This weekend I tackled a big project I’ve been putting off for YEARS - organizing my boys' clothes by size and season. Was this the most exciting way to spend a Saturday - not so much.
Did I think about all the other things I could be doing while I was sorting and folding - definitely!
Should I have taken the time and been more organized from day one? HECK YES.
I’m going to be honest here - at the moment it was “easier” and faster to go through my kid’s drawers, gather up everything that didn’t fit and throw it all into a large plastic tub.
Someone once told me - if you take the “easy way” you’re going to end up doing the work twice - the easy way and then the right way. I don’t want you to look back months or years from now realizing you took the easy way when you started your business.
To save you some time and frustration in the future here are my top 3 recommendation of what you should take care of the “right” way from the get-go:
Implementing a management system for your finances is another great place to start. Profit First has been a really effective way to set up my accounts and manage my money. One of my coaching clients connected with an accountant and bookkeeper at the start of her business and it’s allowed her to move from hobby side gig to real business owner. How powerful is that? (Not to mention her bookkeeper was REALLY impressed she was taking this step so early in her business!)
Ready to dive in with bookkeeping software? Check out Quickbooks or the Wave app. I can’t speak highly enough of learning how to effectively balance your books so that you
Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of money in general? Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass At Making Money opened my eyes to the money stories I had been telling myself, and how to move forward from those. It’s a great precursor to Esther and Jerry Hick’s Money and the Law of Attraction which goes into how you rewrite those stories and why they are so important.
The biggest thing I can encourage you to do is no matter where you are with your relationship with money, give yourself some grace, know you can grow and learn from where you are right now and connect with some financial professionals you trust that can act as your guide.
Setting up a time to speak with an accountant, bookkeeper and/or financial advisor, can be a bit scary, but the earlier you can do this, the better off your business will be. Talking with any or all of these financial professionals for at least an initial consultation will help to inform some of the choices you will make (do I need to be an LLC or can I run my business as a sole proprietor? Do I need a special business license for my state? How much should I be saving for taxes in my state? What can I write off? How can I be saving?)
2. Making Connections
You can have a beautiful site, a ton of offerings, stock photos scheduled on all of your social media channels, but if you aren’t out there, connecting - you aren’t going to have clients! Long-lasting, connected clients who can’t imagine life without you. I really encourage my coaching clients to be continuously connecting.
What does connecting even mean? Putting yourself out there, being authentically you and providing value. It’s not super spammy messaging. It’s not ignoring the poster’s original question to promote your services. It’s showing up, asking thoughtful questions, listening and sharing helpful responses.
And the sooner you connect with people - your potential clients, leading experts in your niche, colleagues, collaborators, biz besties - the better your business will be for it.
How should you connect? Networking events are a lot of fun, sharing what you do as you meet new faces at preschool, your kids' events, and girls' nights out. It’s a perfect opportunity to get you out from behind the computer, dressed in something other than your online boss babe business mullet (nice top and yoga pants with super fuzzy slippers on the bottom). Networking has been made easier on Facebook (all the groups!), LinkedIn, and whichever social media platforms feel right for you. Getting interviews on podcasts, Facebook Lives and writing guest blog posts are also ways that you can grow your circle and connect with your people.
These are just a few ways. Get creative and work your strengths. If you’re more extroverted - in-person events are going to be your jam. If you fall into the more introverted side - online can be a great way to build some really phenomenal relationships.
No matter what way you do it - show up, be genuine and remember that there is only one you. Your vibe attracts your tribe.
3. Your Boundaries
This is one I wish I had put in place sooner. It’s likely that you want to work from home because of the freedom and flexibility you dream it’s going to provide you. That means working all hours of the day and night, getting paid less than what you’re asking, being at the beck and call of your client isn’t going to make this business what you were dreaming of when you set out to start this.
Setting these expectations from day 1 with your clients, your family and yourself is going to make your business run smoother and save you so many headaches. But how the heck do you do this?
First, figure out what you want this business to look like - how much time do you have? And how much do you want to work? When is your best time to take client calls? When do you not want to be working? What’s the best way to communicate with you? How do you want to be present with your family and friends and serve your clients? How much do you want to make? What’s the lowest amount you’re willing to accept as payment? When do you invoice your clients?
This all sounds fine and dandy, but how the heck do you actually share these boundaries with your clients? By creating a welcome document! This is a 1 to 2 page PDF that you won’t need to edit. When we have joined museums or the aquarium, we always receive a welcome document and those examples are what I’ve based my Welcome Doc on. (Want to see my welcome doc - you get access to it when you join my 5 week coaching program! Along with a TON of other free resources!)
The main points you want to include in your welcome doc:
A little about you (think your background and experience)
What your office hours are
How your clients can best contact you
What they need to know and do to get the most out of this engagement
Setting these boundaries from day one is a game-changer for the success of your engagements, and you’ll be thanking your self later for setting them early!
Now that we’ve gone through my top three pieces of business to take care of from day 1, which one are you planning on tackling first? Tell me below. And if you want support in building your business and building it fast (with clients!) schedule a time for us to chat here.