Back in May of 2005, I had this idea that I should start a web design and hosting business as a hobby, because I was really bored with my life and needed something challenging again to pick me up. I am positive some of my friends were skeptical and in some respects I agreed with their points, but hey I always preach to others that you can do whatever you want if you put in the effort. Well it’s now 2006 and WebKeyDesign is now more than six months old and so what exactly happened and what did I learn?
Google As Your Partner
If you have any kind of business, from a coffeeshop to an online business such as mine, then you really need Google for everything. Although I would like to think that in the future Yahoo and MSN Search will be as helpful and as important, for the time being Google is my most important search engine. From bringing plenty of visitors to WebKeyDesign.com, to allowing me to show my business in Google Local, to providing me with free tools like Google Sitemaps, Google really has a lot to offer small businesses. If you do one thing, learn all you can about what Google can do for you.
Business Decisions Are Costly
Most of the time I researched for weeks before I spent any money for the business and executed pretty well. However for some decisions I ended up going for it and it cost me. This happens to any business and let’s face it, there are going to be times when all the research in the world is still not going to tell you anything. Sometimes the only choice you really have is to take a chance, or play it safe and never experience any growth. Even if you lose money from a business decision, the least you can get out of the experience is what not to do next time you have a similar choice.
The Right Customers
There are always going to be people who need your services, but not everyone who asks you for help will be a right customer. What I mean is that being helpful and assisting non-customers is a great way to promote your business, so even if you do not get a paying customer from answering someone’s questions, you at least build a relationship that can hopefully lead to other customers. In certain instances helping out becomes a wrong customer. Some people are going to be rude or perhaps a drag on your time, in these cases you really do need to walk away from the situation and do it in a friendly manner. Undoubtedly many relationships do not work out and in business it is the same thing, you cannot work with some people and the sooner you find this out, the better your business will run.
Read More Books
Since starting the business, I have been hanging out at the library more and more. The stack of books that I go through has expanded ten fold. I have picked up books on every facet of my business, from accounting, to computers, to marketing, to more marketing. In the last month I have scaled back the book reading and now invest 40% of my reading time to business reading, and the rest to casual reading. This has happened mostly because I have found which books I like and can use, and which ones do not work for me. Now I concentrate more on the books I know are of value to me, and give myself a break by reading for pleasure. The idea is to find a comfortable balance between your business and your personal life.
Owning Your Business
The one thing that really sticks out to me after doing this is how much more respect I now have for other business owners. There is a lot of stress with having a business and anyone who can live with such pressures and still maintain their composure is truly unique.