Why? Because in that job, you can collect mentors; people that will help you become better at your work. You’ll get chances to see how good and bad managers work, and you’ll be getting paid for it. For starting your own WordPress business, you do need to put together a plan that takes you out of that job and into running your business.
This takes a few steps. First, if you’re married or in a long-term relationship, you need to negotiate what your business will look like with your spouse. Second, you need to have a personal budget and a business budget. Third, you need to make sure you’ve got a productive routine set that you can carry into your business. Finally, you need to build and start executing on a marketing plan.
Let’s look at what each of these areas entail.
Negotiate with your Spouse/Partner
When you choose to bring another person into your life, that means you’re choosing to take their needs into account. I believe that if you have a successful business and have broken relationships, you’ve still failed. To that end, the first person you need to have long discussions with around your dream of a business is your significant other.
They’re going to have dreams of their own and starting a WordPress business may throw a wrench in their dreams. Maybe you feel safe with three months in the bank, but they want a year of expenses. Maybe you think it’s realistic to work on weekends, and they hate the idea.
There are a few ground rules as you start these discussions; here they are:
First off, the most conservative person almost always wins. If you think that three months expenses are safe enough to start your business, but your spouse thinks that six months is right, go with six months. As long as their suggestion is reasonable, go with the most conservative person.
Now, if they want three years saved, then there is something deeper going on. You’ll need to spend time figuring out what that deeper thing is. Starting a WordPress business is hard enough without having the support of those that are closest to you.
Second, make sure that you spend the time needed to find their passion as well. It’s so easy for entrepreneurs to get an idea and run with it, but run over anything that their partner wanted to do. We give up weekends without guilt because we love our work, and our spouse wonders where the person they married went.
They sacrifice for our business and sacrifice. One day they look up and realise it’s always been about the business, and they don’t even know where they want to go. Don’t let this happen to you. Both of you need to sit down together and figure out what your dreams are. Then build a plan so that you can achieve them.
As I already alluded to, often there is something deeper going on. When your significant other says, they want three years saved there is a reason. Did they spend life watching their parents struggle between trying to start a business? Are they afraid that they’ll have to give up on everything that they think is worthwhile?
Whenever you have an objection that just won’t go away, slow down and take the time needed to dig deeper with your partner. It’s going to be worth it in terms of refining your business and showing them that you’re not just going to mow their fears down. The business and your relationships will be stronger because of the time spent.
Plan your budget before starting your own WordPress business
Once you’ve got everything worked out with your partner, it’s time to learn to budget. This is also best undertaken with your spouse. In fact, if you can’t run a budget at home, you’re not ready to run a business. One of the biggest issues I see with new businesses is that they never save. They pay themselves most of what they earn and the rest goes to new ‘things’ that they “must” have. Then work slows down, and there is nothing in the bank to keep things going.
The first step to launching your business on the best foot is to get out of personal debt. If you can drop the car payment, and not have big Credit Card bills to pay, your business is going to be much easier to run.
I recommend that you run your business on the Profit First system. With this system, you start with 5 foundational accounts.
- Income (where all money starts)
- Expenses (for your expenses)
- Owner’s Pay (pay yourself from here)
- Taxes (this is not your money; it’s the government’s)
- Profit (your reward for taking the risk to run a business)
Then on the 10th and 25th, you take the money from your income account and move it into the others based on percentages.
– Expenses (30%)
– Owner’s Pay (50%)
– Taxes (15%)
– Profit (5%)
If you can’t pay a bill with the expense account, that’s your business telling you that you can’t afford the expense. If you can’t pay yourself what you need, that’s your business telling you that you need more revenue. Don’t dip into other accounts. Use the constraints of a business budget to refine your business into a well-oiled profit machine.
Building a Productive Routine
My first three months of working for myself were fun. I got up late, went for a bike ride. Walked the dog. Did a bit of email. Had lunch. Did some client work. Made dinner and hung out with my wife. The problem was, I barely was doing any real work for clients. I embraced the freedom, and it was only when I started to feel the pinch of an almost empty bank account that I started to build an effective work day. To have an effective work day, there are a few things you need to do.
First, you need to plan the day before you leave the night before. I end every day around 20 minutes early. With this 20 minutes, I look at the next day’s tasks and slot them into the hours of the day.
Second, I stop every Friday an hour early. I use this time to review all my open projects and plan the overall week. I can tell you Friday what the most important task for each day is all week. That doesn’t always stay the same, but this is why I plan a day ahead.
Third, I set goals around 12 weeks. The problem with yearly goals is that they aren’t current enough to force action on us. We mistakenly assume that just because we aren’t prospecting well in February that some magic force will fix everything in August or October and we’ll still hit our revenue goals.
You won’t. The best predictor of your future success is what you’re doing now. Every week I have a fixed set of tactics that I need to be executing on. Stuff like: “Talk to 3 prospects”. At the end of the week, I either accomplished these actions or I didn’t. Stay focused on the immediate actions you need to take weekly to have a successful business.
Execute a Marketing Plan
The final big thing to start right before starting your WordPress business is a marketing plan. Referrals are great, but when they dry up, you’re in big trouble. I had two clients this year. One was so busy with referrals from a single source. They put off marketing because they didn’t have time with all the work coming in.
The second client had little work and was starting to execute a good marketing plan. Then things flipped. The big referral source changed who they gave referrals to; one client was now flush with work while the other had almost no revenue.
Don’t let yourself get in that position. Start blogging. Start meeting people in person locally. Start a marketing plan that you schedule into your week and don’t let it get pushed out because of a bit of extra work. Stick to the plan so that you have a constant stream of work coming in. Starting a business is easy. Starting a successful business that’s set up for long-term success is hard.
To maximise your chances, you need to take the four tasks above seriously. You need to make sure that your partner/spouse is on board. You need to make sure that you stick to your business budget. You need to make sure that you build a productive work week. Finally, you need to build marketing time into your business and stick with that plan even when you’re busy.
If you can do these four things, you’re giving yourself the best chances for success.