Red trainers on a welcome mat

“What we really want is a tidy dap”

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So this is our new website – we love it. We’re happy that it reflects Front Door Communications as a company and we also hope that Google will like it too. We know the last thing the world needs is another article about starting up a business and Lord knows we don’t want to p*ss anyone off – we’re PR people after all. But in this article, we just thought we’d share some of our gems from setting up Front Door Communications in the hope that somewhere, someone will read this and find it useful….

Gem #1 - Don’t underestimate your time

When we started out, we kept promising to do things in the same time frame we did when we worked for other people, and had a complete support system in place. Now however, literally everything is our responsibility. If we need to print something, we have to buy a printer…likewise if we want a cup of tea, we need to buy the teabag and the cup (and a biscuit if you’re that way inclined).

This meant that the six hours we’d planned to write the perfect press release had to be spread across two days, and even then we found ourselves frantically writing at midnight because we’d promised our client they’d have it the next day. It’s just one of those things you learn quickly when you start your own business, you need to factor in ‘being a business owner’ time.

Gem #2 - There’s no IT department

Seems obvious doesn’t it? I thought I could be as cavalier with my laptop as I was in my previous roles – I went about changing passwords, didn’t worry about viruses…. ah those were the days. It wasn’t until I got locked out of my laptop that I realised I didn’t have anyone to blame – or to fix it – but myself. Crap.

When this stuff happens, just keep your cool and don’t cry on the phone to Dell customer services like I did. And it may be worth recruiting an IT company who won’t charge the earth but can pop along with their IT capes on, and get you back up and running.

Gem #3 – Your website doesn’t have to be perfik

Depending on the type of business you are, you will invariably need a website, but remember to have fun with it. Try not to stress about the smaller details. Don’t spend ages thinking about what type of shoe will look best on your welcome mat. You’ll soon find yourself saying, “what we really need is a tidy dap*…” ffs. Yes, it’s important to get it right but there’s no one telling you what that is anymore, it’s all about you – so make it about what you want.

Gem #4 - Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this

When you’re sitting there reconciling sales invoices, knowing your next task is to tidy up the mess you left on your desk and there’s no one to moan to or shout at, remember that you did this because you wanted to get something out of it – whether that’s money, a better work life balance, or you just had a flipping great idea. Remind yourself why you decided to work for yourself and it will help put the other stuff into perspective.

Gem #5 - Everyone is super proud of you

The last time I had this much encouragement from people, I was pregnant. When you start your own business, everyone just wants to cheer you on and wish you the best – and it’s a great feeling. There’s a certain pride in saying to someone “I run my own business” and you should make the most of it. Because just like having a child, I’m assuming there’s a terrible twos phase coming up where most people will just want to avoid you…

Like I said, this isn’t a rundown of things you need to do to get your business off the ground. It’s just a few observations that we wanted to share about our experience. We’re just six months in so we still have a way to go before we’re out of nappies and into pull ups, but we’ll keep you posted….

*to any non-welsh readers, a “dap” is slang for trainer.

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