Lessons Learned as I Start My Fourth Year…

This month marks my third-year anniversary being in business as a virtual assistant. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned about running a small business. There are many things I did right and SO many things I did wrong. I’ll start this week off with my first lesson learned:

Mistake #1 – Not having a plan or setting goals

The first six months after opening my business, I was working 7 days a week and found myself at the computer at 3 a.m. more times than I could count. I was trying to find clients, figure out how to market, optimize my website, setting up my blog, it seemed as though I didn’t have enough hours in the day. On top of that, I was not making any money. My problem was that I didn’t have a business plan, marketing plan, or any clear goals.

Think about your goals. Do you have set marketing, business, or financial goals? Do you have a plan as to how you will reach your goals? The trick is that I had to set clearly defined goals or it did not work. Just saying “I want to make more money” doesn’t cut it because it’s relative; if I made $10 more this month than I did last month, then I will have achieved my goal but did I really accomplish anything? I now have clear goals but had to re-structure my business in order to reach those goals.

Lesson Learned: write out clearly defined goals in the areas of finances, marketing, personal, and what you want your business to look like. To start out, I challenge you to set one big goal for the next 90 days, write down the steps to complete it, and note your achievements along the way.

If you need help creating a business plan, sign up for Amy Grossman’s One-Page Business Plan workgroup.

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