Hey Lovelies! I hope this month has been good to you so far! So here’s a bit of an update. In April your girl here quit her job and in May started her own thing. (We’ll talk about how I quit my job with no plan some other day.) I run a small business/brand called Flourish By TeteH and our first product is hand-crafted customised shoes for any occasion! The last couple of months have definitely been one helluva a journey. I literally jumped into this with no experience in business what so ever! But this short period has probably been the most fulfilling period in my life yet!
So… the 5 things I’ve learnt as an Entrepreneur.
- Always keep your accounts in order.
I’m a one-man team at the moment so I literally do everything, from buying the stock and materials, to marketing the product, making the product and all the administration behind the scenes. It’s so easy to put the accounts on the back end of the stick because everything else needs your immediate attention but it is so important to keep the books in check whilst you still remember everything. This includes, recording all expenditure and income and everything in between.I use this amazing program online called Waveapps for all my accounting. This is also where I generate my invoices and receipts, I input all the information from payments received to expenses and it does everything else for me. So I can keep track of profits and losses, the good and the bad months and the different money accounts and how much money they are supposed to have. It just does all the magic. The only thing required of me is to ensure that I put in all the required information in order to generate the summaries. So I generally try to this every 2 days or so. Ideally everyday would be best sometimes life gets the best of me.
- The amount of work you put in has a direct correlation with the results.
This is generally true with everything in life, I know. But it has never been so apparent for me until now. With your own business, unlike school and working for someone, you don’t have anyone pushing you or checking on the work. Which means if you decide to have a lazy week, no one really cares. But your figures or in my case the number of orders will definitely show this! When I put in the work, the results are so apparent. Which means even though I don’t have anyone holding me accountable, my bank account is a constant indicator.
- Everyone will always have something to say.
The moment you tell people that you’ve just started your own business, they will always have some advice to give. Listen. Be open to receiving information. I had difficulty with this one because I “knew” what I was doing and what I wanted. What a joke. Now I am just so grateful for the people who actually take their time out to give advice. They only want to see the business grow and they believe in the dream. Granted you don’t have to act on everything they say. But definitely remember it or better yet write it down. It will definitely come in handy. The only advice I refused to take was the one lady who told me to change my name. Haha. She clearly didn’t understand who I am and what we are about but everything else after that has been so useful and I am absolutely grateful.
- Stay innovative.
If you are doing something and you are doing it well, people will copy. Especially my people here In Zimbabwe. Don’t be disheartened and give up. I had a case where someone copied my product exactly as it is. I could have chosen to stop but they don’t have the same dream, vision or creativity that I do. Therefore I just have to stay on top of my game and all they can do is wait to copy. It is so important not to lose sight of the vision and to keep innovating to make the product better. Keep trying new ideas, coming up with new systems to ensure efficiency and better quality of your service or product.
- You don’t have to be alone.
I’ve heard people say that being an entrepreneur is lonely. Well yeah you’ll spend a lot of the time alone but you don’t have to be alone. Have go-to people when it comes to making decisions, ranting about horrible suppliers, throwing ideas around and just anything to do with your business. Just make sure these are people who really want to see you win and they are in your corner. I have been lucky enough to have people like this in my life and I am absolutely grateful for them.
- BONUS – Be disciplined with your business money.
It’s so easy to think you are rich because your business is making money. I have a few instances where I have dived into my business accounts and I actually had to pay my business back. Good thing I knew how much was supposed to be in the bank accounts thanks to Waveapps. Pay yourself, but do not use your business finances for personal use. Keep it separate and be disciplined.
And there you have it. I hope you learnt a thing or two from my few months of experience as an entrepreneur. The journey has only just began. Are you an entrepreneur? What lessons have you learnt along the way? Share them in the comment section below! Let’s have fun discover and share!