My business is 3 years old this week, which is a pretty exciting milestone. Now, in Jewish tradition, Orthodox Jewish boys have their first haircut at the age of 3. If anyone is interested this is known as an “Upsherin” and is celebrated, as with any Jewish event, with copious eating of food and much maternal fussing. Another day, another religious ceremony. The reasoning for this, from what I remember when I was a good, practicing, Jew is that at this age we start to make our own decisions, differentiating right from wrong. And, I suspect, most hopefully leaving behind the terrible twos.
Now whilst I didn’t have a ceremonial hair cutting for my business, it being an intangible entity making it rather difficult, I can relate to this whole idea of three being an important number. Because, as I enter my third year (I should add as a business, I am 25…) I am starting to feel a significant shift in the way my brand has developed. And more than that….not unlike a baby my business has grown significantly from when it made its first, tentative steps back on May 22nd 2015. And there have indeed been tears, (my own mainly), sleepless nights as well as small triumphs as I started to see the earliest glimmerings of success (which I mainly spent on Topshop) back in early 2016.
What amazes me most about running my own business is the learning curves that are forced upon me each and every day. As I take on new clients I must continually reassess my process, my contract and my communication. But, alongside that is the increased confidence; as I overcome each of these hurdles like the boss that I am…only joking often these take months of reflection, moaning and seeking counsel before I finally do what I probably knew I needed to do from day 1…However, I am growing in confidence. I feel more comfortable in my service levels and the way in which I want to act and be perceived. Fuck it…occasionally I am even proud. That’s not to say the process isn’t agonising and lonely, because it is. But, by dealing with each issue I have sharpened and strengthened my brand identity; which naturally extends to who I am as a business owner.
Take my decision to put my prices online….this was made because I was told to, by the ever fantastic and wonderful June Cory of My Mustard. My problem was that I was wasting too many meetings with individuals whose budget did not stretch to my pricing structure. So June advised taking my prices online and, to be honest, whatever June says I take as gospel; as she is a business wiz. However, the reason I have kept them up (despite protestations from a number of individuals claiming they are self-defeating) is because they align absolutely with my business values of being honest and transparent. Frankly, this is also my personality – I am the most open of books, and there ain’t much I can do about it. And so I like having my prices online – it matches who I am, and how I want my business to be seen. As a caveat and before I get comments from detractors- I am by no means suggesting that by hiding your prices you are a charlatan or cowboy. It just works for me.
And this is just one of the recent challenges that has shaped my business and I (to be honest we are completely interchangeable, as I am my own brand). I think this is one of the most difficult things to accept; that growing a business will never stop being hard, nor does that detract from the level of reward of having something that is utterly yours. Not to flog the metaphor to death, but I suspect this is not unlike the feelings around having a baby? Although that is pure speculation, to be clear, the Baker brood is not in the immediate timeframe (take note Mother Baker).
Truth be told I am pretty excited to see what will happen over the next three years. I have some thoughts around offering up LinkedIn profile writing to corporates and a number of intriguing tenders in the offing that could prove to expand my brand. Might even have a haircut or two….keep those curls springy.
If you would like to discuss content marketing or, the curly girl method, in any more detail please do feel free to give me a ring on 0208 629 6465, an email on Helena@helenabaker.com or take a look at my website www.helenabaker.com