Starting a Business is Like Childbirth

This one is for all the women out there who are mothers and business owners.Starting a business is like childbirth

Do you remember when you had your first child?

Months of excited anticipation gave way to sheer terror when you realised the birth was only days away. Then you endured hours of intense pain as you tried desperately to help your new baby find their way into the world.

Then finally, after a monumental and exhausting journey, it was all over and you were handed your new baby, wrapped up tightly, eyes blinking, totally dependent on you.

For a moment you were lost in that moment, but then you gradually began to realise the midwife had handed you your baby, but forgot to give you the instruction manual.

In a way, that’s exactly the same as starting out in business for the first time.

Business gestation

Your business idea was conceived some time ago. Never forgotten about, it gradually began to grow and develop in your mind until you knew it was the right time to bring it forth into the world.

Your mind awash with things to do, you worked your way down that painful list of opening bank accounts, incorporation, insurance, PAYE, stationery and utilities. Not even to mention having to grovel to the bank manager for a loan to get you started.

Eventually, you emerged from your to-do list, exhausted but the proud owner of your brand new business.

There’s just one thing missing – customers.

You’ve been so wrapped up in setting everything up you didn’t have time to get a marketing strategy together. In fact, you’re not entirely sure what it should be.

No one handed you a manual to make your business a success (sound familiar?), so you’re on your own and it’s up to you to bring your business to the market.

Understanding your customers

Before you can decide on your marketing plan, you have to understand your customers because you have to know where to find them.

Local networking is always a great idea (especially if you are a B2B business), but that pool of potential customers will only last so long – even though you hope you will also get other referrals.

Cold calling and direct mail is always an option, but how many people do you know who actually buy from unsolicited approaches (I don’t)?

Getting your presence felt online is a great option as you can reach a much wider audience. But a strategy is vital if you want to ensure your customers can find you through the search engines and social media.

Being prepared

As with parenthood, in business you can only be prepared up to a point. Something is always going to happen that will throw you off kilter if you’re not careful.

The trick is to remain calm and focused on your end goal. It will be a rollercoaster ride, but it will also be rewarding.

Over to you

What are the experiences that you remember most about starting out in business?

Are there any things you would do differently?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter and mother of 2

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#1 David Masters on 01.04.12 at 11:26 am

It’s a bit like moving in with someone or getting married too!

I’m starting out right now – or starting again. I started my writing business four year’s ago. What I’m doing differently is exactly what you suggest – sitting down to make a marketing plan & understand my customers. Rather than hoping that jobs come up, I’m actively seeking them out.

#2 admin on 01.04.12 at 11:51 am

Hi David, and good luck!

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