Taking a Step Back

A few months ago, I wrote about growing my business and how I had come to a fork in the road.  I needed to figure out how to manage my growing business with my family’s needs, while maintaining my sanity.  I’ve implemented a few measures recently: hiring some help and enforcing a stricter email policy, to name two.  But, it’s still not cutting it.  Even though I hired someone, I continued to take on new clients and new work, while still maintaining the 40-some websites I already support.  It’s hard to turn down new work; I love meeting new people and learning about their businesses and how I can help them.  I also love the creative challenge of designing a new website.  But bringing on a new client is a lot of work and it’s very time-consuming.

Because of this, I’ve decided to temporarily stop taking on new clients.  This means I won’t be taking on any new website design work or even taking over sites that just need maintenance and occasional updates.  I did not come to this decision easily.  But, after mulling this over for a couple of weeks, it feels like the *right* decision.  At least for now.  I don’t know how long this hiatus will last.  At least 6 months.  Maybe a year.  Maybe more.  I have some definitive things I’d like to accomplish before opening the new-client door again.

Beyond the fact that I hate feeling constantly stressed and pulled in too many directions, my decision to stop taking on new clients has many other factors behind it.  I’ve got an amazing husband and two awesome kiddos with whom I love spending time.  I’ve got my own hobbies that I enjoy.  And I have this really wonderful business that I started a few years ago that has grown so much more than I ever thought!  I want to continue to grow my business with intention and clarity, but right now, that’s not happening.  I’m so immersed in my clients’ work that I’m not spending any time or focus on my business.  I’ve started kicking around some short and long-term business goals, but these have fallen by the wayside as client work and deadlines have taken priority.

I’m currently working on some very cool web design projects.  Once these projects have been launched, I plan on spending much more time focused on my business and where I see it going.  I plan on spending much more time with my new hire so I can give her more work off my plate.  Basically, by taking a break from new web design,  I’ll be able to thoughtfully and intentionally think about my business.  I’ll also be able to spend more time dedicated to my current clients and their needs.  I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know my clients and their businesses and I’ve built great relationships.  I want to continue to nurture these relationships and help my current clients’ businesses grow.  I’ll continue to support and maintain all of my clients websites and work with them on new projects.

If you arrived at my site looking to hire me, you can still shoot me an email.  I’d be happy to refer you to one of my friends or colleagues that does web development.  I’ll be sure to post updates here on how this process is working out for me.  I see this decision as taking a step back, but necessary so I can take several steps forward in growing my business.

Image by Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

2 Comments

  1. Mom

    Reply

    Wonderful post. Well written with great thought behind your decision. I wish you only the best with your business as you also must balance your family needs as well.
    Love you!!

    • Jessica Reilley

      Reply

      Thanks, Mom! Yes, it was a tough decision, but I feel really good about it. I know that in the long run, this will be the best for my family and my business!

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