I often wonder if there is any such thing as an overnight success. What seems sudden to us is usually the result of the consistent application of hard work over time.
Most of us will have to make progress little by little. Here are a few lessons I’ve learnt from the past 18 months of starting my business:
Amnesia: Learn to forget the tough times and press on towards your goal.
Breathe in and out………… in and out. Remember that the next time you feel like screaming.
Crazy ideas may or may not work but at least it shows you are still passionate about making your business work.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. You will perpetually be in the valley of decision. So be decisive.
Eat. Very important not to forget to eat. Whilst it might be a good way to inadvertently lose a couple of pounds, it’s not particularly healthy.
Firsts. You will have many firsts; the first speculative enquiry, the first prospective client, the first sales pitch, etc. Firsts don’t necessary materialise into sales so don’t get overly excited.
Good news is you’ve finally taken the bold step of starting your own business. The not so good news is that it’s uphill all the way.
Holiday? What holiday?
Imagine you make a £1,000,000 profit in your first year. Wakey wakey.
Jump for joy. After all the hard work you’ve put in you deserve to celebrate your first sale. Hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to jump quite often
Kick back and relax. After 10 minutes it’s time to get back to work!
Loneliness will be your best mate for a season. Late nights, working weekends and working holidays will be the norm for some time. Embrace it!
Melt down. You might have one.
Never never never never NEVER sign anything under pressure. Read over everything and re-read the terms over again. If you are still wavering on the decision it’s probably not worth getting into.
Obsession! You will eat, breathe, dream, work and live this business. It’s all you will do so you better enjoy it.
Pick up the phone. The lost art of a telephone conversation must be reclaimed. Make a phone call rather than simply sending an email. You receive a prompt response and it saves time.
Question everything. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true. Companies promising to increase your sales by 300% should not need to cold call or send you spam.
Reduce your costs. Don’t pay for storage when you have a spare room or a garage that you can use instead.
Stinginess will get you nowhere. Offer your services or a variation of your services for free or give away free samples. If people like you, they’ll tell someone else.
Time wasters. Beware of prospective clients who have no interest in buying from you or using your services. Learn to identify them from a mile away.
Up sell. Your mission should you choose to accept it; is to convince clients that they need more than they are willing to spend.
Vision without strategy is hallucination, I recently heard someone say. Need I say anymore?
Work the crowd. Master the art of getting to know people without making it seem like all you are after is what they can do for you. A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend can lead to a sale.
X-terminate all feelings of failure and insecurity. Business is tough for everyone and you are not an exception.
Yoyo. Your experience will certainly be filled with ups and downs and sometimes like a rollercoaster. Hang on tight.
Zzzzzz. A rare thing but catch it whenever you can.
About the Author: Tomi Ayodeji is a Director of B. Avanté, a beauty distribution and retail company. They are currently the exclusive U.K distributor of ME! Bath, an American luxury brand, retailed in hotels and stores across the world including Sephora, The Four Seasons Resort, Marriot Hotels, Ritz Carlton Resorts and The Waldorf Astoria. ME! Bath spa treatments are also available in spas in the U.K and worldwide.
Tomi started out her career as an Accountant and thereafter spent 8 years in Customer Service Management. In the autumn of 2009 along with two of her sisters, B. Avanté was set up and dedicated to bringing fun and innovative beauty goodies to the U.K. Find ME! Bath® and B. Avanté on line at www.b-avante.co.uk.