By guest author Laura Jonson, creative writer and successful owner of essay writing service AssignmentMasters.
There are a lot of misconceptions around small business success. I tell my story to people and they look at me as if I am wacky for suffering the way I have.
People seem to think I should have found it easier. They seem to assume that the hardships and difficulties I have faced are due to my lack of business skill or perhaps my incompetence, but the truth is far different. My business success has come through the fact that I have persevered, learning from every failure and every success I have ever had.
Here’s a look at a few of the key failures I faced on my path to finding my very own bustling small business and what I learned along the way.
After college, I wanted to be a journalist, but after three weeks of work experience, I discovered it was not what I had hoped. I thought I would be more like Clark Kent from Superman, but I was more like Saruman from Lord of the Rings. In other words, I had no freedom to write what I wanted; I was simply directed as to what I should write and what I should support.
My small business lesson learned: True success, to me, is the freedom to do and write what and how I wish.
My next idea was more in line with publishing. I visited local restaurants and offered to produce their takeout menus for free if they allowed me to post four ads on the back of their menus. This was back in the day when people used to take paper menus home and make orders from there. I offered the menus for free, and I would have companies pay me to post their ads on the back of their menus. I signed up seven restaurants, hired a cheap college designer, and was all set to sell my advertising space. The trouble was that nobody took me seriously. I couldn’t make a single sale because in their eyes I had no credibility. I was offering a real bargain as well as long-lasting advertising to the benefit of all involved, and yet I was shown the door numerous times.
My small business lesson learned: Credibility is a necessary trait for business owners.
All geared up from my selling experiences, I figured I needed to learn more, so I joined up with a young man who painted concrete garden ornaments. He would buy them for £3.5 and £7, paint them, seal them, and then sell them on the Internet for £64 to £143. He made sales, but it was over the Internet, and in those days, there were few people buying on the Internet. So, I offered to take his statues around to the garden centers and offer them on a sale-or-return basis. The people in the garden centers were able to stock up for free and only pay if they sold any. I visited many garden centers and shops, but only two of them took me up on my offer. It turns out that even if you give things away for free, they still need to trust you enough to agree.
My small business lesson learned: Trust is one of the biggest selling points a merchant can offer.
I set up a writing service, but it was a failure. I was so eager to pull the work away from freelancers that I undercharged and found myself writing almost day and night just to pay the bills.
My small business lesson learned: Know your worth.
I tried again after a few months, but this time I charged a more reasonable price. I started to gain more clients to the point where I was able to hire Ricky and Marie, who both told me they had degrees. After their sixth or seventh rejection by my clients, I discovered that Ricky and Marie hadn’t even been to college.
My small business lesson learned: Do your hiring homework.
My first genuine and sustained success came when I started AssignmentMasters. I took everything I learned from my previous experiences and hired the best. I turned down work when we couldn’t fit it in. We charged reasonable prices, and we concentrated on quality and trust. Over time I was able to hire more people, and soon I brought my first ex-professor on board, who also became one of my staff mentors as he knew all the inside tricks and tips for students passing both exams and their written work.
My small business lesson learned: Never give up.
Why did I decide to start my own online business?
It wasn’t so I could sleep in a moldy wooden apartment with a leaky roof, or so that I could lose my boyfriend because I was working too much. It wasn’t to have people look down at me because I wasn’t making money, and it wasn’t because I wanted to experience heart-crushing failure over and over again. I got through all of the horrible and nasty stuff and I kept going, and I did it because I wanted the freedom to work as I wished. Even during the early days when I was sniffling almost constantly because of the black mold in my apartment, I never wanted to return to a regular job because for me that would have been worse.
Now I am the owner of a successful writing business … and even my horses live in better conditions than I did when I was working my way up. If my business burned down tomorrow, I would build it up again, brick by brick.
About the Author:
Laura Jonson is a creative writer and successful owner of essay writing service https://www.assignmentmasters.co.uk/. Now, she is thinking about launching her own blog dedicated to lifestyle, motivation and goal settings.