5 October 2018

2 Years A Boss Girl - What My Second Year Of Business Looks Like

Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog

Can you believe it's been a YEAR since I last updated you guys on what it's like being freelance and running your own business? Well it's been nearly TWO YEARS since I've been doing this. I feel pretty great about this considering I gave myself 3 months before I was back in the grip of an employer.

I will write an update from a more business focussed side and what I've been up to later in the month as there is still a whole 4 weeks to go, but I wanted to share with you how my personal perception of freelance and business owner has changed in the past year.

My first year of owning a business was fun and exciting, I had a lot of new things happening and the market was relatively scarce especially in the area. I look back on the past year and see how much projects have evolved to more complex campaigns and ongoing client partnerships, which is very exciting for me and the growth of my business. I have learn that it's all about making lasting relationships with clients instead of trying to grab every small project that lands my way. It's sustainable relationships which are real money makers and give freelancing some kind of stability - because trust me, the word 'stability' is rarely used in the vocabulary of anyone who works for themselves. In the past year I even had to turn down some jobs and pass them on to other freelancers I know because they just weren't right for me - I focussed in a lot more on where I want to be and what I want to achieve in my business.

Saying that, one major change I noticed in my second year of being a solopreneur is how I no longer have the time to work on my own projects or my brand - I have been dedicated and focussed on producing the best work for my clients, and using my creativity and brainpower to push their businesses forward through digital marketing. But whenever I have the time and energy, I like to create for my business and plot the next 3 years ahead.

Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog
Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog
what I'm wearing: tweed dress* SheIn // bag TKMaxx // knee-high boots Guess // earrings F&F

I decided in my second year that I'm going to stop paying attention to any competition in the area - mainly because I want to focus on being the best at what I do, and I can't be dealing with the headache of worrying about others. The community I have around me are the best - whether they're in the same industry as me or something completely different we all support each other and help each other, even though in some cases we have an ocean separating us. Support and community spirit is so important because we're all in the same boat - creating, working on our brands, building our dream lives.

But my second year wasn't all roses and sparkles - for the first time I had to deal with agencies trying to steal my clients (yep, I'm just so grateful that my clients are loyal and honest who told me about this); I had to deal with local freelancers taking my content and using it on their websites without my permission or any mention; I burnt out; I sacked a client for talking to me like trash; and I also had to deal with someone stealing from me. I know, shocking - how do you steal from a freelancer?! I'll tell you how: when a freelancer does the work for you, you use that work to your advantage, you gain new customers from using that freelancers work and when the invoice lands in your email you refuse to pay for the work. It's like going into Zara and walking out with a dress you like and are going to wear to dinner, but when the sales assistant questions you about why you haven't paid and the tag is still on it, you simply say "I don't think I have to pay for this though."... Are you OK hun?

I promised you guys I'd be honest and with the recent outbreak of distrust for perfection over on blogs and social media, I want to share with you the brutal truths of some of the struggles you end up going through when building a business. What the above situations have taught me is that I have to protect myself and my business, and my hippy approach to everyone I worked or collaborated with backfired when the trust was broken by a couple of 'bad eggs'. Since then I have really tightened my processes, and I advise that if you're a freelancer you do to - and get a legal eagle to help you and handle your finances because as ling as your contracts are tight, people won't be able to get away with bending the rules of your game.

Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog
Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog

I didn't see these situations as sucky - instead I took lessons from each of them and made myself and my business better and stronger. You either have thick skin or grow thick skin working for yourself. Like for example in my first year I used to take everything to heart and get so upset if a client didn't like my work I would think they didn't like my creativity or me; but no - they simply want some changes to the designs or content, and it really has nothing to do with me or my creativity. I love working on amends now - for example most of the print ads we work on with clients take around 10 versions to get perfect!

I am very proud of the fact that I have hit my targets at the beginning of my second year - I wanted to have a certain amount of clients and a set amount of money each month, and I have surpassed that at the beginning of the year and levelled out now to be balanced. That's very exciting for me because when I left my well paid agency job I was so scared that I'd have to live off beans on toast for years before making a profit! It's good to set financial goals for yourself because as lucky as I am to be earning my living by working on projects I truly love and with brands I really believe in and am excited about, we all need to make a living and there's no point avoiding this topic.

Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog
Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog
Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose blog, UK fashion blog, UK lifestyle blog

I'm really excited to celebrate the 2nd birthday of Dalry Rose Digital and Dalry Rose Styling at the end of October and share with you the projects I've been working on and hopes and dreams for my third year in business. There are some exciting changes happening in the next couple of months to help me push the business forward and balance my life/work schedule.

My second year of business has been so exciting, busy, I have learned so much in the past 12 months. More importantly I met some wonderful and inspiring people, worked on super exciting projects, improved my skills, and became not just a contractor but a partner for my clients when it comes to their digital marketing needs; and from the styling point of view I got to work with BBC South and help people gain confidence through style and fashion. Even though this year hasn't been easy for a whole myriad of reasons that don't involved my business, I LOVE what I do and I'm so excited to see what next year brings - hair flick emoji inserted here.

Visit SheIn website and shop their new styles: SheIn
Shop the dress here: Tweed Dress

*Some of the items worn in this post have been gifted by SheIn for collaboration purposes.
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