My first business year: how has it gone?

Let’s start at the very beginning…just over a year ago, after a month of lockdown, I was fed up. I’d been in a job that I was uncomfortable with for too long. I wanted change. I wanted it badly and knew that time was probably the best I’d get to make it. After a period of thinking, brainstorming, and working out logistics, my little editing business venture was born! Fast forward to now—a year later. What a crazy whirlwind! 

I want to discuss my various feelings and milestones throughout my first year and my plans for the second year. Hopefully, others in a similar position will feel empathetic and understanding! I also wanted to bring hope to people who might be where I was a year ago.

As I’m writing, I’m reflecting on my feelings. A year ago, I was excited for what was to come. I loved the idea of being able to place my love for books and writing into a career where I could help people who felt the same way as me. I will admit that I didn’t realise all of the elements that go into running a business. I had never heard of a marketing funnel, didn’t know that I’d be so invested in branding, and was probably jumping in a little blind. I prefer not to think of this as a hindrance because I believe that things happen for a reason. Maybe you’re reading this so that you know to read up on all the elements that go into having a business.

In the first few months, I learned. I set out my social media roots but was very relaxed about it. Social media marketing wasn’t on my wavelength too much; I just knew that it helped to have a page. I offered rates to reflect my development and gained my first few clients. 

In the middle part of my year, my business was on the backburner. I made a move with my partner from the Lake District to the Scottish Highlands. We did this to help his parents run their seasonal cafe, alongside needing the financial change. I found myself so busy within that job that I couldn’t dedicate the time I needed to my business. I knew that while it wasn’t helpful for my business, it was what I needed to do. 

Once the cafe closed, the back half of the year has been all about branding, marketing, and figuring out how I wanted to show up online. I was confident with the service I provided and the communication I gave. I moved on to building a consistent presence across my media and website. I played with themes, as you’ll see if you’ll scroll down my Instagram, and found something that stuck. I realised the importance of engagement and the fact that I needed to search for my ideal client just as much as they needed to find me. I found a few people online who boosted my levels of engagement and knowledge on all things marketing. I’ve been able to personalise what I offer to people and inject a little more of my personality into my business. I think of this period as time spent building my solid foundations to stand on in the future.

That takes us to today. I can honestly say that I’m more excited about my business now than when I first started. I see endless possibilities with what I can do, and my self-belief is through the roof. My organisation and planning for social media are on point. I love being able to share and engage with a growing community. I have a few regular clients, and I’m very grateful for them. 

My aims for the next year are to grow my client base, complete different courses to complement my services, and keep throwing as much dedication, enthusiasm, and love into my work as I can.

The main things I’ve learned from my first year:

– Engage with people! There are so many excellent opportunities out there and people who feel exactly how you do. It’s been so helpful to share my journey with like-minded people. 

– Be visible. If you don’t put yourself out there—and I mean exactly as you are, it can be harder to achieve your potential. I probably spent a little too much time focusing on things like my website when I should have been building a community on Instagram and Twitter.

– Be patient and kind with yourself. It’s hard when you want to get going ASAP, but there is a definite element of patience needed when you first start. Take the time to do things properly so that the payoff will be great. I may have expected too much of myself too soon, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I know that being kind to myself is the key to remaining consistently happy with my efforts. It’s so easy to pour every hour you have into your business, but we all need breaks. I try to switch off after my evening meal.

I’d love to learn about your experiences. If you’ve just started thinking about running a business, or you’re within your first year, how’s it going? How’re you feeling? What are your biggest tips? Sharing’s caring, after all. 🙂

Published by Amy Ollerton

Hi! I'm Amy—a professional copy editor and proofreader living in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. I provide friendly, personalised services that boost writing while retaining the author's unique style and voice. I write a little myself, shown through my blog. Alongside my work, I read books, enjoy baking, and explore the Highlands with my partner and my dog, Lula. If you've ever any editing queries, feel free to get in touch!

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