3 Things I’ve Learned From Being A Business Owner

Next month marks 24 months in business as Tartle Copywriting and I suppose you could say I’ve learned one or two things from owning and running a business. Let’s start with a short introduction to who I am and what I’ve done…

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My name is Michelle and I’m a freelance copywriter and editor. I began my career shortly after graduating University with a degree in fashion journalism that I didn’t know what to do with. With internships in fashion PR, beauty PR, magazines and agencies under my belt, I found my feet as a product copywriter as a luxury childrenswear label in London. I quickly progressed into high street ecommerce before landing a dream role in luxury fashion over in Hong Kong. Five years later, I decided to meld all of that together and go it alone with the help of a bursting contacts book.

These two years have been two of the most insightful in my career. From developing my creative vision and honing my writing ability, to learning how to sort those pesky accounts and tactfully getting invoices paid, I’ve learned a lot ‘on the job’.

Lesson #1: It’s OK To Migrate Tasks

Something that I found hard to shake off was the incessant need to tick everything off my to-do list in one given day. When I worked in-house, full-time, my notebook would be full of tasks that I absolutely had to complete on particular days in keeping with the workflow of the wider team and business, and it meant I carried the practice on with my own business.

When you’re a one-woman band, however, it’s simply not feasible to get everything done in a day. It’s completely fine to migrate tasks to another day in order to focus on one thing at a time. As a small business owner, I’m my own manager, supervisor, HR advisor, accountant (in part), marketeer and more. You might have the same hours in a day as Beyonce but you probably don’t have her flock.

Once it reaches around 3pm on my ‘desk days’, I review my to-do list and work out what I can shift and what must absolutely be completed. Client work always take priority, but the smaller tasks can easily be moved to tomorrow morning. Be a little less tough on yourself and remember that your work day is as flexible as you want it to be.

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Lesson #2: Know When To Delegate

In a similar vein, it’s good to step outside of your business box and know when it’s best to delegate. For me, delegating the accountancy side of running a business to a professional has done the world of good. I’ve employed a dedicated accountant, although Easy As Vat and Crunch were two options that I looked into as well. Mint is a brilliant platform for managing your finances and budgets and it’s free, too.

Depending on the nature of your work and your financial situation, you could even look into hiring an assistant or interns to alleviate some of the pressure. Internships are valuable for budding graduates and could provide the leg up that somebody else so desperately wants.

Tasks that can easily be delegated:

  • Email inbox management
  • Social media platform upkeep
  • Brand photography
  • Bookkeeping
  • Somebody to bounce ideas off
  • … and plenty more!

Lesson #3: No Two Days Are The Same

For somebody that thrives on routine, the thing I struggled most with when first running Tartle was that no two days are the same. It’s cliche but oh so true.

To counter this, I find that planning loosely really helps. For example, Mondays are completely dedicated to taking stock and making sure that I’m organised, my clients are happy and have communicated everything they need to me… It’s an admin heavy day. Tuesdays through to Thursdays are client work-based: this way, I can hammer out the goods and deliver in good time before the weekend. Having said that, Fridays are then an early weekend: delivery of deadlines, planning for next week and getting myself in order. I guarantee it’ll take a few weeks to find your pace, but then things will be peachy from there.

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