Here’s a boost for all you business owners out there who presently don’t make much money. While of course there are no guarantees, I can say with some confidence if what you currently do meets a need, provides value and is profitable you will be successful – it just may take some years to get there.
I’ve been managing BetterEdit full time for two years and without any employment for nearly a year. I didn’t actually need the money from the job I had but it was easy money and a good job so I stayed on for other reasons. My business could have supported me on it’s own for about the last two years at least.
It wasn’t always like that. I remember when I first decided to commit to making my business my main support for my goal of being financially independent – a self sufficient business owner. I did some maths and I while I didn’t need much work, I needed consistent work in order for it to be sustainable. You never know what the future holds, but it’s always more comforting when you have a history of consistency. When you first start out you don’t have a history at all.
I love compound effects. I love what it does to money. I love what it does to business. However I only love it in hindsight, before and during the early days when you are starting with next to nothing it’s not so easy to be a believer, afterall, nothing times nothing doesn’t equal much.
Once you get going though it’s lovely. In my case one of the best compounding effects I’ve experienced is growth in the number of clients I have. Each year previous clients come back to purchase some more and they compound with the new clients who just discover my business for the first time. This process has been building up now for nearly five years and it’s very steady. A much more comfortable feeling then when first starting out because I know even if I stopped marketing the business would still operate, at least for a while.
As I stated at the start of this article, as long as what you currently do clearly provides value at a profit then you know the only limiting factor is awareness. The more people who become aware of what you do, who sample and enjoy it, the more successful you will become. Your job then is simply a matter of marketing.
Marketing results can be quick or slow. I’ve become accustomed to things coming slowly in my life. I’m not sure if they are slow because I’m impatient and everything seems slow or it really is slow, but either way it definitely feels slow. There was no overnight success for me and I’m still only slowly walking up the curve, bringing in more sales. There has been no tipping point with a suddenly shooting skywards demand curve – it’s been slow, consistent and thankfully, trending upwards. I’d say this is the more common story in business, but not the one you read about in the media.
If there was any advice to be taken from this article, it’s that you should stick to what you are doing if it provides value, you enjoy providing the value, the trend is moving upwards (not necessarily quickly – just upwards) and you make a profit doing it. The rest is all about time and faith. Sure there are many tiny little ingredients that make up the puzzle, but ultimately, when you look back, those measures are the important ones.
Patiently Building Business