Three Lessons Learned: First Year Small Business

To put this blog into perspective, let me explain our philosophy at Motus Experiential. MotusExp is redefining the traditional agency model by eliminating overhead while maintaining a quality product at the best ROI. We want to see your brand in motion! Our team has years of experience working with industry leaders who share the same passions as MotusExp. Depending on your needs we convene the best people to achieve your goals.

It has been one year since I announced that Motus Experiential was open for business. The days have been long, but the year has been short! I want to share some of the valuable lessons I have learned, in case you want to venture out on your own or are currently wading through your first year.  The path has not always been straight, I have made a few mistakes, but I learned from them all and in general I am very pleased with the results.  Let’s dive into my top three first year lessons.

#1 Networking

As a service provider, I need to stay visible in the community as B2B clients are my target audience. In the first five months from launch, I spent my time on tour meeting with anyone that would say yes. I wanted to accomplish the following three goals; Using my network to make connections for their businesses, educating businesses about MotusExp and asking for additional connections. Not every meeting yielded business, but it did keep MotusExp top of mind for future opportunities. Other suggestions for leads are to attend community events, social outings and small business groups. Networking has proven to be my best business development tool and has added great service provided contacts.

#2 Outsource Your Weakness

When you are a small business, you feel the need to save money by taking on every single business task. The truth is, in the long run it’s cheaper to hire a professional or to buy software that can more efficiently accomplish these tasks. I am not talking about one offs, but the tasks that keep coming up and consuming all of your time. Identify your weaknesses and understand the time it takes for you to tackle that issue will be 10X longer than just working with a professional who specializes in whatever has you bogged down. A great example of this for me was design. I had a client that needed a simple design, I thought I could buy Photoshop, watch a few videos and boom, I am a designer.  What took me three hours to accomplish, with not so good results, took my contract designer ten minutes. Outsourcing opens me up to focus on my clients and do more business development. Other business tools such as QuickBooks, Amazon Business and Grasshopper have proven to streamline my day to day tasks.

#3 It’s All About the People

This last lesson considers the first two lessons mentioned above. As you are networking and outsourcing you are going to learn which people to trust and who best helps you define your brand. For my business it started at home. I needed my family to embrace what we were going to venture into together. Once I had my family's support, I then tapped into my network of trusted colleagues and contractors that I have relied on in the past to assist on projects and tasks. In the end, they represent my brand and I have to trust they are doing business in my and my company’s best interest. Lastly, it’s the clients I get to represent. The difference between owning a business and being in business, is business. So far, I have been blessed to work with great brands and clients that have confidence in my vision and believe in what MotusExp can accomplish.

All of the information I just mentioned is not groundbreaking, but a simple reminder to many established businesses to take a step back and look at your business through the eyes of a newbie. Are you spending time in the community meeting new people and growing your business? Have you identified your weaknesses and addressed them through a hire or contractor? Do you have the right people in the right positions? Do you trust your inner circle? Owning your own business can be daunting, but great support is available, you just have to look for it, ask for it and surround yourself with the right people.  Please comment on this blog with additional lessons you have learned so more businesses can benefit from all of your valuable experiences.