This Is My Deal :: 9 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business

9 things I wish I knew when I started my business | freshbysian.com

'This Is My Deal' is a post series where I share more behind-the-scenes looks at my business — like how I got to where I am, how I actually do the fucking work, how I make money, and all of that good stuff. This post is the second in the series!

1 :: You’re allowed to say no (although you should say yes to most stuff when you’re starting a brand new biz).

I feel like there’s two sides to this argument, because on one hand I really believe that in order to figure out what the fuck kind of business you actually want to run — you have to do a lot of different work and from there you can get a feel for what you like doing, what you’re good at, and what people come to you for… But on the flip side I really wish I knew that I was allowed to say no more often.

I know it happens to everyone and you have to do it to learn, but there were a few jobs I took on against my gut vibes that were telling me to run the other way... And guess what? They ended up in the shitter.

If you get really bad vibes about a certain job or client, just don't take it on.

2 :: If your quote gets approved with no questions asked, you probably could have gone higher.

I don’t know who told me this but god damn it is still one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard for when it comes to pricing your services. If you send a proposal or a quote to someone and they literally don’t ask any questions and they approve it right off the bat — chances are you could have gone higher.

But don’t let this discourage you — let it teach you.


2 :: If your quote gets approved with no questions asked, you probably could have gone higher.

Man, I don’t know who told me this but god damn it is still one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard for when it comes to pricing your services. So the basic deal is that if you send a proposal or a quote to someone and they literally don’t ask any questions and they approve it right off the bat — chances are you could have gone higher. Don’t let this discourage you — let it teach you. 


3 :: Shit will happen no matter what, but it will teach you so much.

No matter how many of these ‘what I wish I knew’ posts you read, no matter how many courses you take, you’ll always have stuff go wrong that you’ll have to learn on your own. Me + everyone else out there dishing out the tips and tricks and helpful advice are here to help you avoid some stuff, but at the end of the day you have to learn for yourself to get to where you want to be.

There are no shortcuts.


4 :: Own your pricing.

How the hell do you do that, you ask? Well, here’s a few ways…

// Do everything you can to be confident in it. What would it take for you to be able to send out a quote and feel confident in it? Put together proper proposals with testimonials and frequently asked questions. Show people you’re worth it.

// Put your starting prices on your website. Let people know what they can expect from working with you. You don’t need a fully detailed price list, but I think it is important to just throw it out there and let peeps know what kind of service you’re offering.

// Don’t ask for opinions on your pricing… That’s on you.


5 :: Tell people who you are, right off the bat.

I did this aaaalmost right from the beginning when I started my biz, and it’s a huge part of what got me to where I am now. I felt no one at the time was really showing who they were as people so I wanted to do this to just be myself and to attract my people (without actually knowing thats what I was doing).

Right on your website and in your social media posts, tell people what you value, what you stand for, what kind of world you want to see. It’s not enough to just be a ‘designer’ or a 'website developer' anymore… People want to collab with businesses who stand for something, who they can find some common ground with.


6 :: Don’t worry if you need to have another job to cover your ass.

I feel like there needs to be less stigma around this… If you need to spend X hours a week at a job that will help you pay the bills and take the stress out of self employment, do it. Maybe you’ll find that the balance between the two can work for you and you don’t need to be fully self employed… Or maybe it’ll just make you work smarter to go fully self employed sooner.

ps. If you want some extra reading on doing what you love + making money, read this.


7 :: Set up a proper business bank account, and save at least 30% of your income for tax.

It took me a long time to create a proper biz account, and I kinda regret it. My bank accounts were a shit show even one year into running my business, and I wasn’t great at saving tax money. One time I ended up with a $10k tax bill, and literally nothing in the bank (this was also partly due to having an accountant that didn’t fully understand my business)… It was not fun, I can tell ya.

Even if you’re not ready to open an official business bank account right away, at least use a separate account within your personal bank accounts to keep everything separate.

ps. Obvi I'm not a financial advisor, so anything money related should always be talked about with your bank.


8 :: Don’t fuck around when it comes to email marketing.

Oh man, I wish I knew about the power of emails when I started my business. I had a mailing list but I rarely used it and I didn’t fully understand what the point of it was to be honest. But over time through working with my clients and seeing them run their businesses, it dawned on me how damn important it is to have an email list, and to actually USE IT.

The thing with an email list (unlike other social platforms like Instagram, etc) is that YOU own it… You own those contact details. You don’t own your Instagram or Twitter followers… You don’t own your YouTube subscribers... And you don’t own the platforms. So if they ever decided to change anything on a big scale, it could really fuck you over.

Start small. Come up with a plan of how often you want to send emails (start with whatever feels manageable, then increase it). Put sign up forms all over your site. Link to the forms in your social media profiles. Then start sending emails… If you like, use it as a platform to connect with people. Ask for replies and feedback.

ps. If you need help on how to brainstorm and create content for your emails, check out this post I wrote on how I created 3 months worth of content in 2 weeks!


9 :: Start a waiting list if you take on 1-1 clients.

THIS, guys. If I was still taking on client work, this would be my #1 way to get new clients. I kind of did this in the past, but I never really used it to its full potential and I wish I had the chance to test it out more.

With a waiting list, you can create an auto email series to send out to everyone who signs up, even if its super basic... Show examples of your past work, testimonials, and content that will help them and also show them that you’re a boss and you know what you’re talking about.

Then when you have spots open up, you’ll have a list of people waiting to hear from you who are already pretty familiar with your vibe and what you offer.

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