Recently, I’ve been writing about food and cooking, and I had originally set up this blog to write about my fly fishing experiences, my times with my kids (and now that my older ones are adults, mostly my ten year old), and whatever else was on my mind. So, what’s on my mind…
I am thinking about owning your own business and the various cycles a business can go through. The beginning stage is always exciting, no matter whether you are building it on your own sweat equity or have investors, or have some money yourself put away that you are going to invest.
I still remember the early days of my business, and the excitement I had. And it was all built with sweat equity. It took a few years to get really going to the point I could resign from my full time job, but when it reached that point, there was a true sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as some fear when I wrote out my resignation letter. “Am I doing the right thing?” I thought to myself, as I had some doubts about myself and whether or not I had saved enough in case things didn’t work out as planned.
But they did work out, and the business saw some growth. There were times it was hard to deal with that growth as there were two of us, and sometimes not enough time in the day to get everything done, but still not really enough income to justify hiring others. There were times we could outsource on a contract basis, but oftentimes when we did that, the work was not of the quality and caliber we expected from ourselves – so quite often we had to fix the work that was delivered before we could deliver it to the client.
Growth is great, and it can also have it’s downside too. When you first start a business, often you will try to do as much as you possibly can for a client, but then your skills get spread out to far to really be good at just a few things. You have to learn new things which takes time.
So sometimes, you lose a few clients which is always an ego dampening event.
When you have clients in countries that are facing economic downturns, then your business can go through a cycle of downturn as well, and you need to learn to deal with that.
One thing I wish I had done was find a virtual assistant. Someone that I could trust to do many of the tasks that were not that valuable in the long run, but needed to be done.
As my business goes on another “up swing” cycle, I want to spend more time directly on my clients and not on the other paperwork stuff that someone else could easily do for me and save me some time as well.
I would far rather be working on the major parts of my business than having to spend too much time on the stuff that just doesn’t pay me.