We've only been in business for a short time yet we've already encountered our fair share of surprises.
What seemed oh so simple on paper actually tells a different story in reality.
Whatever stage you're at with your startup business, you're guaranteed to hit some unexpectedness along the way. It'd be too easy otherwise, right?
So here are 3 of our most unwelcome surprises of starting a business and how you can overcome them:
Time goes way too fast - Seriously. This is probably the most telling shock we've had since starting up. It seems so simple, but from the moment we turn those computers on at 9am we have no idea where the rest of the day goes. A typical day at Capture It Media seemed like - we start at 9am, before you know it it's lunchtime and then it's time to go home. It used to feel like we left our houses just to go out for lunch.
Wanting time to go slower is new for us, we're used to clock watching and hoping it's an hour or two in front, not behind! But since we've started doing something we love time really is flying by.
Don't get me wrong, we always got work done but it constantly felt like we were fighting against the clock to do it.
How to overcome it - Again it seems rather simple but you have to plan out your days, hour by hour, minute by minute. You should always plan your days anyway but you need to be strict with how you follow it. Prioritise your most important jobs of the day and leave the smaller ones for when you find some spare time. Allot times for certain activities and accept that some jobs are simply just more important than others. It's pointless spending hours on editing your personal profiles if you've got client work you could be getting on with.
Time needs to be managed, it is that simple. Next up...
There are many, many setbacks - Whether they are big or small, expect setbacks. It might be a little typo on your website or a list of corrections from your client but nevertheless, don't expect perfection the first time out. This one's quite difficult to predict because you never really know what the setbacks are going to be, it can literally be anything that you didn't expect to happen, happening.
Our biggest setback would be work scheduling - as we spoke about before we allot specific time periods for certain jobs and when they aren't hit it can become problematic. This can be anything from a client not responding as fast as you'd like to them coming back with a list of things they want changing. In the short time we've been in business we've experienced them all and this taught us to alter our work scheduling to a more realistic time frame.
Again, you will not achieve perfection on your first time out.
How to overcome it - This one is a bit different in the sense that you never know what the setback will be. However, you can prepare yourself for certain situations by being more thorough (e.g. with client briefs, your content etc...) and by constantly planning. If something went wrong the first time, how can you plan for it not to happen again? It sounds extremely cliche but it can be really good to make mistakes because that is the only way you will truly learn from them.
Starting a business is a huge learning curve for anybody and you shouldn't be put off by the early setbacks. This leads us on perfectly to our next unwelcome surprise...
The frustration - We've all been there. If you've started a company at some point in your life you will understand the type of frustration I'm talking about. It could be from anything - time going too fast, encountering setbacks, not being able to get as many clients as you want. Frustration is one of the many emotions you will feel at some point during your startup phase, even if you refuse to admit it.
We've had our fair share of frustration at Capture It Media, both from the aforementioned unwelcome surprises and other issues. Starting a business is difficult, it isn't supposed to be easy. You can't ever quite prepare yourself for what it's really going to be like, no matter how many times you redraft your business plan so frustration is only natural.
How to overcome it - The best way to overcome frustration is to channel it into something productive. If you're frustrated because time is going too fast, work on planning your days more effectively so you don't feel as pressured. If you're frustrated because of the constant setbacks, then identify what setbacks you keep encountering and plan to stop them from recurring.
Also, remember to take time for yourself. Sure you want to work on your business, but it's important to take time out to do what you want to do (non work related!) even if it's only for a couple of hours. Spend time with family, hang out with friends, even just watch an hour of television.
Whatever it may be, don't neglect your personal needs.
We hope you've enjoyed these 3 unwelcome surprises and that we've helped you in some way, if you have any of your own unwelcome surprises that you'd like to share please let us know as we're always intrigued to hear about other people's experiences.
This may be our list but what is yours?