Why Its Okay to Not Make Any Money When You First Start a Business

I’ve been a business owner for a little over a year and I can tell you that I haven’t made huge profits from my business. The money I have made through my business has mostly been reinvested back in it. I’m a strong believer in investing in your dreams, and that’s exactly what I’ve had to do. Very rarely do people show up on the scene and start making bookoos of money in their businesses. It takes time, patience, and money to actually make money. If you don’t put anything into, its fairly safe to say that you won’t get much out of it. This is not to say you should go out and get a loan (and please don’t get a payday loan!) to put money into your business, but you do need to decipher what areas of your business you need to invest in to grow it.

BusinessMoney

For instance, since Bliss & Faith is new, there are still a lot of things I need to do to get it where I need and want it to be. Some of them will require monetary investment, while others will require mostly time and effort.  Here are a few things that are on my immediate to-do list:

  1. Get professional headshots done. – My current photo in the sidebar isn’t bad, but its definitely not the quality I would like it to be.  I want a photo that’s more professional and shows more about me, my personality, and that is more representative of the Bliss & Faith brand.
  2. Redo my About Me Page. – I haven’t updated my About Me page in ages.  Its one of those things I dread doing, and I’ve always dreaded doing About Me pages.  The ironic thing is that I can write copy for everything else on my site, but when it comes to talking about myself I tend to shy away.  Its something I need to overcome.  From a branding and business standpoint, I definitely need to redo the page to represent Bliss & Faith and myself as a brand.  Given that my previous blog was more personal, and not attached to a business, an About Me page all about me was fine.  However, now that my blog is more business-centered, it needs to be reflective of that.
  3. Finish my Social Media Management and Design pages.  – These two will mostly just take time.  They are two new services that I’ve never offered in this space, so there’s a lot of work I need to do to let my readers know about them.  I need have effective copy on those pages so that the purpose and intent for the services can be properly conveyed.  This will take me some time to come up with, because I’m not in the business of just throwing something up to have it out there.
  4. Clean up my Categories. – A lot of my current Categories were imported over from Blogger when I made the switch in September 2013.  Unfortunately, during the import the tags from my Blogger blog got imported as categories and its been a beast to clean up.  With having a more straight-forward, business-centered blog, I want to remove all of the excessively irrelevant and unnecessary categories.  This is largely, because it affects the navigation of my site and an easily navigable is key, especially to a be business.  Right now, its nowhere where it needs to be.  Every night, literally, I spend at least an hour cleaning my Categories up and better organizing them.  Its a work in progress and will be a large time investment.
  5. Attend a workshop or conference. – Last year, I attended three conferences and took away something different from each one.  I haven’t found any conferences or workshops at the moment that I’d like to attend, but I’m definitely keeping an eye out for them.  Attending these type of things can be a significant monetary investment, but you go away with so much more than you came with and totally makes it worth it.

I feel as if the things on my to-do list are definitely holding me back from making money in my business, but the important thing is that I’m aware of them.  The worst situation to be in is where you have absolutely no clue why you’re not making any money.  Of course there are plenty of other things I could be doing to also grow my business, book clients, and make money, but the items on my list are things that I can directly affect.  You can’t control whether someone chooses to hire you for your services over someone else, but you can control how professional, serious and passionate you appear to potential clients.

Prospering in the Dry Season

I’m using this dry season to learn, grow, and decipher how I can do and be better.  I believe that the reason we go through dry seasons is to prepare us for a season of flourish.  You have to get things lined up and in order, because when the work comes (and it will!) its going to pour.  Having a system in place, knowing your trade to the best of your abilities, and being able to provide the highest quality service possible is the position you want to be in when you start getting business.  A dry season is also a great time to make goals. I have a series coming up all about goal-making, because it is such an essential part of running a business.  Without goals, your blindly walking the path of running a business and not knowing where to take it.

BloomPlanted

Being Ready

A lot of people set out to do things that they think they’re ready for, but really aren’t.  They soon find themselves overwhelmed, unable to meet expectations and deadlines, and potentially setting themselves up for failure (even if they’re making money).  All too often, I see business owners who are inconsistent, and if anything you want to be consistent in business, because that’s how you build trust.  When I come across someone who is inconsistent, I begin to think that they’re not taking their business seriously.  If you’re a business owner who blogs as part of your business, be consistent in blogging.  Post content that’s relevant to your business or industry, and let your audience know you still exist.  Things move to fast in the world, and you can be forgotten so quickly if you don’t keep a presence in your space.  Being busy is not an excuse to be inconsistent.  If its important to you, you will get it done…simple as that.

Let Go of Procrastination

Second to being inconsistent, procrastination is one of the main reasons people don’t get things done and that directly affects the money you could be making in your busy.  I’m super guilty of procrastinating and thankfully my husband calls me on it, and it makes me get things done even when I can make all of the excuses in the world for why I can’t do it at that moment.  If you have something you need to do, do it…don’t wait around, because odds are that you will never do it.  Even worst, you could miss out on amazing opportunities, because you didn’t have something done and be behind the ball.  I can tell you, its nothing worst than being behind the ball, while all of your peers are launching, because they’re on top of things.

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

– Don Marquis

The goal in business is to make money.  No one wants to run a business that’s unprofitable, because then its just an expensive hobby.  Its okay in the beginning to not make money, because you’re getting set up, learning the ropes, and figuring out what works.  However, you don’t want to be in this place forever.  You need to be able to analyze and think critically about your business.  Does it have the right branding?  Are you offering too many or not enough products?  Is your marketing plan working? I definitely don’t have all the answers, because I’m still learning myself.  I am, however, constantly asking myself these questions and looking for ways in which I can better run my business.

I believe that it all comes down to using your time wisely.  Investing, doing the work, and getting things done are all factors that will help get your business to the next level.  Focusing constantly on the fact that you’re not making any money will not help your business grow.  This is something I had to learn the hard way.  When my husband told me to stop worrying about the money and do what I’m passionate about and love, my mindset completely changed.  In doing what I’m passionate about and investing, and I solidly believe and know in my heart that there will be a return on it in the future.

Have you struggled with not making money in your business? – What were some of the things that helped you turn it around?

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2 thoughts on “Why Its Okay to Not Make Any Money When You First Start a Business

  1. Great post! I needed this as I’m starting up some things and have been sort of worried and feeling guilty about pouring the money back into my blog and site and the training I need. If you are looking for a blog conference with a heavy social media presence as well, Blog Elevated is great! It will be in Dallas this year and is reasonable! $149 for early bird right now. I’ve gone twice and found great content and connections. Just though I would throw that out there!

  2. Oh, I know it well! I had no idea how hard it was to make money with photography. A mentor told me it could take years to be in the black and to have another source of income in the meantime.
    It’s really scary but I believe it pays off when you do these steps and put so much thought into building a business.

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