You’re being prudent in your spending, getting your hands dirty doing every task you know how to do and learning quickly how to do those you don’t.
You’ve got grit that would even impress Gary Vaynerchuck.
Yet despite the growth and successes in your business, you’ve trapped yourself in the “I’m a little business” mindset you had when you first started.
If you continue to think it, you will continue to be it.
When you treat your business as the strong, growing business it is, you’ll make the decisions that will get you to the level you’re working to reach.
Here are three steps to going pro with your business.
1. Change Your Mindset
A few years in, thousands of handbags sold, hundreds of wholesale accounts and I still felt like a phony saying I was a handbag designer when asked, “what do you do?”
Not going to college for fashion design, I lacked a certificate that declared this as my title. I had claimed it for myself by doing the work of designing handbags, yet somehow that made me feel like a fake.
My mindset created two problems:
1. It caused me to make weak, safe decisions that delayed the growth of the business.
2. My lack of confidence stating my title communicated to people that my business wasn’t to be taken seriously.
Have you ever described your business as little or a side hustle? Do you describe your job title using words like “aspiring,” “wannabe” or “amateur”? Do you doubt every big and small business decision you make because you feel like you really don’t know what you’re doing?
If you view yourself as small, your business is going to stay small. If you view yourself as a fake (time to ditch the “fake it ’til you make it” motto), you aren’t going to make decisions like a pro.
MAKE THE CHANGE
When asked what you do for a living, state your title without using words like “aspiring” or “wannabe.” Hearing yourself confidently describe your business and state your job title will make you believe it and be it.
Stop doubting your decisions. You’ve gotten this far with your business. You’ve been making smart decisions and those that didn’t work out, you were able to recover from.
2. Up Level By One
As business owners, we tend to intuitively know what we can and can’t afford. We get comfortable at the level we’re at. The bills are going to get paid and our businesses will keep ticking along.
When you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
MAKE THE CHANGE
Consider each department of your business (even if it’s just you, you still have departments)–finance, marketing and sales, production, shipping, etc. Make your rounds through each department looking for things you can improve–hiring a photographer, more product features, updating your website, purchasing higher quality supplies, getting an accountant, printing your logo on shipping boxes or purchasing a project management app. Pick something from each department and bring it up by one level. That doesn’t mean hiring the world’s best photographer, rather hiring someone that can do the work a bit better than the photographs you have now. Continue to make wise money decisions as you have been doing, but push yourself to take calculated risks. Slowly cycle through each department making improvements.
Keep in mind up leveling doesn’t always mean spending more money on a higher quality service. It could be improving how quickly you respond to customer emails and how you respond, improving shipping times, designating time each week for self-education or allowing yourself to stop working at two o’clock on Fridays. It could even be finding where you can cut costs and researching companies that offer better rates for services you currently use, like lower rates for payment processing.
3. Ask for Help
There is no shame in getting help. No one expects you to know how to do everything or do it all well.
The very best business owners know their weaknesses and surround themselves with people who have the talents they lack.
Constantly learn and seek help from people who have done what you’re trying to do. Learning from the mistakes and successes of others is the fastest way to reach your own success.
MAKE THE CHANGE
Admit what you’re struggling with and tell yourself that it’s okay. Then ask for help.
If it’s time management, ask your spouse if he can help with a chore at home to give you a bit more time to work. Find a friend who will be your cheerleader–boosting your morale when you’re low and celebrating your wins. Find someone you can swap services with. If you’re great at Facebook ads, offer your services to a fellow business owner who doesn’t have the know-how in exchange for her fixing up your website.
Hire a consultant who has built the type of business you’re trying to build. A consultant can help you avoid big, costly mistakes and help you reach your goals sooner.