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January 15, 2015

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Thanks Alex. As an entrepreneur, I've learned all of these lessons the hard way - especially the first two. One thing I discovered (again, the hard way :) towards the beginning of my journey was that accepting every offer that came was a recipe for burnout. I definitely wasn't thinking before promising which, thankfully, didn't lead to unhappy customers but it DID lead to many nights of overtime. When my then-five year old was asked to fill out a Mother's Day questionnaire and he said my favorite thing to do was "turn on the computer" I knew it was time for a reassessment. Lol. Thanks for the great info as always! xoxo

Alex, I made a lot of investments in people resources and online tech systems for my business in 2014, but reading your post is a great reminder as I set some ambitious goals in the new year that I need to make the right strategic investments in physical technology to ensure that I'm able to deliver the pieces I'm holding onto as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Thanks for this blog post, Alex. Yes- as I enter year 4 of owning my business, I definitely have improved on your first point "Think before you promise."

I was so excited when I first started that I said yes to anyone and everyone who wanted to have me offer my classes at their locations. Not only did I spread myself too thin as a teacher and business owner, I spread my client base too thin as my own classes were competing against each other. There were some other really great points here that I can definitely relate to as well, so thanks for sharing your wisdom!

Thanks for the article. Great reminders. As a procurement consultant, I help companies turn their purchasing group into a competitive advantage through breakthrough cost savings, increased innovation, and risk management.
www.linkedin.com/in/mariemensah/

@Emily: I am just now starting to become choosier with the business I take on. It takes some seasoning as a business owner, that's for sure!

@Alexia: Physical technology - I like the way you put that. I think sometimes people forget about this - focusing on the digital instead.

@Clara: Do you think women have a greater tendency to try to do it all and end up spreading themselves too thin? I'm hearing this same point from a lot of female business owners.

@Marie: Sounds like a very interesting business, and I imagine a lucrative niche!

This post is so right on. Reliability and establishing trust go hand in hand. And being trustworthy is essential for small business owners, where referrals from past clients help grow our business. How can a client trust your work if you don't meet deadlines and accomplish tasks when you say you will? Of course, everyone has unexpected things that come up, so one tip I've found is helpful is when I'm establishing a deadline of when I will provide a client with some work product, I always tell them a date that is a day or two longer than I think it will actually take me. That way, if something comes up, I have some buffer room. But if I get it done when I think I will, the client gets it early!

@Camille, thank you for bringing up referrals. I worked with a vendor that I really wanted to refer, but just couldn't due to reliability. It might be the most important thing a small biz owner can offer a client.

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