Two Big Takeaways From My First Year in Business.
My business partner and I opened the doors June 1st, 2014. We started business with three employees, our IT Director and two business modelers. We’re proud to say that we started Capital V solely on customer dollars (well, we spent a couple hundred on registering the business, etc), which put pressure on us to sell. We knew long hours, hard work and increased responsibility would be our allies in making Capital V successful. What we didn’t know was that there would be so much problem solving rather than problem prevention. Here are some of my biggest takeaways from my first year in business.
Prior to Capital V, my experience with sales was on the back end. After the sale has been initiated, I entered the picture to help close the deal. I was able to answer the tough questions about how the deliverables would be able to help the customer realize business value. I was able to describe the intricate details of a “BML” project, what the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) would experience and all the benefits of the product. What I learned over the first 12 months was the process to execute projects for both repeat and new sales is significantly longer than I expected. This experience has taught me to re-strategize my sales lead, sales generation and pipeline management strategies.
My second experience involves human resources. In my previous role, I was never involved in handling any human resource issues. Capital V opened the door to employee requests, hardships, and their impact on customers and ongoing projects. I had to consider how every decision I made set precedence for future employee requests. It also caused me to balance employee requests, the desire to create a challenging yet fun and rewarding workplace against the project schedule, and customer requests and expectations (even the ones that were a bit of a stretch). This experience has taught me to be much more proactive. As an experienced HR Director once told me, “… you only have to have this happen once before you never let it happen again.”
In conclusion, my business partner and I have been in business for almost a year and a half and there have been so many tough and wonderful experience. My favorite part of being a business owner is that it touches so many different experiences and emotions. If the next 15-20 years are anything like the first, it should be a wild, wonderful, and rewarding ride.