I support creative business owners in accomplishing their design dreams.
Feeling stuck as a new business owner can be such a frustrating feeling. You started your business starry-eyed and ready to use your talents to put something amazing in the world. But now, a year or so in, you’re realizing that running a business might be harder than you anticipated. I know exactly what that’s like, and I’ve made it my mission to help new business owners like you who are in the awkward growth phase between part-time and full-time. You’ll figure this out, and your business will grow (mine did!). So let’s look at 5 tips to help you overcome common reasons that you might be feeling stuck so that you can move forward. You ready?!
What’s your biggest goal for your business right now? Pause for a few minutes and define it, if you haven’t already. Whether it’s to book more clients, get more blog readers, or grow your YouTube channel, you need a plan for how you’d like to make that happen. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be clear, with actionable steps.
Trying to accomplish a goal without a plan will only make things harder. I once heard someone say that it’s like trying to get to Target by driving on random roads. You might find a store eventually, but wouldn’t it be so much easier to take the familiar path that leads straight there?
Meeting goals as a new business owner is harder than going to Target – you might not be sure what path will get you where you want to go. If you’re feeling unsure, these prompts will get you started:
It could be Instagram, YouTube, or a blog. This will be your main way of reaching your audience.
Let’s say you want to get more eyes on your blog. Research blog growth strategies on Google, YouTube, and by paying attention to what more experienced people in your industry are doing. This is not to say that you should copy, you just want to be aware of what’s working.
Let’s say that after researching, you’ve decided that you want to grow your blog by posting consistently and using SEO and Pinterest to get more traffic.
For this goal, a simple action plan could include:
It’s so easy to feel like you have to do it all as a new business owner. From Instagram and TikTok to offering products and taking care of admin tasks, there’s so much to keep up with. Let me share something with you: You don’t have to do it all. Learn to do a few things well, and then add more as you grow. This will allow you to feel less overwhelmed as you are learning how to run a business.
For more tips on getting focused, check out my freebie “How to Grow Your Business When You Have Limited Time.” Subscribe to my Free Resource Library to access it and other helpful content!
Time management is so important when you’re running a business. You’re the boss, and you’re in charge of your schedule. This can feel both freeing and daunting.
For new business owners, struggling with to-do lists and time management often looks like:
If you can relate, go back to the planning and goal setting I talked about in Tip #1. Then, look at your to-do list. Which tasks are essential to help you reach your goal? Make those your top priority, everything else can wait.
This was something that I struggled with for a long time, even as a website designer. I often wondered why no one was finding me. Here’s the truth: before people can read your blog, watch your videos, or book your services, they have to be able to find you. Marketing authentically and strategically will help with this.
Strategic is a key word there. However you decide to market, learn how to create content that works for the platform you’re on. My free guide, “How to Grow Your Business When You Have Limited Time,” includes a resource list to help you learn the skills you need to accomplish your goals!
This can be tough to recognize, but it’s a real problem – especially for new business owners. Let’s say that you already have a following on Instagram, but no one is buying. It could be that you’re selling something that your current audience doesn’t want. It’s also possible that they need your offer, but just don’t understand that yet. If you think this could be what’s keeping you stuck, check out my blog post Easy & Effective Copywriting Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs. I interviewed copywriter Ally Willis, and she shares awesome tips for communicating the value of your offer!
Admitting that something isn’t working in your business, and being willing to explore solutions takes courage. But I hope it’s also a relief that there are practical steps you can take to get unstuck! It’s time to take what you just learned and apply it, so that you can move forward. I’m cheering for you!
Get my free guide, “How to Grow Your Business When You Have Limited Time” to help you run your part-time business with less overwhelm. Subscribe to my Free Resource Library for access to the guide, my brand + website checklist, and weekly business tips in your inbox.
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It makes total sense that it is crucial to have a clear business plan with actionable steps to move your company forward. My older sister started her own business about 4 months ago, and she wants to grow it successfully. I think it’d be very smart for her to hire a professional business consultant that can help her create a clear plan of action.
Thanks a lot for sharing this
I appreciate your advice about creating a goal for the business and having clear, actionable steps to accomplish them. A friend wants to start a manufacturing business soon, but he’s a bit stuck on what to do first. I’ll ask him to sit down and think about it thoroughly. Though, I do think his first step is to find a company to supply the tools and machinery he needs.
Thank you for highlighting the importance of defining the business’ biggest goal so that a person can take the necessary steps to get there. Right now, I believe the company I work for is focused on increasing revenue. Unfortunately, the boss is having a hard time getting there. Maybe he should consider hiring professionals to help, like auditors, accountants, and marketing specialists.
I agree about the importance of helping the target market find the business. As you said, they can’t read the blog or order services if they don’t know the business exists. For this to be successful, I think it makes sense to hire a professional who can offer some good insights and advice. I’ll do that if I ever want to start my own business.
Thanks for mentioning the importance of not doing everything at once to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I’m not sure what aspects of a business could be left on hold though. For new entrepreneurs, it might be best to ask a consultant to create a strategic plan.