Let me start with the positives. I just hit a HUGE milestone in my business’s life cycle. I made it through the first full year of business and I’m in the black! Wooohoooo! So professionally and personally I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders. And I feel like I’m pretty put together for the most part. I strive to research my answers before giving them to clients. I try to be on time for appointments. And I do my best to look my best in every occasion. I have new and returning clients that reach out to me every week. All very good things.
But, wow did I mess something up!
It’s about my business and it’s something you may have encountered – although I hope not! Prior to starting my business I was a blogger putting my thoughts out into the universe and you were nice enough to respond with positive feedback. (Thanks again for the support!) That inspired me to take the big leap into the entrepreneurial world. This wasn’t my first business venture. I had an incorporated business before so I thought I knew what I was doing going into this new business. As it turns out, I was wrong!
Let me list my mistakes for you. This is the abbreviated list, by the way.
- I bought a domain that was available on GoDaddy and thought, okay if the domain is available then I should be able to use this name for everything. Sweet! My blog and business was ready for the public domain.
- I hired an online legal services company to handle my incorporation. I didn’t meet this attorney to tell him/her what my business was about or the goals I had in mind.
- I thought I would handle my business income and expenses on a spreadsheet, because I didn’t even know if I was going to make money at first. Why would I need to plot out a chart of accounts to track where my income is coming from.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
As a small business owner it’s hard to know what to do, when to do it, and who to ask when you need help! Since I’ve come forward with the errors of my ways many people have offered their help, much to my chagrin.
Why am I telling you all of this? A few reasons. I’m humbly sharing with you that I don’t always have it together. I will likely have to re-brand my business so be on the lookout for those changes. And the biggest reason I’m telling you all this is you need to plan ahead with your business. Especially in the area of human resources. Why? If you buy a template and implement it without getting some guidance on why you need this template and how to use it properly you may actually be placing greater risk on your business than you ever anticipated. You think you’re doing the right thing by checking the proverbial box but that’s not always the case.
I sell templates and toolkits to my clients. I have a number of things you can buy from me and they are all listed on the right side of my blog pages. So this may seem like a pretty hypocritical post for me to write. The difference with me is I’m completely accessible to you. My name is on the website. My phone number is on the site. And so is my email address. You will not go to a call center with an inexperienced person on the other line telling you that you should buy more templates or services to fix what you just paid a few hundred dollars for. I’ve encountered three clients in the last month who purchased online templates of handbooks, they implemented the policies, made termination decisions that violated those policies and now they’re in a tight spot. Don’t go blindly into the employment world without getting some sound advice about how your business should be set up for compliance!