This post will discuss what I learned from growing a small business. In 2010, I was suddenly let go from a position as an Immigration Paralegal.
I had worked with this law firm for more than five years. I made good money.
My husband requested that I come and help him with his business while continuing to look for a position in my field. He was a sole proprietor of a swimming pool maintenance and repair business.
In 2011, I went back to work in my field but continued to help him on a part time basis.
In 2013, when I was let go again, we decided that I would assist him full time and no longer work in my field. In the four and a half years that I have been working in and on his business, the revenues have doubled. We have also added two full time people and we are in a seasonal business.
Now, for some people, this may not seem like a huge success story. But, if you consider the shape of the countries economy from 2008-2016, and the fact that we are working in a luxury industry, this is a success.
From this journey over the last four and half years, I have learned the following about growing a small business:
Want to Grow your Business, you Must be Willing to Spend Money
In our industry, this means having up to date equipment-vacuums and water/chemical testing equipment. Spending money on equipment for the business is a good thing.
I often run into people who say that want to start an online business or another type of business but they don’t want to spend money until they have made money.
This is not realistic when running any type of business or starting one. Those individuals in my mind are not serious about really starting a business.
When I’m not working on the brick and mortar business, I’m working at growing my online business. In both industries, you have to spend money if you want to grow.
If you don’t spend money on training for your online business, then you won’t learn the latest techniques to market on social media.
You also won’t learn how to build up your blog. Yes, you will spend time working on something for a long while before you really make a profit. But, this is part of running a business.
Customers Respond to Consistency
You need to be consistent on your dates and times of service. In the service industry, customers want to know that someone is coming to clean or repair their pool at a specific time. By specific, I mean within a certain time window of a couple of hours-not an exact time.
This is difficult to do with a service business such as ours where you don’t know what problem you could be confronted with at the pool.
Consistency applies in any business. The more consistent you are in all areas of service, the better you can perform and start to see some growth in your business.
In my online business, I post at least three times a week on my blog, I post daily helpful content on my social media pages. By this, I mean things that would help someone wanting to grow their business, not trying to sell them products.
Be Willing to Invest in Yourself
This means taking the time and expense to go to the national pool shows as well as local pool shows. Some industry professionals say they can’t be away from their business and they aren’t going to learn anything new.
If you aren’t willing to invest in your business, then one day you aren’t going to have a business. This applies for any type of business. Also, there may be times when you go to classes and shows and don’t come away with any significant.
That’s okay. One day you will come away with one thing that will really change your business. This happened for us last year at a trade show.
Make sure to check back later this week for Part 2-What I Learned From Growing a Small Business.
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