Since launching the business back in May 2013 I have tested many different, apps, systems, productivity tools and the like. Along the way, some have been discarded including Trello, Asana and an excel spreadsheet to record the business finances. So, which has lasted and what can’t I live without in the business?

When working for yourself, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of working all hours, not taking a holiday and not coming up for air. It is a dangerous position and can easily result in burn out or worse still falling out of love with your business.

The growing to do list, the client work, the home, the kids, the partner ... all clawing for our time. Where does that leave us and how do we ensure that time is well spent and not wasted?

I recently attended a networking event and heard Nikki Emerton speak of Be U and I was blown away by her talk which was extremely powerful.  How to be your own best coach was a simple presentation with no PowerPoint that left me in no doubt I had to ask her if she might guest blog and share her three question technique.

woman hiding in her seatshirt

I know from experience how easy it can be to hide behind social media, email and a website. All fabulous places to be BUT this can lead to frustration when services are not taken up, programmes not filled or products not sold. It’s where we feel safe, behind perfectly crafted messages.

Once you secure a client, whether it's a short-term project or a long-term one, it's important to keep in touch with them. Your past and present clients are most likely your biggest advocates and it doesn't take much to keep in touch. A short note, a birthday card, or a congratulatory tweet, will go far in keeping you in the forefront of their mind for future projects.

No matter what your experience, how or why you started your business or where you are in the journey. There is always knowledge or advice you wish you had received sooner. Below are thirteen (unlucky for some but not for you) pieces of advice I would share with a start-up today.

Starting a business and leaving behind the nine to five is an amazing feeling. The emotions range from fear to excitement, true belief to doubt and back again. Being your own boss means you choose the hours you work and who you work with. You are in total control of your business development and growth.

Social media is a two way street, a communication channel between you and customer or client. It’s a place to connect with influencers, industry experts and other businesses that compliment your own. But how do you make it work?

The key to using any social media is consistency and this particularly applies to Facebook. To make algorithms work you must share content of interest to your audience. The sharing of the right content is essential for those all important likes, comments and shares.

When was the last time you searched your company name or even your own in Google? Go on, give it a try. If you have a Twitter account it will most likely appear at or near the top. Therefore, this might be the first place a prospective client visits to find out about you and your business - and you need to create a great first impression.

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