‘Enterprisingly Me’ is a monthly feature where you can follow my entrepreneurial adventures. Names have been changed to protect the innocent but everything you read really happened.
I hope my story inspires you to take your first steps, or if you already have, then it lets you know you’re not on your own. Starting and running a successful business isn’t about being perfect. It’s about loving what you’re doing, learning from your mistakes and keeping the faith!
Things are really hotting up on the business front with new customers and new opportunities flying through the door – well not literally obviously.
We have now viewed our new office suite and are all excited about having our own entrance and being able to spread out in a much bigger space. Agreeing to terms for the new premises has been quite straightforward and giving notice on our existing office space will coincide nicely with moving into our new space – it really helps that the new space is owned by the same landlord as the office we currently occupy.
The landlord has agreed to some changes and decoration of our new office suite – suite sounds much posher than just offices don’t you think? We’re all excited about the upcoming move and have commissioned a new reception desk which will be specially made to suit our new reception area.
It is being made locally by one of the small business owners who came along on one of our courses. We have found lots of advantages in using small local suppliers including:
- Reputation is everything for them particularly when their business is relatively new which should mean we receive the very best service
- We get one to one advice and support helping us to choose the correct layout and materials
- In this case,
- His workshop is close to our business which means he is near at hand if anything should go wrong
- His overheads are relatively low so we have agreed a very cost effective price
- We are getting something bespoke to us which will be fit for purpose and help us to present our business in the best possible way
- We can continue to help him grow his business by providing feedback on our experience of buying from him
- This particular supplier is a bit of a cutie… I keep saying I need to get out more!
You remember I mentioned a few problems I was having with my mentor – well I decided to have a word with my contact at the agency. I’ve been putting it off as she’s a lovely girl, but I just don’t feel like I’m getting what I need from our mentoring relationship.I requested a face-to-face meeting with both the agency and my mentor to discuss progress and to provide some feedback on my experiences so far. They have agreed to organise a meeting for next week and I have started to prepare for what could be a difficult meeting. I really wouldn’t bother but I feel that as the business grows I need someone to help me face challenges I have no real experience of. Even being responsible for staff is proving a bit of a nightmare as although we are still operating as a very small team it’s looking like I might need to recruit someone else to support the business growth opportunities that are coming our way.
My meeting is looming and I’m trying to find the best way of explaining how I’m feeling. What do I say? I realise I have some choices:
- I tell it how it is in that I am not really interested in her private life and I have enough problems of my own thank you very much – probably not the best way to make friends and influence people, however I’m not really looking for a friend am I? What I think I need is a mentor…
- I tell them I’ve decided that I don’t need a mentor at the moment – not true but easier than having to be completely truthful about the situation
- I have an open and frank discussion with them both being clear about what I need and expect from this mentoring relationship and checking how realistic I’m being. This should help us all decide whether mentoring is going to work for me and whether this is the right mentor, as I appreciate that like any relationship it may not work for everyone.
All I do know is that I feel very alone and would appreciate an external perspective on both me and my business as I continue to take on more and more responsibility in areas of business that are all new to me.
I pride myself with having common sense but is that all I need to grow my business?
To try and relax a little and enjoy the fact that things are going really well, we’ve organised a get together for the staff – we’ve all been so busy that I’d forgotten how important it is to spend quality time with them as well as working time.
As the business grows there are so many things I need to think about. I once worked with someone who blocked time out in her diary and titled it ‘Thinking Time’ and although we laughed at the thought of someone having enough spare time to allocate to ‘Thinking Time’ I’m beginning to see where they were coming from. I don’t feel at the moment that I have time to do anything except work and the only real thinking time I have is either in the shower or in bed. Things I’m thinking about include:
- Am I trying to grow too quickly and if so how do I slow it down?
- How to recruit the right staff to help us grow
- How to finance that growth in the right way
- How to make time for other things apart from work
- Whether my speculate to accumulate policy is working
- How this is all affecting my family and my own wellbeing…
Scary stuff when you think about it – maybe I should add trying not to over think everything. What do you think?