First thing’s first, let me say that business is HARD! Yes there are so many people yelling about the entrepreneur life, but it’s NO easy task.
I think we first need to know and understand that. It also takes a lot of money to make money. Okay, now that’s out the way. I want to share a little about preparing for growth.
A while back on the blog I talked about preparation as the evidence of faith. It’s so important that when you ask God for things in regard to your life, business, love life, whatever it is, that you begin to take the steps to actually prepare for the blessing you’re seeking. Remember, faith without works is D-E-A-D. So, sometimes we want to just pray and magically have things fall into our lap, but that ain’t the way this works. You’re praying for a new car? Start looking up cars on the internet. Get an idea of what you want and what it may cost. You’re praying for your new business? Take a course or class that will help you get started in the right direction.
There are many of us that want to start successful businesses and movements, but we are not taking the necessary steps to prepare for that thing to manifest. In just the third month of the year, I realized that there were a few systems I wanted to get into place to really help my business run a bit smoother. It’s so hard at times as a creative to realize that you also just need some stiff business practices as well. Sure writing blog posts and creating graphics is the fun stuff, but it’s the not so fun stuff that is actually what will propel you from side hustler to full-time hustler if that is the goal for you. It’s definitely the goal for me, so I have been spending a little more time, trying to hone in on my business practices.
So … what has that meant for me? Well, I will share in hopes that it could also help you get to thinking in regard to your business as well!
One of the first things that I realized last year was that I needed to create an LLC. I was doing enough freelance work and selling enough merch that I didn’t want to have to keep paying for it through my personal finances. With a full-time job as well, making that additional untaxed income was hitting me hard. So I hooked up with an accountant who got me all set up as an official business, WriteLaughDream, LLC and I opened a business bank account and purchased a mailbox for my business.
I also realized that with all that I am working on that I could no longer be responsible for every part of my business. So just like hiring an accountant so that I’m not spending time on taxes, I also had to begin organizing parts of my business in a way that could accommodate help. I had to get certain processes in order so I could have my staffer help with formatting blog posts, scheduling social media, etc. Even as a personal brand, you will have to learn how to work with others. I am also planning to outsource a little more graphic design for workbooks and such in the future. I need more time to do what I want to do like plan for the brand and most importantly, WRITE!
I know we hear this fancy word all the time, but it’s simpler than it looks. It’s just about making things self-sufficient without you having to be there to make it work. I do a lot of bio writing and I do one-on-one mentoring sessions with clients. I needed a way that I could send them questionnaires and set up meetings without me physically having to email them or send calendar invites. In came Satori App. It’s an awesome system where clients can sign agreements, make payments, schedule their session and complete questionnaires. It’s completely self-contained and again, frees up more time for me.
Each year, I learn something new that I should be doing in regard to my finances. Last year, I realized I needed to set up my LLC. This year, I realize that I need to do better monthly accounting of what’s coming in and what’s going out. By setting up a monthly review of my finances I will be a lot more prepared for tax time come the New Year. I am also looking into two services that may help me do that more efficiently. Those are Xero and Freshbooks. I’ll make a follow up post to let you know how that goes.
[Honing In on Revenue Streams]
There is so much information out there about so many things that you can do and make money from. But I had to focus on what it is that Ashley Coleman does with WriteLaughDream and what she wants. So for me, I make money these ways:
1. Selling items from my WLD Store.
2. Writing Books
3. Mentoring Sessions
4. Freelance Bio, Copy, and Article Writing
5. Info Products – Courses and E-books for Writers
6. In-Person Events – Dear Love Brunch, The Writer’s Muse Workshop
[Switching Email Software]
I am currently in the process of trying to switch from Mailchimp to Convertkit. I am not at all excited about it. LOL. I’d much rather pay someone to do it for me, but nonetheless, I realize that for where I am going, I definitely would prefer a more subscriber based system than a list based system. I still think there are some things that Mailchimp makes a little easier. SO I’m trying to figure it all out. But in regard to growth, I just feel that Convertkit will be the better choice.
It can be really hard to want to commit to these practices early on in your business. But as I walk in faith, as I believe every day what I am praying for, I want to be ready when it comes, not scrambling to figure it all out. I want to already know how to account for my millions. LOL. But nonetheless, these are important steps that a lot of us miss.
Again, sometimes I think, how will I manage? Because EVERYTHING COSTS! But I know that if I am trusting that my business will continue to actually bring in dollars, then eventually, everything will indeed pay for itself.
Business and entrepreneurship is not for the faint at heart. There is hard work and lots of risk involved. But I am not sure I’ve wanted much in my life more than I want the freedom to do what I love all day every day. And so I’ll give it a whirl. I’ll purchase the subscriptions and put out the money, because I believe in me. And if there is anything or anyone I would bet on, it’s me.
How do you plan to prepare for the growth you’re hoping to see in your own pursuits? Tell me about it in the comments below!