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4 Hard Truths of Running a Small Business (that nobody talks about)

4 Hard Truths of Running a Small Business (that nobody talks about)

In this blog, I'm going to give my honest insights of some of the hardest parts of running a small business in 2023, drawing from my own experiences from running Little Perfections full-time, since July of 2022. 
1. It can be really lonely at times, especially if you’ve founded the business by yourself and work from home. I previously posted a short reel about why I enjoyed working from home, but it was bugging me that I wasn’t giving a complete picture of the reality of it. Sure, you have the home comforts and more flexibility in what you wear, when you can eat, taking short breaks more regularly, but if I had the option of working with a group of people, which in turn meant working in a different environment, I would opt for that. Being part of a tribe is an innate necessity for humans and remains a key factor in our survival, so working with a team and seeing groups of people regularly has a hugely positive impact on mental wellbeing. I’m looking forward to the day when my small business is big enough to support hiring a team of people to help LP grow and give me a better sense of community on a daily basis.
2. Your future prospects when it comes to your career and success are in a constant state of uncertainty and fragility. You have to be able to adapt constantly to survive in business and continue to out-compete your competitors, who inevitably pop up all the time, especially if you’re working in a popular niche or something that’s up and coming. Now, this isn’t to say that I’m constantly worrying, but I’m somebody who likes to plan for the future, which makes being an entrepreneur difficult at times, as I can’t plan how quickly or successfully my business grows, all I can do is put as much time and effort into it as possible, maximising all the growth methods I can and try to enjoy the process.
3. Business comes in ebbs and flows - some months will be great and you think everything is taking off, then the next month, sales are down and you don’t know if you can financially carry on. This leads to some moments of immense self-doubt. This might not be applicable to all small businesses, but as my products are primarily wedding focused, it makes them quite seasonal, so winter months aren’t particularly lucrative. And randomly, I might get one summer that’s underperformed compared to the one prior, which can be down to a lack of updating product relevancy or, just a natural swing in consumerism. As a small business owner, you need to be prepared for these rises and falls and take them in your stride. Try not to get too caught up in the failures and use them as lessons. Elon Musk once said that there is no such thing as failure, and on this occasion, I tend to agree with him. You have to have a growth mindset to be a great entrepreneur and adapt to any challenges that arise. One of my favourite ways to keep my mind active and improve my knowledge of business and the world in general is by reading. At the moment, I’m aiming to read one book per week. Here are some of my favourites: Limitless - Jim Kwik, The Psychology of Money - Morgan Housel, Be Your Future Self Now - Benjamin Hardy, Lost Connections - Johann Harri, Four Thousand Weeks - Oliver Burkeman

Some of the books I’ve listed have changed my life in numerous ways and have been game changers in my approach to building Little Perfections into a successful global brand. 



4. Bad feedback and difficult customers are inevitable, even if you’re a philanthropist with the purest and kindest intentions. This is one I struggled with significantly for a long time. I’m a people-pleaser through and through, so when one in every thousand customers left me a negative review or sent me an unkind message, it would literally keep me up at night and I would spend hours trying to keep them happy with messages, refunds, freebies… you name it. What I’ve come to learn is that you cannot please everyone. It’s literally impossible. Even if your products and service are 10/10, some people will resent that fact in itself and try to bring you down because they’re insecure with their own progression and status. Now, of course, if you’re getting a lot of negative feedback, then I’d strongly suggest reviewing your products and services to make any necessary changes. However, if it’s not often you receive this type of feedback, when it inevitably arrives, reach out to the customer to see if you can resolve the issue in a way that’s fair to the buyer AND you, and if they’re unreceptive, finish off with a kind message and carry on with your day. Don’t let their negative energy spill into your precious time and thoughts. It’s their burden to carry, to yours.



To conclude, running a business has many ups and many downs, and I think it's important to pay attention to both sides of the experience. Having said that, I wouldn't want to make a living in any other way. Building my own little empire is what drives me through all the tough times each day and when customers relay all of their positive feedback, it makes all the difficult moments worthwhile and the self-doubt creep away. If reading this has had any positive impact on you, please leave your feedback in the comments and follow us on social media for more of my small business content! @littleperfectionsuk





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