On March 5th Top-Notch Concierge celebrated its fourth anniversary! Both Maggie and I, celebrated this accomplishment with each other by reflecting on everything we’ve encountered as first-time small business owners and what we need to do to continue to be successful.
I think about how both exciting and frightening it was to be taking on this new adventure in our lives. Maggie had been fostering the idea of running our own business for years and felt it was something we would regret if we didn’t at least try it. Obviously, like so many others we would have never considered a global pandemic which has been around for more than fifty percent of the time we’ve been in business.
We learned a couple things quickly in the first year. First, enthusiasm and hard work can only take you so far. Maggie learned WordPress and designed our webpage, which has been constantly evolving over the years as we became more knowledgeable about the dos and don’ts of marketing a business. Secondly, social media is a necessity, and it was something neither one of us had utilized in our personal lives. We had email and text, now it seemed along with the webpage we needed Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn to mention a few. We were getting calls and emails about how advertising was the way go, that we needed influencers to get our service known, we should join networking groups, the local Chambers of Commerce and so on.
To say this was a little overwhelming for us is an understatement. We started with joining the local Chambers of Commerce for KW and Cambridge. We met some wonderful people and many other small business owners; it was encouraging to know others were facing the same hurdles we were. It was wonderful to share our stories with each other and be the moral support that is sometimes needed by others who understand what you’re going through. We met some great people this way who are friends to this day.
We joined networking groups, then more networking groups and still more until we realized how naïve we were being. All this networking had spread us so thin we realized that we had to pull back and be more selective, which one or two groups could provide us the advantages of meeting others and still let us run our business. Like many things in life once we stepped back and evaluated all our options, we were able to pick key groups that worked best for our business overall. I guess we decluttered and organized the networking groups so we could in the end be more productive.
There is a quote that says: “A mistake is only a mistake when you don’t learn from it. Otherwise, it is a lesson.” Maggie and I believe in this and have always looked for the positive in any situation where a lesson is learned. There will be days that challenge us, but when you’re doing something, you love you will find a way to meet that challenge head-on and overcome it
When the pandemic was declared, and everything changed drastically for us. No longer could we just go into stores easily to shop for clients, going into the homes of our clients was not safe and no one knew how long this was going to last!
We were fortunate to continue with government assistance and during that time we invested our time in Concierge and Organizing courses to make us better at what we do once everything opens again. We’ve increased our knowledge of social media exponentially and in doing so have streamlined where we feel it would best benefit us moving forward. This has worked out very well for us and we have been able to progressively take our business to the clients we feel require our services.
Like many companies, Zoom meetings replaced in person meetings with potential clients. This allowed us to meet them screen face to screen face and access their needs. Now with the restrictions being lifted we can once again get back to going (almost) freely into homes and stores to work with our clients.
One of the best things about our business is that we have been so fortunate to be able to work with some incredibly wonderful people over the past four years. It’s exciting to think about the future and the many more people we can support.
I won’t lie it’s been a roller coaster ride since we began this adventure four years ago, but we would not trade it for anything else. If we were to have a regret, it’s that we didn’t begin this journey sooner!
Don’t ever be afraid to chase your dreams.