I belong to a great group that I have discussed previously (although maybe not recently). WPMU Dev is a great resource that I use and I recommend them in a heartbeat. It is well worth the cost (for me) and I have been a member since 2011 (I think)! Check them out, if you want – WPMU Dev.
They post a Question of the Week which was asking a 2-part question which I answered in the group. And although it was specific to a “freelance/wp agency business,” my advice is geared to anyone with a business. I thought it was good advice, so I am sharing it here as well!
1 – What would you suggest to someone starting their freelance/wp agency business? (Perhaps something you know now that you didn’t when you started your business)
Develop your process as early as possible. Clients LOVE to see you know what you are doing and that you have a process in place as opposed to winging it. Even if you don’ have a process in place, act as if you do AND document what you are doing. This way, when the next client comes along, you already know what you are doing and it becomes a checklist. Also, when you expand and hire new folks, you can give them your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on how things get done.
Next, focus on Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. You can be the absolutely BEST in your field, but if no one knows about you, you will go out of business quickly. Attend networking events, talk to people, mingle. I have found the best way to do this is to help others first and they will want to help you.
Connect people together. If Person 1 is looking for something and you know that Person 2 can provide it, then make introductions of Person 1 to Person 2 even if there is nothing for you to gain. Both parties will appreciate it.
2 – What are your go-to resources to improve your business or WP skills? (books, podcasts, webinars, etc.)
Always be learning, so this is a great tip regardless of where you go. I learn so much here in this community (as I have posted before).
Attend live events, even free ones. I attend a lot of MeetUps just to learn new things. Even if I think a topic is already in my wheelhouse, I feel that if I can gean one nugget, the time is worth it. Plus, as I said above you can meet new people!
Facebook has great groups that provide support for products, business owners, etc. Become an active participant, sharing YOUR knowledge and learn from others. Never think that you do not have anything to contribute. I always think of the phrase, “To a 4th grader, a 5th grader is a king!” There will always be people that know more than you and there will always be people that know less than you.
There are many online courses/programs available. The key to getting the most out of them is to COMPLETE them. Don’t let them gather digital dust. Make sure you allocate time to go through the course and even schedule that time on your calendar.
Note: So it looks like I didn’t really give specifics to question #2, but I still think it is good advice 🙂