“Once you’ve hit five years, your odds of survival go way up…Only two to three percent of businesses older than five shut down each year.”
Five years ago today, I officially opened my doors* as Red Beret Design.
The last few months have been the best, and I figure if I can do well in this crappy economy, I should be able to support myself through retirement…and if I’m anything like my father, I’ll be working until they pry the mouse from my failing hands.
There have been many lessons learned, some smaller successes and failures along the way, but all in all the future looks bright. I still underpromise and overdeliver, which is supposed to be a formula for success..although I’m not sure it’s the best route to profitability. But at least I charge more for my overdeliveries now.
Besides my client projects, recent pro bono work for Beaver Lodge Local 1504 and being president of the Independent Communicators Alliance, I have three joint ventures in the works, and have been been continuing to learn to develop web sites in drupal and wordpress. So even after five years, a lot of my hours are spent on developing the business that will be, not just earning a living with the business as it stands today.
The biggest challenge? Time. Not enough of it.
The biggest satisfaction? Creating. Not just creating designs for my clients, but creating the direction the business will take tomorrow, creating a role for myself. Also: the security of knowing I can’t be laid off. Yes, I actually feel more secure working for myself with zero benefits than having a “job”. Oh yeah, and also…working at home. I resisted for a long time, because I believed I’d present a more professional image having a studio elsewhere, but the advantages far outweigh the benefits.
Happy anniversary to me.
*More accurately, on this actual day I handed Mr. D. the keys to my office and drove 11 hours to Florida for a medical emergency, but that’s another story. But my lease and business license started on this day, even if I was AWOL for the first three weeks.