Our 5 biggest struggles
I’m sat here after having had a very late Sunday night with friends and karaoke (I know, we’re so hip) we are slightly fragile and have definitely looked a whole lot better.
We woke up this morning and realised that the fortnightly newsletter had slipped through the net of last weeks jobs and I now have 9 hours to write it, schedule it, cry a little, and market it - I can do this!
All that said, I’m sitting here trying to think of a great blog post for you lovely people because rule number one of running a business - do not let your audience and many many readers down (our parents).
B&F blogs was started to build a community of support for one another, we are here to help you with various design and business pickles; we are here to whisper “you are not alone” and give you much needed air hugs because let’s face it, running a business is hard and now more than ever we need to stick together.
We have always tried to build our business on transparency and we have mentioned before that we have grown the most as a business by learning about other businesses’ challenges (meltdowns) and tribulations (breakdowns). So this week we have put our vulnerability vests once again to share with you 5 worries that we have in B&F at the moment.
This might sound shocking, but we aren’t yet paying ourselves a wage. Everything we make we invest straight back into the business; we buy more equipment, we increase our Facebook Ad spends (currently spending around $500 a month) and our most recent investment was Pru Chapman, our lovely new business coach. We currently live off our savings and that’s fine for now, especially because we are living at home, but September is looming. Our move to Byron Bay will mean big outgoings and we want to be ready.
What’s helped us so far - Knowing that all the money we invest into our business will come back around. We might need to cut the luxuries now, but in the long run our business will be a whole lot healthier, we need to spend money to make money…and if at the end of the day me or James has to put a sassy apron on to pour Byron Bay coffees for a few weeks then that’s what we’ll do!
2. Big changes
As excited as we are to move back to Australia next month, we are absolutely terrified! We have had the last two months having the time and money to grow B&F but now we are close to flying the nest….again! And we’ll have to start over in a new place, the 18 year old me would have found this exciting, the 28 year old me is doing a risk assessment.
What’s helped us so far - There will always be big changes when running a business and the best thing that has helped us through these times is being surrounded by supportive people, always making sure we exercise and when we remember, meditate. It’s easy to panic and forget to breath but we have found a little time to gather your thoughts is all you need to get back on that horse!
3. FINDING A BALANCE
When we worked for somebody else, logging out was mentally shutting off all thoughts about work until the next day. Now we live and breath work, we work from home and sometimes it’s hard to have that separation when your work and home life is so entwined. Most the time we love it, but like everything in life, we need a break! We are struggling to shut off and know when it’s time to stop.
What’s helped us so far - Only checking our emails from our laptop not our phones. Signing out of everything business related at the end of the day and if we don’t commute to a co-working space or cafe, we try going for a walk before we start working, that has helped us to feel like we are walking to work giving us a separation between work and home life.
4. Our prices
We heard from a fellow designer that if you get three enquiries very close together you are in high demand. Last week we got the most enquiries we had ever received in one week, 5! (we are still coming down from the high!)
Although we already have had 2 price increases in the last 12 months we know we are due another. Charging your worth is always such a hot topic but to be honest all it does is stress us out. We struggle to get our heads around the fact that we run a business, we haven’t yet charged our worth because we are worried that people will think we are cheeky (especially when we specialise in ethical and sustainable businesses) but at the end of the day we need to make a living and just like the line from the Godfather, “it’s not personal, it’s business”.
Struggling with this as well? Just think of it as the more experience you get, the more brands you launch, the more trust you build, and more processes you have in place - the more money you should charge.
What’s helped us so far - reminding ourselves that we are two very hardworking people who have worked day and night to build a trusted business; we are highly experienced and our clients know they are going to get exactly what has been promised to them, and for that we need to charge accordingly.
5. Slowing down
We moved home to see our families and take advantage of free rent for 3 months so that we can pump as much back into the business as possible. In the last two months of being at home we have seen a massive growth in our business that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve if we’d stayed in Sydney. We have found that once we have started to see results, it’s very easy to become addicted. B&F is 18 months old and we have worked nearly every day in that time but we have had to remind ourselves that we started our biz not only to help people and make a difference, but to build a life that we can enjoy and working every hour that God sends is counter-intuitive.
What’s helped us so far - Taking weekends off, signing out of social over the weekend and not checking emails until Monday morning. We still work long days usually 12 hours, but having those two days at the end of the week have helped us to have a taste of slow living… and we love it!
“ One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes”
– SIR RICHARD BRANSON
Let’s round it up…
Our business coach recently said to us, if you run a business you will never run out of things to worry about, not getting enough client’s will soon be replaced with getting too much work and that will then be replaced with needing to hire staff…
Each will come with a whole new load of problems so just enjoy it as much as you can, go with the flow, it will all be ok in the end, after-all, none of us are getting out of this alive!
Notes to take away
Finding a balance with work and home life is possibly the most important struggle to ‘get right’.
It’s easy to get addicted when you start to see results in business but always remember how important it is to take a break.
You will always have something to worry about in business, try to go with the flow more.
Always make sure you are charging your worth, you are running a business after all!
Make sure you always have a break, it’s important to have a healthy balance between work and home life.