10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years Owning This Business

Forte Events (represented by our member Tami Forero) is celebrating 10 years in business this year and Tami wrote an exceptional article for The Special Event Blog that we found both inspiring and insightful.  Enjoy the read–we’re sure you’ll find some tips for taking your career the distance.

Tami ForeroIn celebration of this momentous occasion, I thought I would share the top 10 truths I’ve learned in the last 10 years of business. I hope this inspires you and I hope you can partake in our joy as we reminisce on social media all month too! #Fortéis10

#10

Get your house in order. Understand financials and get help from people who know how to strengthen your bottom line. Stay out of debt personally and in business. Don’t let other’s tell you that you need things to be a “real” business if you don’t (offices, furniture, cars, staff, equipment, etc.). I know some types of businesses in our industry require more purchasing of things to survive and grow, but do it in such a way that your goal is to be debt-free. Commit to it and really do it.

When you don’t have the burden of debt hanging over you, you can be free to experiment and be creative. You can donate to your favorite causes and help others. You can be much more profitable, since your margins are yours and not going to pay off a bunch of debt.

As a creative person, I am not naturally great at bookkeeping/accounting–generally any kind of math–but once I learned how to read reports, project sales, and understand my numbers, I became immediately more successful and confident. Now, I enjoy the numbers and I’m not scared of the reports! Creating a sound financial plan and sticking to it will make your business and life so much more enjoyable.

#9

Only work with “perfect” clients. We define what “perfect” clients are for us each year, and we only pursue and work with those who fit our criteria. Everyone else we say “no” to … even when we need work … even when it’s hard to say no. We do not budge on this.

Working with clients that are not a great fit make for a miserable experience for them and for us. The joy of having your own business is that you can say “no.” Most of us don’t do this often enough and wonder why we are exhausted, unfulfilled, underpaid, under-appreciated and unhappy.

In fact, many companies cannot keep quality employees because they do not “protect” their teams from unfit clients. Morale suffers and the work is no longer fun. On the other hand, perfect clients refer other perfect clients and are fun to work with!

#8

Surround yourself with great mentors. I work with a business consultant, an attorney, and a CPA. I have a network of event professionals I can contact for support whom I’ve befriended over years of conferences and networking. I am also an active member of several professional organizations. I turn to my husband and my parents for advice and support often.

I am painfully aware that I do not know everything. I need support to stay successful and I actively seek it out. This has made all the difference!

#7

Delegate, delegate, delegate! Each of us at Forté Events only works the part of the project that we love and we are good at doing. If I had to do everything (sales, contract negotiations, customer service, logistics, billing, bookkeeping, vendor relations, communications, marketing, on-site event management, travel, networking, admin, speaking, consulting, etc.), I would be non-effective and stressed out! Instead, I delegate as much as I can to the team and I concentrate on only a few areas that I am good at and enjoy.

If you never learn to delegate, your company will never grow. Delegating–and I mean hands off once you pass the task on–has allowed each team member to grow in his or her own careers and for me to focus on the bigger picture. I highly recommend it!

#6

Do not make fear-based decisions. I could write a whole book on just this one point. (Don’t worry; I won’t do that here). All fear-based decisions made in business will most likely result in failure.

For example:

Money is tight, so you decide to work with a client that is not a perfect fit for you

The schedule this month is so hectic, you decide to keep an employee who is not a fit for your team so they can help you finish the workload

You’re afraid an attorney will be expensive so you sign a contract without a professional opinion

You are unsure of the abilities of an industry partner but their price fits in the budget so you hire them despite your reservations.

Any of these sound familiar? Trust your gut. Take your time, research, think before you act and never make decisions out of fear.

CHECK OUT THE FULL ARTICLE AND TIPS #5-#1 BELOW!

Source: 10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years Owning This Business

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