My first full-time job was working for a small start-up business, where I was able to work on and experience business growth first hand. I started as the direct PA to the Director, and the lessons learned from the brains behind a small business has been invaluable. I’m a firm believer in constantly learning – even if it’s in an area of my expertise. You can never learn too much!
I’ve had people asking me how my journey has been so far since starting Dearest Lips, and what I’ve learned along the way as a small business owner starting from scratch. I figured it would be a good question to answer as a blog post too.
To keep things short and simple, I thought I’d share the top 3 key things I feel are important when running a business:
1. A Business Plan Is Absolutely Necessary
Although Dearest Lips started as a gateway to share my love of lip balms with others, a hobby and interest can’t be a successful business if you look at it as simply just that. For any business to strive, you need to look at it as one, and a business plan is crucial to ensure you’re on the right path. It’s not a long-winded document. It holds all the answers to reach your ultimate goal – whatever you decide that may be. You can download a simple business template here from the Business Gov page.
This isn’t to say you can’t experiment and see how things go, it’s ensuring that even during these times you stay true to the foundations of your business.
2. Work Hard But Think Smart
You need to put in the long hours when you initially set everything up. The countless hours of research, testing, succession planning, decision making, goal setting, production; just to name a few. But – you have the ability to choose how you go about these tasks.
Prioritise what is key to your business and have a strong focus on that. Find a way to either automate or delegate everything else. For example, can your inventory be updated automatically online once stock runs out? Instead of having to physically count stock yourself each time? Can items that require shipping be picked up by a courier instead of you requiring to duck to the post office each time?
These are just two examples, but I’m sure if you were to list everything down that you’re currently doing yourself within the business, a lot can be simplified or even eliminated.
3. Learn From The People Who Have Been There AKA The Gurus
Who are the industry leaders and icons in what you do? Who do you look up to? Do you know how they got to where they are now? Why not ask them? You can learn from their downfalls, gain from their wins, and soak in the knowledge from their experiences. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask them questions. Pay attention to what they share with you, take it all in and jot it down. The tips, advice and insight into their world is extremely useful.
We all start a business stemmed from a passion and idea. And who doesn’t want that initial spark to grow into something magical? 🙂