While I didn't win the big prize at the Network Ireland Limerick Regional Business Awards I am still blown away by the fact that I was a finalist in my first year of business and in my first year entering the competition.
It's a great confidence booster, I must be doing something right if three outside judges deem me and by business to be worthy of such a place. But now that the awards are over with it's time to build on what I have done, to look at what worked and what didn't and to keep looking forward.
With this in mind I thought I would talk about my business strategy to "try everything once".
As a newbie to the business world without much business education or experience I felt I needed to be open to all opportunities that might just suit my business. Some might see this as a risky strategy where I might spread myself too thin or spend too much money on different forms of advertising but I looked at each opportunity/event/marketing strategy objectively to see first if it would suit my business, would it fill any gaps in my business/editorial knowledge, would it provide networking opportunities, or if it would be seen by my target audience and then if there was some chance, I took it.
Some opportunities were very successful, like joining the Network Ireland Limerick branch.
I went to one meeting, was very impressed by what I saw and and the Network is now an invaluable tool to me for peer support, networking, getting new ideas and inspiration and so much more. Other opportunities did not work out. I was approached by a large UK student magazine to take out an advertisement in their publication. While I managed to negotiate a lower price on my advertisement, ultimately this marketing avenue did not attract any work. Similarly, a business listing website specifically for freelance editors did not bring any work, (but it did point me in the direction of a larger proofreading company that brought me much better work).
My point is, if you are like me, lacking in business knowledge, but have a keen critical eye, if you try everything once your business will either benefit from it or you will learn from your mistake.
You take the loss on the chin and you know what to avoid in future. I've heard it said quite a lot that business is about taking risks, I'm playing it a little safer taking calculated risks but it is a strategy that has been working for me so far. Hopefully it will continue to work for me in the future, if not, I'll try, try again.