If I told you that DS&P was always in my plans, I would be lying. The concept came to me while I was juggling 2 other jobs, one of them was a mom-and-pop commercial printing business, that helped other small businesses. It was here that I realized that many of the customers we serviced were also in need of website development, a service that we didn't offer.
Having always been creatively inclined, I decided to jump on the opportunity and devote all my free time to get my business up and running. One contract led to another and slowly, but surely, I started growing my business. After a few years of developing websites, clients started reaching out asking if I could also help them establish an online presence as well. I took the opportunity to expand my services and adapted right alongside my company.
Because I didn’t always set out to have a full-fledged Digital Marketing Agency, I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. But, I’m a firm believer that mistakes not only give you an opportunity to learn something new, but they also give you the power to turn yourself into something better than you were before.
Here are 5 lessons I learned while building my business.
Your Business Is A Roller-Coaster, Don’t Sweat It.
You’ll have your good days and your bad days. That’s life. Don’t let it get to you. Don’t let having a crummy day at work discourage you, or derail your business goals. As frustrating as it may be at times, try not to let it affect your personal life or business relationships either. If you get too swept up on the highs and lows of your business, it will lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle and unhappy life as well.
Focus On You, Not Them.
When you’re starting a business, it’s not productive nor conducive to compare your business to others. Everyone is on their own journey. If you’re focused on how another company is growing, or landing a client, you’re not focusing on yours. Often people just see the success of others, but we don’t stop to think about the struggle and sacrifice it took to get them there.
If there’s one thing Drake is right about, is that we all started from the bottom, now we’re here. I remember when I first started DS&P from my bedroom, and moved on to renting my first commercial space, (which was really just a desk inside a car dealership.) I would’ve never imagined that now, in 2019, we would have offices throughout the U.S. My point is to keep your head down. Focus on your success, and no one else’s.
Give Yourself A Safety-Net
It’s true that with failure comes an opportunity to begin again, but when you own your own business, you don’t want that failure to be so big, you can’t recover from it. During the last 11 years of business, my company has seen its share of growth spurts. While, it sounds like a good thing, the sudden influx of clients, and not enough staff to cover the projects, prevented us from giving our best to our clients. I’ve learned from my mistakes and have tried as much as possible to forecast this kind of issue, to be prepared, and ensure it won’t happen again. My advice would be to always have a Plan B, C, and D, so that when problems do arise, you’ll have a back-up plan.
Make Time For Face To Face
Establishing one-on-one connections with people is an important part of your business. The relationships you build with clients is the lifeblood to your success. face-to-face time is something I actively pursue with my clients. Whether that means hopping on a plane to see them in another state, or skyping in on a call, it’s important to me that my clients know that I will carve out time out of my day to invest in our mutual relationship.
There’s No Such Thing As A 9-5
When you own your own business, late nights, early mornings, and weekends are required. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a work-life balance, but hard work always pays off, and that includes putting in the extra effort and the extra hours your business needs to succeed. Your willingness to go above and beyond will pay off in the end and you’ll get to reap great benefits from your efforts.