Yesterday saw the end of our first six months of trading. It’s at milestones like these that one starts to review what has gone before, and what is yet to come. I wanted to share with my network a few thoughts from the last six months:
- If you want to do something, you can do it – if you’re prepared to put the effort in. When our children tell us they would like to be an astronaut or a footballer or a scientist, we tell them that they can be anything that they want to be, if they put their mind to it. We’re just coming to realise that the same is true for ourselves! I’ve wanted my own brokerage for some time, but had a range of excuses why it wouldn’t work. As soon as we decided it was what we really wanted, we made it happen.
- As a family we’ve made a lot sacrifices, sometimes life has been tough and at times we’ve had to hold our nerve. There are still plenty of struggles to come, but overall it is more than worth it.
- I’ve worked harder than ever, and with longer hours, but being self-employed means I can be flexible, too. I made it to my children’s sports day for the first time this year, and was able to accompany my daughter on a school trip to the beach. These are unforgettable memories for all of us, and worth every sacrifice and struggle.
- Shy bairns get nowt – it’s a great northern saying but so true. Sometimes we can be too scared to ask for something or too scared to try. What’s the worst that could happen? Just do it – and you’ll possibly be pleasantly surprised!
- On the same note – there are plenty of opportunities, you just need to put yourself forward. Who knows what business you might pick up, or what opportunities might come your way?
- I’ve found that I have had support from the most unexpected places. I’ve found out about business opportunities from all sorts of connections, sometimes from the most unlikely source. Keep your options open, and in touch with your network.
- Hard work and preparation pays off- and one doesn’t work without the other. They say that “no plan survives contact with the enemy”, and while it’s true that we’ve had to remain flexible and open to opportunities, our plan has largely remained intact, it has certainly given us direction, focus, rationale and a benchmark. Without a plan, our hard work wouldn’t have been so fruitful: without hard work, our preparation would have come to nothing.
- You can have a lot of fun with not very much money. The early months (or years) after starting a business are often pretty lean, and this can be very daunting or off-putting for those considering making the leap to self-employment. With a bit of creativity, planning and preparation- and a lot of patience- living on a tight budget can be very rewarding. You have to keep remembering it’s part of a long-game!
- People like doing business with people. We have found that our network really seems to appreciate working with a company that is interested in them as individuals. Doing a deal isn’t the hard part; gaining someone’s trust is the challenge – and much more rewarding.
- Social media is an excellent way of networking and generating leads. Most companies don’t do it right – I’m not sure we do – but it generates a significant proportion of our business, and you can’t argue with that! We’ve been pleased to support a few small businesses and charities with their social media strategies, and are happy to volunteer our time in this way if it would be of value to you, too.
- My wife, Clare, is awesome. Despite being vehemently opposed to the idea of self-employment for years, as soon as we agreed that it was the best thing for our family, she threw herself into the business and supporting me. Who knew that she would turn out to be a social media & marketing wiz?! She has learned a lot and taught me a lot in the last 6 months, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be feeling half as rosy without her as my wingman.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the first six months running our business together. We are also extremely grateful to those who have supported us, be it with encouragement, business or recommendations. They all make a real difference to us as we establish the brokerage. Thank you!
If you would value a free insurance review, quotation or advice, we’d be more than happy to help. Call the office on 0191 438 79 77 or send us an email here. We look forward to finding out how we can help!