When you’re a small business, particularly one starting out, you can be short of several key things:
It might be that you can overcome some of these shortages with things you might have in overabundance:
- Sheer graft
Just think about where these three things can get you. You’re full of excitement and full of energy for your new venture. You are putting in every hour under the sun, but you’re loving it.
And sometimes there’s stuff that you just don’t know you don’t now. Ah yes, the beloved unknown unknowns. Sometimes the enthusiasm and graft will carry you over those challenges. And sometimes it will hold you back. Worst case, it might even hold your business back.
When I started my freelance writing business, I got my first client much quicker than I expected.
Time to celebrate!
Except in some ways, I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t have a website ready to go, or any content of my own. I really felt I needed one, as the client was referring other people to me. I’d had a couple of blogs before, my partner is pretty IT literate, so we decided that we’d do it ourselves.
And it was ok.
In fact, to many people, it might have been more than ok. But it wasn’t portraying me in the way I wanted to be portrayed. Ironically, it didn’t tell my story.
It niggled away at me, taking energy away from really growing my business. I did a bit of twiddling with it, lots of googling to try and resolve the issues, make it better. All this whilst delivering work for my first client.
In the end, something had to give.
And in the end, it was the client. Which is definitely not how I wanted this story to go!
It was one of those moments of self-doubt when you just wonder if you’ve done the right thing. I gave myself one evening to think about it. And then I called the professionals in to fix the website.
Now, my client didn’t choose to stop working with me because I had a sub-standard website. But it was a wake-up call to remember that what I do well is create great content. I am not brilliant at the technical construction of websites. Therefore the time I spent trying to fix it was time away from what my business was there to do.
But bringing the professionals in meant that suddenly I could put effort into the right things. I created content for myself, to showcase my talents. I have a site to show off that content, where I was happy to direct people too. I had all the right technical pieces around SEO, possibly dull to some, but entirely necessary.
Of course, it meant spending some money. But what it’s bought me back has been invaluable.
There’s the time. The loss of niggling doubt at the back of my mind. Then there’s the improved story my site tells about what I do. And that is worth more than I spent to me.
For any business, you don’t need to tell me that you need to decide where to spend your time and where to spend your money. I would just say you never have to feel that you have to know how to do everything. There is no shame in getting in an expert.
It may just be the nudge you need to make another leap forward in your business.