5 activities that worked during my first year in business

What worked for me, and what sucked.

I’m looking at my successes and failures with brutal honesty right now and I’ve cut them down to 5 things that really supported my business.

Doing an audit is super necessary to see what to stop doing next year (hello procrastinating) and which activities to ramp up (networking!).

In my case, right now marks one and a half years of ‘professionally’ operating my own communications business.

Although profits for the past financial year weren’t amazing, business systems are in a good place and networks are growing.

I’m confident the next year will see steady growth where I want it to be and it’s all thanks to these 5 main activities.

1. Paid membership in The Clever Copywriting School Community

Re-enrolling in The Clever Copywriting School Community has helped me connect with like-minded small business owners and share frustrations, brainstorm ideas and pitch for writing work in the lean times.

It’s definitely been worth the $400 yearly investment.

2. Investing in CopyCon – The Copywriters Conference in Melbourne 2019

A whole weekend kid-free– yes, please!

It’s a big chunk of money for my business to invest in a weekend conference (I opted for a Mastermind day as well to really get stuck into driving my business forward) but I’m super excited to meet my online writing colleagues, learn from the best of the best and make new contacts.

Taking this step to invest in my business has lead to more confidence in selling my services!

Planning to see the return on investment by taking on one new website client and offering extra great value.

3. Marketing the hubby

Remember ‘So Your Kid Wants to Be A Star’? It was a program I created for parents of young performers who were new to the Entertainment Industry. That was my first attempt at building a brand from the ground up and doing ALL of the things myself.

It was great training for my current business. I wrote email sequences, created opt-in’s, eBooks, and marketed the program online and in person.

Along the way, I found Canva (the cool free tool online) and played around with it.

This year, my husband graduated from his Diploma of Remedial Massage course and I branded up his business to get him ready for market.

This lesson has been in giving new things a go and learning on the job–or as my coaching mentor Sharon Pearson used to say, “say yes and work out how later”.

Although I’m a words-gal, I’m chuffed I had a creative idea and executed it well which helped hubby to feel professional from the get-go.

4. A Voice-over mentor

I’ve been in the voice-over industry for over five years now.

When pregnant, I waddled weekly into the SeaFM radio studios to record ads all the way up until 38 weeks.

Since being a mum, I haven’t made the traction I desire, so I chose to work with Abbe Holmes to shrink the gap between where I am and where I want to be.

Working with Abbe firstly helped shift my mindset from a ‘learning amateur’ to ‘damn good professional with loads of experience.’ I’ve since tapped into the B2B market instead of waiting for work through an agent.

Truth be told, being a Queensland based voiceover artist limits my access to good VO agents –I’ve come up rejected again and again with interstate agents due to location. But since our session, I’ve landed some great word of mouth clients gigs for internal safety training and even an NSW Health internal training program.

The next steps are to compile a great corporate voice reel and send it off to new prospects in the new year.

5. It’s business – not a hobby

By far the biggest shift I’ve made this year has been to change my mindset around how I see my business.

Now I feel it’s a vehicle in which I have the skills, experience and confidence to drive vs a fun hobby that makes some money on the side.

I’ve invested time and money in creating systems and processes to follow and I’m loving the structure.

I still have skills to develop around bookkeeping and budgeting (not something which makes us swoon) but, hey, I’m well on the way to propelling my success in the years to come.

This year I’m most proud of taking risks and investing in professional development.

I put money where my mouth is, outsourced trickier things to other experts and it’s paying off.

So, next, it’s your turn…

What’s worked in your business this year? I’d love to know.

If writing and marketing your services/products have been your struggle, I’d love to help you lighten the load next year.

You can call me on 0413 652 122 to chat more.

With love and grit,