Since I started my business almost two years ago, I have received and read a lot of tips on starting a business. I, too, know this feeling of being alone and in the dark while we are at the beginnings of his business idea. That’s why I offer you, humbly, the top 5 best advice I’ve been given, hoping that they feed your thinking.
1. Beware of advice!
This one, I laughed well, but I also liked it spontaneously! It was Hugo Francoeur, director at SAJE and himself a serial entrepreneur, who gave it to me. This advice may seem contradictory, but it should be the basis of any entrepreneurial approach, namely: to trust and use judgment to take only what suits us and leave the rest aside. It is very possible that a council is adapted to one person and not to another, hence the importance of getting to know one another well. Which brings me to council number 2.
2. Make an appointment with yourself
This may seem trivial and not a priority, since you have so much to do! Think again, it is of paramount importance. I confess: I still have trouble keeping it on my schedule, but every time I do, I see the benefits. Taking care of the CEO in me is a form of self-recognition in which I feel valued and appreciated, since it allows me to:
- Stop to think: by not imposing any expectation on myself, I get a breath of air that fills me with energy to continue;
- To find that very often that I have reached and even exceeded the objectives that I had set for myself;
- Correct the shot by reviewing my priorities based on activities that are valuable to my business.
3. Learn to recognize when to stop
As an entrepreneur, I quickly realized that I would explore parts of myself that I knew less about. Among other things, I discovered that I have difficulty recognizing when I reach my limits and often push myself beyond. As a result, I often worked several hours continuously and found myself drained of all energy at the end of the day. My head still active, I worked in my sleep and got up again tired the next day. Not very good for performance!
With the help of my precious coach Lucie , I put these few things into practice:
- Market research: It’s good to be aware of what’s going on in the market, but you have to stop before it gets us wrong. To compare oneself to excess is unhealthy; it’s better to focus on your distinctive strengths and go for it!
- Business Development: focus on up to 10 prospects at once, and go all the way by doing the follow ups well.
- Time management: limit yourself to three things a day on the agenda, preserve mornings for activities that require more concentration and take a break of 15 minutes every 90 minutes of work.
4. Sell a service and not a price
Thanks to Nathalie Lachance who told me this magic sentence. She put me back on track as I struggled internally with setting my rates. When we are in the service industry, prices vary considerably and we may be tempted by a pricing strategy below our value, thinking that we will be sure to have more customers. It’s wrong! What is important above all is to aim for the right customer, the one who will buy your services at the price they are worth, taking into account all of your professional experience. Once I started to understand who my ideal client was, the price became a lot less problematic.
5. Be open to seeing your business evolve
If you are new to business, it may be because you have experienced a big change in your life: grief, job loss, illness, etc. Building your business is a way of asserting yourself, of being who you really are and creating a job that reflects our values.
For my part, I wanted at all costs that my work contributes to better management of health in our society. My basic idea was to put my communication skills at the service of entrepreneurs working in alternative approaches (massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists). After some time, I realized that to be profitable, I had to make a compromise and open up to larger customers as well, which I did. I have today a very good win-win relationship with this clientele, without distorting my values. By specializing in web content creation, I contribute in my own way to nourish my ultimate goal, to help my neighbor.
Exactly: I hope this sharing has helped you! And you, what is the best advice you received in starting your business?