Good riddance 2020? Five lessons this year has taught me as a new small business owner
Although it’s been quite a difficult year in many respects, 2020 has taught me some important lessons, which will help my business in years to come. I hope they’ll help yours too!
First lesson: networking is key
Life is so much easier if you have good friends and helpful colleagues around you. 2020 has made this both harder and easier in some respects. We couldn’t see each other in person for much of the year, but Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp have made networking and catching up with friends so much more straightforward.
Two highlights were an app marketing conference in Berlin and a Freelance Heroes networking event in the UK. I attended both from my living room. So much easier, no hassle travelling, and still very helpful! Even for introverts like me. 😉
I connected with some nice new clients via my free Zoom discovery calls. Face-to-face calls really are a much better way of getting to know each other than just via email or phone.
Second lesson: outsource if you can
Launching a new business is a lot of fun – and very time consuming. There are limits to what one person can achieve every day while still maintaining a good work/ life-balance. So: outsource tasks that you find very difficult or too time consuming if you can.
For me, that was the accounting side of things. I found a reliable and affordable accountant and use Xero, which connects to my business bank account. All done – very simple but effective.
However, I enjoy web work and so I decided to build my website myself, without external help. I subscribed to Divi and a reliable host – and I’m really happy with the result. I also still run all my social media channels myself for now.
Third lesson: streamline your processes
The future is online, so make sure that you’re organising your online business processes and workflows as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
I wrote a separate blog post on setting up quick workflows and I’m still learning more about this every day, for example:
- a quick and easy way of selling online gift vouchers for my services (both via Instagram and my website).
- connecting Calendly to my business email address to automatically arrange free discovery calls.
- using MailChimp to set up a free newsletter template.
- exploring HubSpot and Dubsado for additional workflow settings.
Fourth lesson: keep evolving and find your niche
When I first thought about launching my own company, I assumed my time would be spent mostly with general social media management for UK clients.
However, since then I have found my niche: business translations, bilingual social media marketing and editorial services (English / German) for both UK and EU-based businesses, start-ups and freelancers.
I’ve also found my brand voice and I’m working on implementing my social media strategy on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Fifth lesson: never stop learning
Social media marketing definitely is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m still learning lots via continuing professional development courses. For example, I’m currently studying towards a Facebook Blueprint qualification and a CIM-approved digital marketing certificate, and no doubt I will continue studying as the social media landscape changes quickly!
I’ve also been accepted as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and I’m now an Affiliate Professional of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, so I can take advantage of all the courses and resources they offer. Well worth the membership fees!
PS. No, I don’t really have plans to rule the world, but I liked the image. 😊