It is that time again in which I am celebrating another year in business filled with many new lessons learned.

I finally reached my goals of where I wanted my business to be towards the end of year three. By going into year four, I thought I could ease up on the networking and meeting new referral sources. The plan was to just work with those sources I already had met since I had built up a good network over the prior years. What I wasn’t expecting was to lose some sizable customers in my portfolio halfway through the year and at the same time! I also found out that 8 of my top referral sources had changed professions and would no longer have the opportunity of referring me business. Lesson Learned – You always need to be meeting new referral sources no matter how successful your business is and should always have a strong pipeline since you don’t always have control over when a customer or a referral source might leave you.

In my business I had developed other areas in which I thought would be generating additional revenues. I spent a lot of time concentrating on those new areas which took away time spent on meeting new referral sources and attending networking functions. Unfortunately those areas didn’t generate the revenues as expected. Lesson Learned – I should have balanced my time evenly between developing the new areas and meeting new sources and attending networking events. At least the ones that were a priority.

I was spending up to 8 hours a week on tasks that could have been outsourced. Like many business owners, I thought I could save money by handling those tasks myself. Wrong. Those hours should have been spent on generating revenue. Lesson Learned – I discovered that by outsourcing those areas, I was generating more than enough revenue to cover those expenses.

As any business owner, you are always learning and trying to figure out what works best for your company. That is what makes it exciting in owning your own business. I look forward to Year 5 in which I can incorporate what I have learned over the past 4 years and make 2015 the best year ever!