Reaching Rock Bottom As an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur usually starts off with someone handing in a resignation and deciding to make it on their own.

You immediately have a salary that needs substituting & if you do get to that magic number you’ve made it right?

Wow, this is a gigantic milestone for an entrepreneur, but other realities soon kick in. We left a job in order to start a business that provides a similar service to that which we’ve been doing for someone else, how hard could that be, we’ve mastered it in corporate, copy and paste right?

No.

Turns out starting an accounting business has around 10% of actual accounting work on my to do list.

The other 90%?

Creating your own logo, figuring out Wix (have any of you been around that long?), writing blog posts, creating content for social media, scheduling and posting valuable, sharable info, chasing money, keeping demanding clients happy and the list goes on.

So here follows some of my tips to not only survive a crash, but to thrive in business and in life.

p l a n

We get caught up in the never ending to do list and lose sight of the bigger picture.

Grab your to do list & four highlighters. Now highlight your tasks according to the following categories:

Urgent, Important

Urgent, Not Important

Not Urgent, Important

Not Urgent, Not Important

I use Asana for tasks management and actually have ‘projects’ setup with these names and have colour coded them, I log in on a Monday, take a good hour or two and just plan for my week using this system.

Now print out a calendar for the week.

Step one: Review all appointments for the week & add any missing scheduled appointments (TIP I use the scheduling system in Dubsado and have very specific time slots for appointments else I find that my week gets filled with appointments only and you get little to no actual work done)

Step two: Start with your first set of tasks in the Urgent, Important category and schedule specific time slots in your week to work on those, keep on filling your diary with time slots allocated to the tasks that must get done that week following the rank you’ve set up with colours. Any tasks that can wait until a later date, move out to a different date.

Step three: For all the tasks in all the categories schedule into your diary, see what you may need from a client and request that info, so that you don’t have delays when you have time scheduled to work on something but not all the information to do the work.

Step four: Switch off your mail. Dedicate specific time slots in your day to reply to emails.

m a r g i n

If you only take this one thing from this post, I promise you, it will change your life.

An hour a day dedicated to unplanned, urgent requests, scheduled into my diary. If a client needs something urgently, voila, you have the time to help them. I charge double for requests falling outside of my agreed scope when the action is needed within a very short space of time. No urgent requests? Well, more time to dedicate to ticking off small items on your to do list.

o u t s o u r c e

Outsource is such a hard one. We’re all chasing revenue and outsourcing means we need to give up a slice of our pie at first. What we don’t necessarily know when giving away that slice of pie is that it opens up time to start a second pie, even if only one slice of a second pie. Opportunities increase, and before you know it, giving away one slice of pie could mean you have a whole second pie at your disposal.

Who wouldn’t give away one slice of pie in order to ultimately have two pies?

The things I outsource as far as possible:

w e b s i t e

All things website related goes to my web developer. Yes, I can figure it out myself and goodness, I’ve tried and spent full days doing something that takes him less than an hour only to need to give it over to him anyway because it just looks a mess or does not function how I wanted it to in the first place. The best thing about my web developer team? They are a web developer and designer team combining their efforts to bring you only the best. www.campbellwebworks.com

g r a p h i c d e s i g n

While I do my best with Canva and am lucky to have a master brand book which my brilliant graphic designer supplied me with which really makes it easy to stick to my look and feel, wherever possible, I have her design my main pieces & am blown away each and every time with how she can take my idea and transform it into something absolutely spectacular. Worth every cent. Checkout www.mariamagdalena.co.za, you will not find someone as talented and professional as her. With every last piece of marketing revolving around your presence online these days, graphic design has become the core of your brand and is one area I will never skimp on.

c o p y w r i t i n g

While I wish I could have every last bit of copy edited, I ensure that the main face of what goes out to my audience is thoughtfully curated by someone who has a knack for writing in an incredible, outstanding way. Samantha Herbs has made me fall in love with my own business image by adding wording to what I am trying to project that is leaps and bounds ahead of what I send her. Do yourself a favour, get in touch and start small. It makes the world of difference.

e v e n t p l a n n i n g

The Balance Your Own Books master class that I present twice a year started with an inspiration to create an experience for creatives unlike any other to introduce them to a creative way of exploring accounting and tax.

None of this would be possible without the talented Leandrie from Poppit & Finch. She takes an idea, runs with it and produces out of this world solutions exceeding any and every expectation I ever had!

a d m i n

The next item on my outsource list is admin.

I found an incredible lady, who will be taking a hell of a lot of admin off my shoulders.

Manning a dedicated email address, answering a company phone line, providing real time assistance to clients & initiating workflows setup to deal with frequent queries from clients will be some of the administration she will be handling on behalf of me. Like a secretary, only not. My business is ever increasingly online and out with the secretary, in with the virtual assistant!

m a n a g e e x p e c t a t i o n s

The way that people treat us is a direct reflection of what we do and don’t allow.

Let me repeat that.

The way that people treat us is a direct reflection of what we do and don’t allow.

Write out a list of all the things that bug you about your clients’ expectations of you.

Go on, every last bit of any interaction you’ve had to date that bugged you in any shape or form. Be it someone who always pays late? Perhaps a client who always waits until the last second to send you information needed to do work for them. Or a client always sending WhatsApps at inappropriate times.

Now take that list and write down your boundaries.

For instance:

Payments are to be made upfront, no more struggling to get hard earned cash out of a client who has a bottleneck with their own admin, which includes making payments on time.

Setting deadlines with real consequences if a client does not keep to those. And penalty fees for work needing weekend or night time services from your side.

Having a generic reply to WhatsApps within office hours explaining that you conduct business via email and not WhatsApps and for them to kindly relay their message to your mailbox.

Juggling the entrepreneurial journey is a very real struggle.

Know what you stand for and what you have to give within very specific boundaries and enforce them as if though your life depends on it, because in a certain way, it genuinely does!

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