Building a business from the ground up

Building a business from the ground up often feels like you’re single-handedly keeping the earth revolving.

It’s not just the endless hours and closet full of proverbial hats you wear as you act as planner, marketer, accountant, admin lackey etc, it's the keeping up with shifting trends, dealing with fear and finding ways to let off a little steam so you can enjoy life and the fruits of all your hard work.

You’re not alone.

Keeping up with progress

Nearly every industry has experienced rapid, drastic changes over the last 20 years as technology and society grow and morph. For business owners, navigating these shifts and staying up-to-date on trends can seem overwhelming.

Take social media for example. Its growth and rapid rate of change makes it a difficult task to keep with how to get the most out of your digital presence. But there are a few ways you can keep yourself in the's a few.

  1. Create a stream on Twitter or in your Hootsuite account with popular hashtags

  2. Make a list of influencers in the industry

  3. Set up Google Alerts on terms and influencers

  4. See what's trending on Instagram's Explore tab

  5. Join Groups on LinkedIn

  6. Subscribe to social media blogs

  7. Attend a conference, virtually or in-person

  8. Listen to podcasts

Set up your social media tools to allow you to keep up with key trends

Learning to let go

Business owners are deeply attached to their businesses. And why wouldn't you be, it’s your brainchild—your baby—and trusting anyone to love it and nurture it as much as you do seems impossible.

However, at some point you’ll end up needing some help with your tasks. In order to be successful as a business owner, you need to learn how to delegate. It’s impossible to do everything — and do it well — as your business expands. Here are 4 steps that can help you learn how to delegate effectively:

  1. Identify mundane tasks anyone can do

  2. Delegate according to team strengths or outsource to a business support agency

  3. Step back and let your team work

  4. Focus on other parts of your business

Remember, your time is valuable and you should use it where you can do the most good. When you learn how to delegate effectively, you free up more time for you and that means you can channel your passion and drive into growing your business.

Staying optimistic

You’re working more than you’re sleeping, testing different business tactics and getting frustrated when sales growth is slow and your client list is lacking. Staying optimistic when you’re facing the constant letdowns associated with building a business isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

There are inevitable ups and downs with starting and growing your small business. Keeping a positive attitude will serve you well in the long run. Stay goal oriented. Set goals and work toward them. Don’t let the setbacks overtake you. Reset, regroup and push through it.

The fear of rejection

Whether your first product launch got less than stellar reviews or you experience a sense of panic every time you think about reaching out to others for help or pitches, fear of rejection is very, very common.

Consider these seven rules for coping with rejection in your business:

  1. Know your sales ratio. Rejection is inevitable when you're selling, but you may not get as discouraged if you know how much to expect. The number will vary depending on what you're selling; bigger ticket items typically have a higher sales ratio. There's no science to figuring out this number, but talking to others in your business about their experiences and paying attention to your own success rate will help you estimate how many rejections to expect.

  2. Set long-term goals. A personal goal also can help you reframe your thinking to cope better with sales rejections. Goals that go beyond your business objectives help you stay focused and persevere through those challenges. Perhaps you want to pay for your children's college education or donate money to a charity.

  3. Don't take it personally. Many small business owners take rejection personally, they figure there's no one to blame but themselves. Avoid the self blame, try reframing it into a learning opportunity. "Ok, so it didn't work this time, what can I do differently next time?"

  4. Get into a routine. Developing a routine is another way to stay motivated.

  5. Build relationships. Don't reject prospects after they reject you. If you've been rejected, it doesn't necessarily mean this person will never be your client. Keep the conversation going.

  6. Talk to other small business owners. It's easy to feel as if you're the only small-business owner facing so much rejection. That's why it's critical to reach out to others so you know you're not alone.

  7. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Make sure to keep track of your daily achievements. Writes down the top three or four things you did on a particular day and make sure you focus on the positive.

“Me time"

You might act like a machine as you toil away tirelessly, but you’re still human. Sometimes, a break is absolutely essential.

Balancing life and business is something that has always been challenging. Small business owners don’t usually have days off and we work odd hours. So, making time for yourself and your social life is not always easy. You need to be diligent with scheduling "me time", get it into your routine and give yourself a chance to enjoy your success.

Remember to relax

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