Not getting results? Feel like you’re doing everything right, but it’s just not coming together? What you need is an attitude readjustment.
When setting up your own business it can be hard to stay optimistic. Constantly comparing yourself to how well other companies are doing can be demoralising, leading to thoughts that you’re never going to get there yourself. Depressing, ain’t it? The thing is, just because it’s easy to think like that, doesn’t mean it’s right. If you’ve got a bit of a negative attitude there are two ways to change it:
- Change the way you think (thoughts)
- Change the things you do (behaviour)
Changing your behaviour is a lot easier for most people than changing your thoughts, which is why we do it so readily. Didn’t break even in the first quarter? DON’T change your pricing. Not got enough Facebook likes? DON’T spend a fortune on boosting posts. Stop and take stock of the situation.
If you’ve just kicked off your business, you’re not going to be getting the same results as companies that have been established for years, or even months longer than you. It’s important to have a realistic understanding of how long things take and what milestones actually show that you’re doing pretty well, actually.
Look at the history of your competitors
You can’t compare chalk and cheese, so if you’re going to make a comparison, start with someone in your own industry coming from similar roots. Be realistic too, comparing your current efforts to those of Richard Branson isn’t going to give you a real idea of how you’re doing. You can, however, do some digging into a company you admire. What were they like 6 months into trading? It probably paints a different picture than the one you see today.
Define your milestones
Hopefully the competitor comparison has given you a reality check. Once you’ve realised that you’re measure of success has been skewed, you can start thinking about how to measure your own success. Why did you choose 500 subscribers? Because that number sounded good? Huh. A lot of these things have a slow start and pick up momentum as time goes on. Rather than breaking your ‘500’ milestone into 5 months at 100 subscribers, maybe you only expect 30 in the first month, 55 in the second etc.
You can also work according to personal milestones. Your first review from a customer you don’t know in real life? Amazing. Earned enough to pay the rent this month? Nice. Your gran keeps telling everyone she meets that you’re an entrepreneur? Champion.
Quality, not quantity
Rather than looking at the quantity of goods sold, look at the quality of the sales. Are your customers buying from you more than once? If you’ve managed to foster some repeat customers then it shows that once people know about you, they fall in love. A low return rate is another way to measure happiness with a purchase. Got a strong ‘read’ rate for your mail, or high engagement? All sure fire signs that you’re on the right track and just need to be a bit more patient.
You’ve done literally anything
Only sold 2 units of stock, or gained 10 subscribers? Sold no products whatsoever but have clients on your mailing list? That’ more than you had before you started. Any progress is still progress, so don’t get disheartened if it takes time. We all work at our own pace!
Take some time to re-evaluate your own definition of ‘success’ and you’ll realise that you’ve been hard on yourself. If you’re still having doubts, our mentors can give you an honest account of where they think you’re at, or push you towards reaching your next goal. Just give us a call on 01772 895950 or pop into the Media Factory.