration levels will drop dramatically.

4. Don’t leave your digital shop window to languish

Your website might be last on your list, but 90% of customers go to Google or websites to research products and services. Any typos will put customers off, so make sure you check. Still not convinced? Take a look at Why typos kill business and how to avoid them.

5. Work out your elevator pitch

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Two clients approached me after they heard me at a networking meeting saying “I love words”.

6. Don’t be afraid of the competition

I know lots of fellow copywriters and social media bods. We all excel in different areas or prefer to do different things. So refer each other or team up. There is space for everyone! I run a York Copywriters’ Coffee meet-up every couple of months for this very reason.

7. Too shy for networking?

If you feel shy networking, sign up for courses in business. You will learn something new and have the chance to meet local firms and fellow small business owners. There are more tips in 10 Networking Tips for the shy.

8. Try a Twitter Hour

These are great live tweetalongs for local areas or industry sectors. You can make new contacts, ask questions or just sit back and watch the banter unfold.

9. Have fun

If you’re not having fun working for yourself, then what’s the point? Embrace the flexibility to pop to the shops or go to a sports day. Yes it’s a balance, but remember why you decided to set up your own business in the first place. Don’t replace the tyranny of the boss with that of the clock.

10. You are awesome!

I seem to spend a lot of time trying to convince my clients how amazing they are. Remember there’s a whole tribe of 9 to 5ers who would love to set up their own business but are too afraid. Give yourself credit for taking that leap.

Need some help?

Make sure this is the year your business messages are as professional as the product or service you offer. If your website is sounding stale, you’ve no idea what to do with your Twitter and Facebook accounts or just need help moving your content into a new web design, please get in touch.