one year later…

oneyearblog
{photo credit: Black Oak Creative, 2012}

Today marks the one year anniversary of Chad and I moving our flower shop and officially becoming the new owners of the family business. It goes without saying that it flew by. 

Here’s what I’ve learned in our first year as small business owners (although I could’ve used some of these lessons years ago, with or without the entrepreneurship):

1. You’re going to make mistakes — even big ones — and things won’t always turn out exactly the way you planned. That’s okay! I’ve learned the most valuable lessons through my mess-ups.

2. You can fix just about anything by accepting responsibility and offering up a sincere apology. Bonus points if that apology includes a speedy solution.

3. Be open to feedback, new ideas, and even criticism. No matter how much you want to believe the contrary, you don’t know everything.

4. Your employees are your best and most important asset. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.

5. You can’t be all things to all people. Sometimes you have to break up with a client, employee or vendor when you don’t jive. Do it respectfully. Pull the old, “it’s not you, it’s me,” move if you have to.

6. Never, ever burn a bridge. You may need to cross it again someday.

7. Make your business a drama-free zone. Don’t bad-mouth the competition or fan the local gossip fires with your customers or vendors. It breeds negativity within your company and damages your credibility.

8. It’s durn-near impossible to finish everything every day. Triage your to-do list, cut yourself some slack, and go home at a decent hour.

9. There is no end to the city/county/state/federal/insurance/accounting paperwork. Seriously, it’s overwhelming and will drive you to drink.

10. Make time to relax, unplug, and let your hair down. Your business will be so much better for it.

I have a theory that your first year as a business owner is similar to your first year of marriage; it’s exciting and new, but also awkward and challenging — and sometimes maddening! — with a great big dose of personal growth. This is not to say that I think it’s all smooth sailing from here, but I definitely feel better equipped to ride the wave.

Can’t wait to see what unfolds in year two!

What Do You Think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

18 Comments

  1. elkeeb wrote:

    Thanks for the great advice. I’d like to be a small business owner one day and your story is very inspiring.

    Posted 7.5.13 Reply
  2. lalarukh1 wrote:

    Congrats! These are great lessons and great people learn through their mistakes…… Loved your blog ! You are beautiful :)
    Check me out at http://foodpeopleloveandstuff.wordpress.com/

    Posted 7.5.13 Reply
  3. I’m glad I stumbled on your blog. =) Number #8 is my favorite of the 10 tips and ALL of them are GREAT tips. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

    Posted 7.4.13 Reply
  4. congrats on ur business! I wish u many more successful years. :)

    Posted 7.3.13 Reply
  5. ceislin wrote:

    Congratulations! So exciting and thanks for sharing the year with all of us!

    http://ceislin.com

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  6. Heidi wrote:

    Congrats to you both on a tremendous first year! All the BEST to you in the ones to come :)

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  7. Ashley wrote:

    Congrats! You’ve gotten through the growing pains of that 1st year :)

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  8. Congrats on the anniversary and to the new business! Best of luck!

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  9. Great tips! I don’t know if you need this one, but my key idea would be ‘look hard, honestly and in detail at the figures instead of making decisions with your heart.’ Also, plan for a best, worst and okay scenerio in terms of your financial planning.

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
    • Excellent point! My husband is really good at this one. He helps me keep my ideas tethered to what’s best for the books and what we can afford.

      Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  10. Great tips and you know I think they work well for anyone who’s trying something new, be it blogging, a new job or even marriage! Take care xx

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  11. Chiara wrote:

    COngratulations! You made through the first year, so I hope you’ll have it easier from now on. Love seeing your work, so please keep posting pictures of beautiful flowers arrangements!

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  12. Congrats to both of you. That is quite an accomplishment. Hope you celebrate well and wishing you many happy (and busy) years to come.

    XOXO Nensi

    Posted 7.2.13 Reply
  13. Jenn wrote:

    This is such a great list of lessons! I think it’s the kind of thing everyone needs to learn… unfortunately most people take much longer than a year to “get it”. Congrats on your first year!
    Jenn
    With Luck Blog
    Shabby Apple Giveaway

    Posted 7.1.13 Reply
  14. elizrodrig wrote:

    Congrats! These are great lessons! I can’t wait till I make a year with my blog I will be soo happy! Congratulations again and good luck!!

    Posted 7.1.13 Reply
  15. Congratulations! I love #2, 3, 4, 5, 7….Never mind, I love them all! If all businesses would follow these simple rules…

    Thank You for sharing!

    Posted 7.1.13 Reply
  16. Megan wrote:

    What a great (and accurate!) list. I’m finding #10 to be especially true — I’m usually more productive when I take breaks from work to get inspired and have fun. Congratulations on the exciting milestone!

    Posted 7.1.13 Reply
  17. Valerie wrote:

    Congrats on making it through your first year! Hope you have many successful years to come!

    Posted 7.1.13 Reply