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8 Things I’ve learned from running my own business.

This month marks the 8 year anniversary of Studio Campbell! I'm not really sure where that time has gone but it has. I'm so proud of everything I've achieved over the last eight years but it's also taught me a lot of things too...


1.        Communication is key!

When running a business, clear communication is crucial for success. Setting boundaries and putting systems in place whether it's with customers, businesses you’re collaborating with or suppliers, being able to convey your ideas, expectations, and goals is essential.

Your clients will only respect you as much as you respect yourself.

In the beginning, I was a little timid about running my business. I was scared to raise my prices, to hold my clients accountable if they violated our written contract, and to essentially respect myself as a business owner. 

Now, I realise that I was doing a disservice to myself and my clients by not creating a clear process and set-in-stone policies. If the terms are set out from the beginning, then your clients know what they can expect from you, and you don’t end up working endlessly on revisions.

Don’t waiver on the things that are important to you.

 

2.        Adaptability

Running a business requires constant adaptation to changing circumstances. Be ready to pivot your strategies, products, or services based on market trends, customer feedback, or unforeseen challenges. When Covid hit, I had to pivot quickly to adapt my business from wedding stationery to branding design. It was the best decision I ever made, and I’ve not looked back but at the time it was pretty scary not knowing if that decision would be the end of my business. You can never plan for unexpected circumstances that life throws at you, some things are out of our control but as business owners we have the power of flexibility to make things work around these obstacles, it just takes a little more willpower and organisation.

 

3.        Work-Life Balance is Essential

Balancing the demands of your business and personal life is crucial for long-term well-being. Avoid burnout by setting boundaries, prioritising self-care, and making time for family, friends, and personal interests. I’ve not been great at this over recent years but I’m getting better at it.

The 9-5 mindset can be damaging and limiting to a creative business.

Creative inspiration doesn’t typically come during a specific time each day. To succeed, you sometimes need to let the 9-5 mentality go and allow yourself to work when you feel most inspired. Yes, this can lead to irregular working hours, but I also think it leads to better, less “forced” work. Generally, I aim to stick to the same working hours each day, but if I’m just not feeling inspired or motivated, I know that I need to take a break, go for a walk and revisit it later. 

Sometimes ideas come to me at the most random times so I always keep a notepad beside my bed or create a note on my phone to capture an idea.

  

4.        Learning from Mistakes is Invaluable

We’re all human and striving for perfection can be exhausting. It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s how we grow as a business but what’s important is making sure we learn from our mistakes, resolve the situation promptly and factor in new processes to make sure we can do better next time.

By now, I’ve worked with over a hundred clients. Most of them were wonderful relationships, some of which even turned into friendships, but of course, there have also been some clients who were less-than-kind or disrespectful. I try to understand their perspective, let them know that I hear them, and then decide on a plan of action to either solve the problem or let them down gently and professionally.

Satisfied customers not only come back but also often become advocates for your business.

 

5.        Celebrate your successes!

It’s so important to celebrate the wins in your business, no matter how small. Every business owner is different, with different goals and expectations. What matters to you, might not be significant to another but it’s these little wins that keep us striving for more, keep us motivated and make us better business owners.

When you don’t celebrate your successes, then they tend to just pass you by. You create new goals to replace the old ones and the cycle continues. I’ve found that it’s important to stop every once in a while and reflect on the moments and achievements that have been important. Write down your goals and reward yourself when you reach them. Make it memorable. If you don’t celebrate your successes, then you have a higher chance of burning out or being left with the question “Why am I doing all of this?”

 

6.        Things can get lonely.

It can be lonely running your own business, especially if you’re a sole trader. As a creative, I sometimes miss the studio environment to bounce ideas off colleagues or discuss concepts. Over the past year, I’ve taken on bigger projects and done more collaborative work which has been really nice to build new connections, expand my knowledge and be challenged creatively. It’s so important to get out and network with other business owners too. Building a strong professional network can open doors to opportunities, partnerships, and valuable insights. Attend industry events, connect with other entrepreneurs, and leverage relationships to support the growth of your business.

 

7.        Investing in your business is crucial.

Over the past six months, I’ve focused on investing back into the business. It’s so important for growth and putting better systems in place. I think a lot of people carry the idea that if your business isn’t making much financially, then it’s not worth investing in – SO NOT TRUE. If you want your business to grow, then it’s important to spend a little money on things that will help you elevate your brand.

Invest in a professional graphic designer to build you a strategic brand identity, learn a new skill, buy some new kit to help your business run smoother, have a VA handle your social media so that you have more time to do the things you enjoy most. Work with a web designer to build you a kick-ass website that gives you the best online presence. Join us a course that helps expand your service offering. The possibilities are endless.

 

8.        Continuous Learning is a Lifelong Journey

The business landscape is constantly evolving. It’s important to stay informed about industry trends, new technologies, and changes in the market. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning to keep your skills and knowledge relevant.

After running a business for eight years, I tend to do similar things each day to keep a routine around my little family. It’s important to build creative goals into my life that inspire me to be a better designer, a better mother and a happier person.

 

 Thanks for taking the time to read my latest blog post. To celebrate my 8th year anniversary, keep an eye out for special features on my social channels.

To join the Studio Campbell family and be a part of my next chapter, you can contact me here

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