So you want to start your own business. You’ve spent hours researching products, platforms, budgets and everything in between, now what? Now the real journey begins and there will be many trials and errors ahead. If there’s anything I’ve learned about starting a business it’s that there are many highs and lows. It can be easy to get discouraged along the way.
Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started my business to help you with what you can expect along the way so you can fight through the setbacks to find your own success.
Never a perfect time to start
The first time I started my own business I spent months working on the website, making sure I had enough products, every listing was perfect and the homepage was flawless. I thought everything was perfect for my big launch. When I finally launched, I realized I still was spending time working on my website, making small changes here and there, testing different products, updating descriptions.
There will never be a perfect time to launch a business because a big aspect to running a business is trial and error. Sometimes you have a hit campaign and other times you have to go back to the drawing board. The sooner you start the sooner you’ll find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Failing sounds horrible and no one wants to be a failure. Realistically failing is extremely hard to avoid because there are no guarantees with business. I can’t count how many times I’ve talked to a new business owner who is frustrated they aren’t making sales. They sometimes let their failures discourage them to continue, when it should be the exact opposite.
Failing means you have figured out another strategy that didn’t work, which means you are closer to finding the one that does. There's also a lot of hidden information that you can uncover in your failures. Identifying who your target market isn’t, helps you narrow down to find out who they are. Take the lessons your failures taught you and keep pushin’.
Surround yourself with like minded people
You might be starting your business on your own and it can be a lonely journey. You have no one to bounce ideas off, add in input or share creative ideas with. If you can find someone to join your team, awesome! If not, you can still find people who are willing to discuss and share ideas with you. We have access to one of the best tools on the planet, the internet.
We can connect with people all over the world, in real time. There are so many platforms you can use to find like minded individuals. Here are a few I found very helpful along the way. r/Shopify, r/Entrepreneur, r/ecommerce, Freedom Hackers Mastermind.
Don’t get too attached
I’ve used the term trial and error a couple times but what does it really mean? Trial and error; the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until one finds the most successful. This is one of the key things you’ll need to be comfortable with when running a business.
You’ll need to know when to double down on something or scrap it and start over, breaking your personal attachments can make this easier for you. It can be easier said than done when we are putting our heart and soul into our business, but the goal isn’t to have a website YOU love, it’s to have one that encourages purchases.
Focus on your strengths, outsource your weaknesses
You are only human and you can’t do it all. Well, you might be able to do it all but how much energy and time do you have to do it all?
We all have our different skills where we thrive. I love design and marketing! This is where I shine. I dislike writing product descriptions because it would take me double the time it would take the average person to complete one listing. I no longer try to spend my time writing descriptions because of that. That’s time I could put into running ads or working on my brands social media.
We don’t all have a budget to hire a team of people to help work on our business with us, but there are so many options to work with these days. If you do have a flexible budget you can hire a Shopify expert for the areas you’re not the strongest in.
With the recent advances in AI technology you can even use some of the great apps they have for writing your website copy, product descriptions and creating art for your socials or ads. Here are some AI apps you can use today:
Hopefully you learn something from these lessons that I learned along the way and don’t forget to enjoy the journey..
Starting a business is an adventure and it will challenge you to think outside of the box, be creative and to not give up. If being an entrepreneur is your calling and running a business is one of your passions you can’t give up. Every issue you will face, someone else has already solved.
You’re never alone on this journey. Make sure you utilize all the resources brought to you by Shopify like the Shopify Help Center, Shopify Learn, Youtube, and the Shopify Community.