Running a business is not an easy ride. It is a process of trying new things, seeing if they work, trying different things and so and so forth. I have made so many decisions as a business owner, some good and some bad, which have all impacted gatto as it is today.
I am now in my third year of running my business, one which has gone from an amateur side hustle to full time biz and in that time, I have made some big changes which have completely improved the way I work, the way I live and the people I work with.
I want to share the five main things I changed in my business which have completely improved it, and hopefully you can be inspired to do the same for yours!
1. Hired a Coach
I talk about this as one of the best decisions I have ever made when it comes to my business. I decided to get in touch with my coach after I had experience a tough few months with difficult clients, too many working hours and not enough cash coming in. After two weeks, I had decided to completely pivot my business and focus my energy on the work I loved doing.
The changes this has made to my business have been completely life-changing. My business is sustainable and secure and I love every project I work on and client I work with. On top of this, I haven’t worked on a weekend in over a year!
Not making enough money, working too much & getting sick of my business
Making a good income, working when I want to work & loving every day
2. Perfected My Process
When I started working with clients, I just took them on when they got in touch and got started on the project straight away. I didn’t really have a process in place and found myself sometimes working with five clients in one go and sometimes not having any work.
With my business pivot, I decided I needed some organisation in my life and a more streamlined process. I created separate system for each stage of the project from onboarding to the design to wrapping up and then ongoing support. Having the process in place meant I could book clients in a way which gave me consistent work and I always knew what work I had to do and when.
Unorganised, overworked & inconsistent
Streamlined, professional & productive
3. Invested in Education
When I graduated from university, I thought that was it for education. However, starting my own business gave me a new passion to explore and a hunger for more knowledge. I realised that to move forward and be good at running a business I had to constantly improve and evolve, which meant I was going back to education.
Reading books, blog posts and free resources got me to a certain point but I always felt like I was never getting enough and I wanted a more complete experience. So, I decided to start investing in online courses. I did my research and found the ones which would suit me and my business and I got learning! Investing in courses has given me wider knowledge in many different areas and increased my value as a business owner.
Stuck in a rut & spending hours reading blog posts which weren’t useful
A more knowledgeable business owner & saving time
4. Increased My Prices
This may seem obvious because, duh, raising prices will mean your business doing better. But for me, increasing my prices meant much more than than and saw me completely changing my services. When I started freelancing, I was terrified of charging too much and losing business which meant I charged way too little and had to work really hard to get by.
Increasing my prices and changing my services made me realise my own worth and gave me confidence in my own skills. I created a service which was perfect for my clients and gave them the best they could get out of me which became a worthwhile investment for them. It also meant I could shift the people I was working with to those who were really serious about their business and much easier to collaborate with.
Working on too many projects, not getting enough sleep & struggling to pay the bills
Confident in my abilities, working with amazing clients & financially stable
5. Set Boundaries
I mentioned before that when I started my business, I was doing a lot of work to get by and working with a lot of clients, a lot of whom weren’t the best people to work with. I would get emails demanding work at 11pm, I would go through countless revision rounds, I would complete work outside of what was paid for and I would find myself working all hours to get everything done. And however much I’d like to label them ‘nightmare clients’ and tell you how terrible they were, the problem was 100% my fault. I didn’t set any boundaries.
Boundaries in business can come in many forms and it takes each individual to figure out their own. For me, the boundaries I needed to set were completing work and replying to emails only in my office hours, not doing any work on weekends and completely sticking to agreed work and my process. Since setting these rules in place, I have been much happier and my clients have a better understanding of how we work together.
Answering emails late at night, working every weekend & pandering to clients needs
More time off, more in control of my projects & working with dreamy clients