No Marketeers were hurt in the making of this business
I have been considering how much I have learnt in the past six months since launching Never Forget Marketing. Starting a new business is challenging for anyone at any time, but this has been a unique year to say the least!
So, here's my top five insights about launching a new business in 2020...
People are kind
Since I began considering striking out on my own, I have received nothing but kindness from people. Help has been offered from so many quarters - from former colleagues to new connections. My friends and family have been nothing but supportive. Whenever things get tough, I try to keep this in mind.
You don't know what you don't know
As much as I would like to curse the heavens, the truth is nobody can predict the future. COVID-19 has not only affected my business but also that of my clients, and it will have an impact now and in the years to come. But I take comfort in the fact that we are all in the same storm (even if we're not all in the same boat!)
Networking is vital
I have never considered myself good at networking. I don't enjoy being in unknown surroundings and I struggle in big crowds. But a lot of people suggested it would be good when starting a new business and I have to say, they are not wrong! I have been extremely fortunate to find two very useful networks right on my doorstep - the Colchester Women in Business Network and the Colchester POP Connect network. Both have been instrumental in helping me reach new audiences, yet more than that they have given me access to supportive networks of people who are facing the same challenges I am.
You don't have to pivot
As COVID-19 began to cause more and more problems in the UK, I had to seriously consider if I needed to 'pivot' in my business. Should I try to offer new services? Should I focus on reaching a market I have never worked with before? When the chips are down, paying the bills can become a priority. Yet I made a conscious choice not to pivot. What I do is niche and I am very good at certain things. Being a Jack-of-all-Trades simply wouldn't work for me. Instead, I have worked on building my network of associated professionals like web developers and PR professionals, so I can signpost to them if a client needs something I don't cover.
You need to offer added value
Money is tight and more than ever, professionals like me need to offer added value. A recent client said I offer a sense of 'comfort'. This is the added value I hope to offer my clients - I won't just do the work to a high standard, I will make it seem as though the results appear 'as if by magic', which is a comment from another recent client. I believe added value is about the personal touch in communications, offering excellent customer service and being honest and finding solutions when things go wrong.
2020 has been a whirlwind, there is no denying it. I may have possibly picked the worst year ever to start a new business (although 2008 may have been a contender!)
Yet start I have, so I am determined to keep going and enjoy all the opportunities for learning that come my way as we enter the second half of the year. After all, no marketeers were hurt in the making of this business - so far!
Thank you to everyone who has made the work possible so far. Our herd just wouldn't be complete without you all.