Okay so what makes me credible enough to give advice about starting your own business ? Not much actually. I started a small one woman make up company last year. My business caters to any and every event that requires on hand make up artistry. From personal one on one glamour make overs to making over 10+ models for a runway show. I will applaud myself on the success of my company within its first year but there is so much room for improvement. The first year was what I will call the birth. Honestly, I did not know what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I was doing what I loved, I was going to take it as far as I could, and that this had to work for the best because I wasn’t working for the “man” too much longer. So far in this past year I’ve learned so much. So I’m calling this second year the plan of action year. Of course, upon starting this business venture I had it all planned out. Life never goes as planned though. Especially for a beginner. So plans shifted, swamped, and changed. The overall goal is still the same. If you are like me and literally started your business with no experience and only a notebook this could help you. Here’s a few important tips I have learned in order to establish and build a successful business.
- MARKETING is the air that gives life to your business. Seriously dude if no one knows what you’re selling how the hell can you expect buyers. No matter what business you’re in your company has a crowd. Whether it being men, women, teens, kids etc. Figure out your audience and market directly to them. Find out where they hang out, do their shopping, eat, and party. One of the best advantages that this generation has to offer to the business man is social media. THAT’S FREE MARKETING DUDE! Use it to your advantage. Figure out which social network your audience uses most. For example, the fashion industry which caters mostly to young adults would attain more buzz on instagram. Hast tags, photo reposting, and picture uploads would really help you. Where as, if you are channeling an older audience you might want to look more into facebook. Don’t rest on social media alone. There are more ways to market. I used social media as an example because it is the most influential, the easiest to navigate, and of course the cheapest.
- EDUCATE yourself on your business. This does not have to be the formal way of learning, which demands you sit through lectures and write long papers. That kind of learning does not work for everyone. Attending seminars, reading tons of books, and interning are a few ways to gain knowledge that can be useful in furthering your business. You will have competition in your field. What will set you apart from your competitors will be your resume. Your resume will showcase your education and work background in the company. This will save your ass and beat your competition. Even Diddy started as an intern.
- NETWORK your ass off! It isn’t always what you know but who you know. Sometimes it takes knowing that connect, or what I like to call “plug”. That’s also another way to educate yourself. You can only do so much alone. As your company grows you will need help from other people. Team work makes the dream work. Not to mention you get the opportunity to meet business minded people like yourself and exchange ideas and pointers. Don’t ever think sharing your ideas with people is a bad idea. You never know who you may run in to.
- 100% of your effort needs to be given every single day. There is no such thing as an off day or vacation time for the self-employed beginner. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Simple. The day you decide that the success of your business is just as important as the air you need to breathe is that day you will make it. Everyday you must give 100%. You will not always get the same amount of recognition or the effort back as what you put in but that does not matter. This is your shit, nobody else’s ! So don’t expect the next man to value your vision like you do when you guys don’t share the same sight. Literally, just last week I had an opportunity to work with a major company. When it was time to schedule a sit down meeting I tried to set up the meeting around my schedule. Obviously, forgetting that this was a million dollar company that certainly would thrive with or without my business. At that moment I forgot my position and the role I needed to play in order to achieve the overall goal. In the end this decision cost me the opportunity. The lesson in the mistake was maybe the point of it all. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I learned that day that everything would have to take a backseat to my business. If not then you might as well stop right here. You don’t want it bad enough and this life isn’t for you honey.
Okay so I’m at my last and most important point to managing and expanding a successful self-made business. Are you ready? DUH DUH DUHHHH ! DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
- BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM. This is the simplest yet most important contribution you can give your vision and your business. This is so much easier said but harder to follow. Understand that no one will believe in you until you do. Most of the people will not support you until your business is the talk of the town anyway. So remember that you are your own day one fan. Believe and achieve.
That’s all I have for you today folks. I’m a newbie at this entrepreneur thing too. So think of this as us being on a journey together. As I learn more I will share more, so far these are what I consider to be the fundamentals. Maybe I’ll just write a book one of these days (evil grin & rubbing hands like bird man) whatever the case I hope this was helpful and I wish you all nothing but love and success. Peace