How about some important business startup lessons from a good friend of mine who recently started her own coaching business?
Hi, my name’s Claire Gallear and I’m a qualified Personal Performance Coach. I’ve been coaching since August 2010 and I started a business doing full time coaching in September 2012.
I thought it would just be a matter of time before I would have enough clients through referrals, doing a bit of handing out of flyers and a tiny bit of networking….. ahh! It’s not quite the stampede I thought it would be.
This marketing thing, OMG! I had no idea there was so much to it! So much to learn and set up! And the more you learn the more you realise there is even more you can do!
However, I have been very grateful for a charity funded project called Enterprise as a Life. I have gone on their free seminars and learned about SEO, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Time Management (run by Karl), Social Media, Confidence and Motivation and Selling in a Recession. Plus they do “Meet and Mingle”s which are also free. These are networking events in the early evening with a choice of about 3 mini workshops or talks on similar topics to the seminars.
Over the last five months I’ve met some really nice people, some of whom are becoming mutually supportive friends outside of the project, as we are all in the same boat. Struggling to start and grow our businesses.
That’s another thing: the loneliness, which saps the motivation. If you work for yourself like I do, sometimes you might not talk to anyone all day if you don’t have a client that day. I miss the camaraderie of colleagues.
I used to work with in a team when I was employed in a “normal” job. You could have a bit of a bitch or a moan if someone had annoyed you and laugh it off a lot more easily. Now things tend to go round and round your head more.
So, I decided “Claire! You need to get out more!” I began looking for free networking groups! (You’re getting to know me now; I like free stuff).
This has as least three benefits:
- You get out and talk to people who are going through the same things as you and are not your clients so you don’t have to be on your best behaviour,
- You may get leads to future clients,
- Sometimes they have speakers who you can learn a lot from to help with your business growth.
Some of the ones I’ve found are: Creative Coffee, Business Biscotti, Madhatters (women’s one), the Meet and Mingles mentioned earlier, Friendly Fridays, Leicester Business Event and Entrepreneur’s Circle (free first time).
Now, after learning all the stuff on those seminars, I’m going to sit down and give myself a coaching session. The aim (goal) will be, to implement all of it into working solutions to building my client base. See you at the free networking events!
Claire is a qualified personal performance coach.
If you have any important business startup lessons we’d love to hear about them. Please write them in the comments section below.