When I started my online business, I didn’t really think much of it. I just thought I would establish creating a business and the rest would follow. That wasn’t the case. Had I avoided these things, I would have realized when was better to begin.
Here are the things I wish I knew or had avoided when starting out:
- Rushing into purchasing utilities right off the bat.
I thought it was viable to have a separate phone number so that I could identify who was calling and what it was related to. In the end, I realized that I do the same thing that I do with my normal phone line – that is – screen all my calls anyway. I could have saved myself at least $100 as it was running for almost a year without me actively calling people or regularly receiving calls.
Also without doing any research first, I had decided to use wix.com to host my business site. I wasn’t looking in the future and realized afterwards I could have saved a huge amount of money. A Wix site cost a bit over $200. That included the site, domain, and email. Again which I didn’t really need at the time. When I decided to do more with my hobby blog, I realized I should have just started with WordPress and my own server. The server was cheaper than Wix and the emails I was able to attach to my gmail account. More money that I could have saved. Also, in the long run, I wouldn’t have to pay more than $50 for a site because I have already a server.
- Learning More About My Trade
There is nothing wrong with learning on the job as it is beneficial and the only way to grow. My situation was that I had really basic knowledge of web design from Music Business, Office Admin and WordPress was from what I had learned on my own. It also wasn’t enough classes to help provide portfolio items to show. It didn’t really give me the confidence to openly say, ‘I am great at this! Hire Me.’ The more you know about your trade, the more confident you will be to offer it. The more passionate you are makes you want to talk about your trade with the world. I went back to school because I personally needed the reinforcement. I have no self discipline when it comes to self teaching and it definitely takes a lot to do. The program, Media Communications, offers more than one class on Web Design, Social Media, Photography, etc. It also allows me to practice and have items to show. It has made me feel more passionate about what I am providing to others.
- Not to Be Afraid of Marketing Yourself
Nowadays, it still feel weirds to outright shout to the world, ‘Hire Me! I do great work!’. Today I display work that I am working on in hopes to gain traction and so that it isn’t too much in your face. I also had the guts to reach out to people and let them know how I can help them. Marketing yourself can really be a simple act of showing your work on Instagram or Facebook. If I had focused on practicing my trade and created items to show when I first started, I could have had a lot more material to promote.
- Never Stop Learning
When I had my full time job, I believed that was it. I had my foot in the door. I am done. For a couple of years, I didn’t do any coding, I never tried getting more into photography, I didn’t do anything creative to improve on the skills that I did while is the Music Business Program. The only thing I did was re-introduce writing back into my life. My stopping made me forget how to code. It made me get behind on the latest news in the tech industry. Though I had an interest in photo, video, and design; at the end of the day I never tried to increase my knowledge. Which is what lead me to go back to school and make this highly needed change.
These were the four major items that I felt strongly about starting out my business. Now that I am in school I feel a bit more confident in what I can provide. I’ll definitely make a part two if more comes up. I am sure more will as I am still learning as I go.
Til the next time,
Edited: April Waddell