This week I celebrate the six-month anniversary of my small PR business and I can't help but reflect on the main goal that I set for myself just 26 short weeks ago.
In September 2014 I left agency-life to branch out on my own. It was a risky move, as at the time I had no client leads, but I was confident that I would find a way to succeed. I set a realistic goal to obtain my first retainer client in six months -- any longer and I was prepared to close up shop and return to corporate America. Thankfully my hard work and determination have paid off, and I am starting to think of my company's future in years rather than in months.
Over the past six months I have learned a lot from listening to other small business owners. They have advised me on everything from the importance of keeping a daily routine to the value of networking and building business relationships. But recently I received some timely business advice that stood out from the typical words I so often hear -- "maintain patience!" When a business is booming it is easy to want to take it to the next level immediately. Perhaps that means hiring a new employee or moving into larger office space. The mere thought of growing a business is exhilarating and it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of something new and exciting.
As I sat down to write out my business plan for the next year, with thoughts of new offices and employees running through my mind, I found the words of wise mentors, family members and prospective clients echoing the tune of 'patience' to me, "Limit your overhead. Focus on building your personal brand. Don't spend money on it because you want it -- wait until you need it." Sound advice -- I didn't start my business to create an overnight empire, I did it because I am passionate about my craft and want to support others who are passionate about their small businesses, too.
One day I hope to have an office space where I can display picture frames filled with my favorite client media placements. Perhaps I can welcome an employee who is as passionate about media relations and client services as I am; but that day is not today. Today, following this wise advice, I will continue to focus all of my efforts on helping my clients to build their businesses, which will in turn help me build mine.
So tell me in the comments below -- what is the best business advice you ever received?