Today’s blog is one for you if you’re battling with your emotions, for if you’re feeling lost or down about having a ‘small’ business.
This is a topic that I’ve wrestled with before. I used to think that to start a business or explore freelancing you needed to go ‘all in’ or have a big master plan to secure huge or multiple clients. To bring in big money and create a big team. I’ve realised that you don’t. It’s okay to start small – tiny even. And it’s okay to stay small too if that’s what you love. Too often we think that ambition and the size of our success are related, but I know many, many talented and wonderful people and business owners who don’t want a seven-figure lifestyle or hundreds of clients.
It’s more than okay to have a small business and there’s so much to love about it. Here’s five reasons I think you can (and should) love your small business, especially if it’s not what was in your master plan.
Reason #1 – You’ve built it, so be proud
Starting a business, going freelance or going down the path of becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy. But you’re here. You made that decision, you made that commitment and you’ve done it. You’ve created something and that’s something you should be proud of.
Sometimes it’s hard to see everything objectively when you’re in the middle of trying to land clients or preparing for a pitch, but if you made a list of all the steps you’ve taken since day one you’d be surprised at everything you’ve achieved. From making the decision to pursue your passion to telling your friends, to creating your first website or signing your first client – there are plenty of things to smile about.
Your business may be small, you might feel like a tiny fish in a big ocean, but you’ve done something that a lot of people dream about. The difference is they didn’t take action. You did – you built something, and it’s more than okay to celebrate that.
Reason #2 – Client relationships are everything
When it comes to service-based businesses, especially in areas like marketing and social media, the relationships you have with your clients as a small business are everything. There’s something so good about being able to talk to and understand your client and create something that’s perfect for them because you know them and their business so well. You’re happy to go above and beyond, and you truly care about solving their problems. You want to see them succeed beyond their expectations.
This is something that took me by surprise when I started working with my amazing clients, but it’s one of my favourite things about business and it’s something that’s so much easier to achieve when you’re small. You can have those conversations and personally make a difference, instead of assigning them an account manager or directing them to your helpdesk.
I love helping people and if you do too it’s definitely something to appreciate about being (or staying) small.
Reason #3 – It’s easier to test and refine your processes and services
When you’re a solopreneur or running a small business you get to make all the decisions. If you find a way to improve a process and save yourself time you can just go ahead and do it. The same goes for testing new ideas, refining your branding, and going through other changes that in a larger business you’d need to allow more time, resource or buy-in to achieve. In a small business there’s no delay, which means you can be more nimble and respond quicker to changes in your market or to meet your clients’ needs.
This adaptability applies to the services or products you provide too. If you discover that you love designing brochures but hate working on billboards then you can make that choice. You might run a Facebook advertising campaign for a client and find out that it’s something you have a talent for – so go ahead and start offering it as a service. Maybe you’ve made some marketing decisions in the past that mean you’re not talking to your ideal audience and you want to refocus? The good news is that you can. It’s much easier when it’s just you, or when you have a small team, compared to trying to make big changes in a large company.
Reason #4 – You can manage it yourself
Having a small business is challenging but it brings with it a lot of bonuses, especially when it comes to the management side of things. You don’t have to manage huge teams, multiple managers or hundreds of employees. You don’t have a board of directors or investors to answer to. You don’t need complicated systems for handling your finances or keeping track of expenses. There’s simply less ‘stuff’ to think about, which is amazing if you’re easily overwhelmed or like a simpler life (like me!).
One of my favourite things about being a ‘solopreneur’ is that I can manage everything myself. There may come a time in the future where I’ll invest in a virtual assistant (VA) to handle some of the tasks I don’t enjoy as much so I can spend more time on the ones I do, but everything’s manageable. I don’t sit at my kitchen table and have a huge weight on my shoulders. Having a small business is very freeing – especially when it means you can enjoy other areas of your life like spending more time with family, pursuing a hobby or studying.
Reason #5 – There’s space to grow
It’s important to live in the present, but if you’re a planner or dreamer then one of the best things about being small is that there’s plenty of space to grow. The world is a big place and there are unlimited ways that you could change your business, and your life, just by making choices or saying yes to opportunities. And that’s really exciting – the notion that you’re only a few steps away a new discovery, a change in direction, or the project that could bring you closer to your goals. While you can have these moments and feelings in a larger business, there’s nothing quite like that excitement and drive that you get from growing your business from zero, to tiny, to small and beyond.
Growing doesn’t mean the end of being small though, if that’s something you love. It doesn’t have to mean hiring 50 staff or leasing a big office. It could be becoming known as an expert at what you do, or being able to increase your rates so you can work with the same number of clients but see more of your family. We all have personal and business goals and they’re a good way of keeping us motivated, so keep thinking about the space that’s out there and what might be in the future for you.
What do you love about your small business?
I know there’s many, many more than five reasons to love your small business or freelance adventures, so it’d be great to hear from you on what you think. Leave me a comment and let’s see if we can celebrate small businesses and all that’s great about them.