11 Pieces of Advice That Helped Us Reach 11 Years In Business
This month, we celebrate 11 years in business! We are grateful every day for the journey that made VaVa Virtual what it is today. Truth be told, building our business was a team effort. It took the help of our core team, of course, but also the help of various advisors, mentors, and friends along the way who guided us as we shaped our company.
When you’re a business owner, the advice of other entrepreneurs is priceless. They have different experiences that can help you see your business with a fresh set of eyes. Whether or not we were looking for it at the time, we’ve received some great advice over the years that helped our business flourish. To celebrate our 11 years in business, we wanted to share 11 essential pieces of advice in the hopes that it will help your business as much as it helped ours.
1. Don’t Make Quick Decisions
Allow yourself the time to make thoughtful decisions. No matter how rushed you might feel, it is always acceptable to walk away with the facts and come back with an answer. If we had followed this advice at certain points in our history, we would have saved ourselves thousands of dollars. Feel comfortable communicating that you need time and be forthcoming about when you might have an answer for whoever you’re working with.
2. Use Data for Everything
When we say everything, we mean everything. From social media metrics and tracking your expenses to understanding your client retention and product performance, knowing your data is the only way to make effective decisions as a business owner. Knowledge is power, and knowing your business inside and out will help you plan for the future and enable growth. At first, we were resistant to the systems and the time necessary to collect data and make it usable, but now we use data for everything and are better for it.
3. Don’t Keep Doing Everything Together
This is for co-founders and co-owners. Building your business as a partnership is a beautiful thing. You always have someone to talk through problems with. You never have to make decisions alone. The only problem is when you lean on your partnership too much. We used to do absolutely everything in our business together. Calls. Meetings. Decisions. That’s just what we were comfortable with, but it was slowing us down. Eventually, we divided our work in a way that made sense for our business…which brings us to our next piece of advice.
4. Play to Your Strengths
Figure out what you’re good at in your business, identify what you love to do, and make those tasks your job. Pass everything else off to your team. If preparing financial statements isn’t your forte, don’t spend your valuable time doing it. If you absolutely love client calls and are the best salesperson on your team, keep those calls as a part of your weekly routine. You’re not going to be great at every aspect of your business. That’s why businesses are made up of teams.
This is advice that we’ve been giving our clients since we started our business, but that took us a while to implement ourselves. Delegation is truly the only way you can grow your business. You won’t be able to continue doing everything yourself, and delegating is the push you need to make growth happen. It removes tedious tasks from your to-do list, invites experts to take over in areas that are not in your skillset, and allows you as a business owner to focus on growth activities. As we like to say: if you don’t have an assistant, you are an assistant.
6. Be Discerning with Your Team
Be careful with how you build your team. Early on in our business, we would often hire the first person we interviewed for a position. If the candidate felt right and was ready to do the job, we would hire them without looking any further. Eventually, we got the advice to at least interview a few people to get a broader idea of what type of help is available. This enabled us to hire a team that is truly aligned with our mission as a business.
7. Attend Conferences that Align with Your Goals
You could say this about anything in your business. Only do things that align with your goals and mission as a business. Early on, we were trying to figure out a better client acquisition strategy. We asked someone who fit the description of our ideal client, and they recommended we attend a conference that attracted people like her. That one move ended up winning us thousands of dollars in business.
8. Charge What You’re Worth
Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth! To build a successful business, you need to allow for growth. As a keen consumer yourself, it might be uncomfortable to charge a premium. However, if you’re offering premium products and services, then your pricing should reflect that. Consider your pricing strategy in relation to your audience. To charge what you’re worth, you might need to reexamine who truly makes up your target audience.
9. Set Your Rocks
As part of the EO Accelerator Program, we now set Rocks every quarter. These are goals that we share with our team. They help us stay accountable throughout the quarter. Set a plan for where your company is going and make sure you reach each goal needed to get there.
10. View Mistakes as Opportunities
Don’t get stuck on your mistakes. If you don’t move on, your mistake will just continue to hold you back. Remember that you only make mistakes because you lack the experience that would have prevented you from making it in the first place. Now that you have this new experience, you won’t make the same mistake in the future. Focus on understanding your mistake and why it happened. Figure out how you should have handled the situation, and remember that for next time. This is how you grow as an entrepreneur!
11. Talk About your Business Wherever You Go
Never stop talking about your business. You never know when you’ll meet someone who will be able to help you. From potential team members and clients to advisors and investors, the only way to build your network is to get out there and keep talking.
Thanks for 11 Amazing Years!
We don’t know where we would be without our network! Building a supportive community around your business is essential to growing as an entrepreneur and growing your business. It offers you security, support, and community. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely adventure, but when you have a community to back you up, you’re never alone.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our community over the last 11 years. We couldn’t have done it without you.
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10153 1/2 Riverside Drive,
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
2480 Briarcliff Road,
Suite 6, #210
Atlanta, GA, 30329