I’m a WordPress plugin developer. Not deliberately at first but through chance. Before starting my own business, I was a registered nurse and loved my job. I took maternity leave when I had my child and found that I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with.
When my cousin, a developer himself who runs his own business, asked for help with a few projects, I began to code.
Eventually, I started helping clients with their websites and found that there were certain problems that kept cropping up. People needed to create forms and manage data. There were no solutions available at the time and so, I built a form plugin that I could give to all my clients.
I’m happy to say that my business and work as a developer has turned into a success. I help businesses, non-profits, and other types of organizations achieve their goals.
I’ve also learned a few lessons on the way and think that other women can learn from them. Here’s what I picked up on my own entrepreneurship journey.
Try to solve a problem
Every time you see a problem around you, think of it as an opportunity to start a business. If you’ve come across a problem that has no solution or find that it takes a lot of work, then you can create the solution yourself. And that’s your means to building a business that helps people.
Go with the flow
Sometimes, the opportunity to start a great business comes in unexpected ways. You need to keep an open mind and go with the flow.
What does it look like when an opportunity appears to you? You may see an advertisement for a business course show up on your Facebook feed. Maybe someone invites you to partner up with them.
Your best step may be to go with things that come up in your life and trust that it’s the right choice for you.
You don’t need to know everything
I never had any kind of programming experience and I picked it up from a small crash course given by my cousin.
When I created my plugin, I would often get problems and wouldn’t know how to fix them.
But what I did was to look for an answer. Google is your best friend and I believe that you can use it to literally figure out anything in life.
So, if you’re holding yourself back because you’re not an ‘expert’, then stop. Dive in and learn on the job.
Remember that you don’t need to know everything but you do need to be willing to learn. And you need to be proactive and find solutions.
This point is an extension of the previous one that I made. Just as you don’t need to know everything to run a business, you also don’t have to do something ‘big’.
It’s okay to start small. Maybe by working with just one customer at first or by having a simple or basic website. Then as you get familiar with the work, you can find more customers, improve your website and marketing, and later invest in tools to grow your business.
Taking things step by step has helped me stay on track and grow my business. Trying to do too much at once would have left me overwhelmed.
Learn to document things and let things go
One of the hardest things that came with having a successful business is that I had to step back from product development to the actual marketing and management of the business.
As you grow your own business, you’ll have to hire more people and let them take over day-to-day operational tasks.
But being a better business owner means stepping away from the small tasks and managing the bigger picture. So to do this effectively, it is important for a manager to do two things:
- Delegate and
Hire people, assign them to do a job, and then let them do it. And then document your processes as much as possible. Explaining the values behind your business and why you created your product a certain way will help share your vision with your team.
Also, create a values and mission statement for your employees. When your team and employees know why things are done a particular way, the chance that they’ll carry on in this way increases.
As I go on this entrepreneurship journey, I think I have more lessons to learn as a woman entrepreneur.
What I do know is that learning to code and starting a business was a great career step as a mother to a young child. And I encourage other women, and mothers especially, to take up coding as a possible career choice or as a supplementary job. This can be a fulfilling way to live and grow yourself.