Last week I shared five tips for building a sustainable business over on my Instagram Story, and so many of you got in touch to let me know how helpful you found them that I thought I’d share them over here on the blog!
So, what is a sustainable business? A sustainable business is one that’s here for the long run. It’s not about making a quick buck and scarpering, but putting measures in place which will ensure that it can cope with growth and not run out of money. The Independent Girls Collective is all about helping you to make your business sustainable so you can continue to follow your passion without worrying about where your next source of cash is coming from.
Keep it lean
In simple terms, if you run a lean business it means you use the resources you have efficiently, with as little waste as possible. So it’s kind of the opposite of buying every course, hiring a coach for every area of your business and generally spending money when you don’t need to.
As business owners in the modern world, we’re incredibly lucky to have more resources available to us than ever before, and the vast majority of the things we need to build a business online are inexpensive or even free.
Think about building a website - you can pay a designer to create your branding and your website before you’ve even made a penny, or you can spend a bit of time learning how to use Squarespace or Wordpress for a fraction of the price and build your own website. It might not look as slick as one that’s professionally designed, but it does the job and allows customers to buy from you, and you can always have your website redone by a professional in the future.
That’s just one example, but you get my point - there are many ways to start your business without spending much money, so make sure everything you invest in is worth it.
Get your pricing right
I go on about setting the right prices a lot, and that’s because it’s so important for every business. The wrong prices can leave you working constantly without enough money to pay your bills, or even put potential customers off. So getting your prices right is an integral part of your business.
Think about how you want your schedule to look and work backwards from there. So if you’d like to work with eight clients each month and work 10am-4pm weekdays , how much would you need to charge to make enough money to cover your living costs and keep the business running? It’s essential to know your figures so you can work sustainably, be financially comfortable and prevent burnout.
Do your own thing
If you’re copying other people and following trends, you’re always going to be on the back foot and let’s face it, you’ll get bored pretty quickly!
The truth is, running a business is an incredible experience but it can also be incredibly difficult, especially in the first couple of years where you’re working hard to build your little business and spread the word about what you do. So for your own sake, do your own thing and make sure it’s something you really, truly feel passionate about - otherwise you’ll give up as soon as you face the first obstacle.
Being authentic also has the added bonus of creating a genuine connection with your audience - that’s something which can’t be imitated.
Have a plan
For a lot of us, starting a business is born from a hobby becoming a job, or something you start when you’re in-between jobs and it goes well, so you carry on. At this point, winging it is all fine and dandy.
But as your business takes off, you need to have an idea of where you’d like it to go in the future. Things often grow more quickly than you imagine, and so you need to have boundaries to ensure that your business can cope with growth and goals so you don’t remain stagnant.
Look after yourself
Without you there wouldn’t be a business, so although it’s easy to put basic self-care such as eating healthily, exercising and taking time off on hold when you’re busy, it’s important to look after yourself - probably even more so at these times.
We’re all aware of the dreaded burnout, and it isn’t just a buzzword. Overworking can have extremely detrimental effects on both your mental and physical health. Make sure you take time away from your desk to relax and have fun so you can continue to run your brilliant business for many years to come.
What does running a sustainable business mean to you? What have you put in place to ensure that your business lasts the course?
IT’S TIME TO SWAP BUSINESS STRESS FOR EASE AND EMPOWERMENT.
The Independent Girls Collective is a members-only platform to help smart women like you to take control of their finances and feel good about money.
As a member, you’ll get new courses, resources and live masterclasses every month to help you manage your finances and provide the support you need to build a successful, fulfilling business that allows you to live the life you desire, as well as access to our supportive community of creative female entrepreneurs.