What a proud achievement! My rebranded business STOMP Social Media Training 3 years trading today!
I started blogging on my website straight away and you can tell how much I have grown with my business, I was initially quite overwhelmed with running a website and understanding what I was doing and had little or no clue on SEO either. I had received training through my Local Enterprise Office and attended a course called "Design Your Own Website Using Wordpress" over a period of three Fridays and finally was up and running the 26th of April 2013.
Each time I had an achievement like adding my Facebook Page and LinkedIn page I would put it up as a blog. I wasn't sure if my business would take off at all and was more looking as a hobby at the beginning. My children had either just started preschool or was in Primary school so my time was limited in fairness too. Over time I started to go to networking events locally and get referrals and recommendations. I was extremely lucky to get clients that would write testimonials and mention me to others and as I found my feet, I got busier.
As I got familiar with more businesses locally I gained confidence in myself and started looking more in depth in the social media platforms I was already using and adding to my knowledge by learning about others. Once again my local LEO was invaluable and I took advantage of the courses they ran and they always had such excellent trainers. The networking I found in Co Wicklow was superb too and the speakers that I came across there also opened my eyes to better techniques in promoting my business and public speaking.
I have had no previous experience in running a business and like so many other small business owners I had to learn the hard way! I did do a "Start Your Own Business" Course with the Local Enterprise Office and I then just simply started. You don't move forward unless you start. I accepted fairly quickly that I would need to do things that felt uncomfortable to me initially but I also learnt I mustn't short change myself either. If you feel what you're about to do is out of your depth to a certain extent, you just need to try it and see. It's amazing what you can actually accomplish when you do. I had very little value of myself at the beginning and was charging very small amounts but I see that as a process. Until I found value and confidence in what I did, I felt justified in what I charged. However, that mustn't continue if you are growing and building your business. It's so true you get what you pay for! If you don't value what you do, you can't possibly expect other people to either.
I have spent some quality time with people in my industry over the past year and I have learnt so much about myself and my abilities. They have buoyed me up and supported me so much and now I feel a lot more confident about what I can offer my client.
I have also found since my attitude has changed and I have started saying "Yes", my opportunities have grown with it. I have also had the gall to actually ASK for things too! It's amazing what you get when you ask!
Another essential part of running a business is looking forward. I have made some mistakes but I won't let them define me, I have learnt from them and grown. I need to look forward and see how I can support others and help them grow. I personally derive so much joy from seeing the spark of recognition from someone I am training and I wish to do a lot more of that over the coming months and years! How I do that is not by competing with others but by collaborating. I have a fantastic network of friends and businesses and hope to only increase that.
I just want to thank all of my past and current clients for your business and to my friends and family for being so supportive. I am still here because each one of you have made it possible. Here's to another year!