2018 and A Dream
First of all, thank you. If you’re reading this, thank you. If you’ve ready many of these, thank you. If you’re still with me after all of the ups and downs of 2018, f*cking THANK YOU!!
Boy oh boy, what year it has been for us all, but what a year it has damn sure been for those of us who decided to stop the bullsh*t and make our dreams official realities. In my opinion, dreams are supposed to manifest. We are supposed to wake up either inspired or enlightened, but to take from either and mold the messages into a real deal.
Some of my readers already know, starting a business does NOT immediately equal dollar signs. I’ve had to chance to be lucky enough to surround myself with fellow business owners who I can learn from, work with and bounce ideas off of to make sure I at least know how to make the dollars show up and how to spend them when they do. This sounds like a shocker to some people - you mean having your own business doesn’t mean you’re rich?! - and nope, it does not, not right away! You may see us entrepreneurs constantly involved, engaged and learning and this is all so we can get to the money and not have to fret over what to do with it! I’ve learned a lot in 2018 and wrapping it up has helped me to reflect and know what to do next year to succeed.
So to all of my POC’s who are starting businesses and haven’t had the blessing of inheritance, top notch education and large loans to help, here’s some of my personal tips on starting your own business:
Do your research before making any sudden decisions. From learning what type of corporation to organize as, which documents to send to your state/city’s offices and what type of taxes to file for - do your research! Learning what types of legal entities exist prior to organizing will help you answer a potential world of questions before it’s too late.
Hire when you’re ready! At first thought, hiring a team seems like the necessary thing to do when you’re doing everything alone, but hiring comes at a price - literally. Check your books before you hire, if you’ve budgeted correctly and have been able to forecast your monthly sales, you’re more than likely going to be able to have the funds to pay your folks AND yourself.
Listen to input from your customers! In the age of online reviews, some business owners may feel that getting customer feedback is going to lead to having to change your entire business model, and while I doubt that would happen, who says that’s a bad thing?? Sometimes, our customers can speak to what sells and what doesn’t quicker than the trends in industry ever could.
Be open to collaborations! I know a lot of people who feel that having a business means you’ve got everything figured out and that you don’t need help or collabs to increase sales and visibility. This is NOT true…in fact…it never is! Collabs with locals, artists, venues and just others in general will always keep you nice and what?? Relevant!
Pay attention to what the leaders in your industry are doing. I’m operating in two different industries, but I never make myself shy to listen to podcasts, read blog posts and sign up for webinars that are hosted by some of the best names in my field(s). There’s no such thing as being a groupie! Ask for mentorship, shoot your shot in DMs and show up to shindigs that you know your idols will be present at and make those connections! People have paved the way for us these days in ways that many people never have and we ALL have access to them.
Focus on what works, perfect it and continue to grow this before opening new channels! When I first started my endeavors, I was operating three different websites. I had no idea who was visiting what and why, but once I consolidated and really took hold of my data, I knew what worked and I honed in on it to turn that into traffic and sales.
Create and publish content constantly! Whether you are getting 2,000 likes or 2 likes, consistency will keep your followers engaged and you will begin to see your numbers rise in no time.
Schedule, schedule, schedule. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I finally sat down and turned my running list of blog ideas for myself and my clients into content calendars. Doing this helped me to be less chaotic and scatter brained and feel confident in what content I was creating.
And this one is the most important…DO NOT GIVE UP! Times will get hard, bills will roll in and some months will out perform others, but keep on going! None of these big name brands we love now were built over night.
To all of my fellow entrepreneurs…what suggests do you have? I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time.