It's no secret, it's not an easy road when you start a new business. You'll be looking for advice along the way and avenues to turn down to help you in your new journey. The internet is completely flooded with experts and entrepreneurs with business advice and suggestions, so it can be hard to wade through the volume and find the blogs and information that are worth reading on a daily basis.
One of the hardest things for every small business owner is the daily grind and staying focused for years on end to build your business and experience success.
Along the way, we all need inspiration and motivation to keep us going, and give you, the small business owner, drive and strength to keep moving forward, day in, day out. Some days the steps may be small and seem non-existent, but along as you continue on your forward and positive motion.
I've found the most inspiration I have drawn from is the can-do attitude from women of similar paths to mine who are telling a story with their brand and as a strong woman. These people inspire me daily to grow as an entrepreneur.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded positive individuals, I believe, is essentially imperative to succeeding in business. I couldn't imagine having my support network passing off negative comments on the reg and still being in the right headspace to deliver A grade content to my followers. It's just not possible.
Some points I have learnt along the way that I have found it really takes to start start and run a small business:
- A big heart that can take heart break and set backs
- Empathy - A lot of it!
- Lack of sleep
- Minimal Income and constant outlay
- Criticism/critiquing of your pride and joy, yet being gracious enough to take it on board
- A level head and genuine approach to build rapport with your customers
Whilst building a brand, you learn a lot about yourself, what you like and you also learn to create a product that's not actually for you but for your ideal customer.
So how I did it?
- Draw on an inspiration - what inspires you to care enough to sell a product on to someone? Better still, what inspires you enough that someone else can buy your story and in turn, your product. For me - my Dad! A successful business man himself, with a huge passion to grow and create a business that was worthy and also a name for his family! The product - Childhood memories of tea drinking and those conversations had while sipping that delightful cup of tea, why would I not want to share that special piece to the world, right?
- Passion - Show the world your passion! There is nothing more appealing then someone with a product that they have passion for! It unintentially seeps out of their content
- Sourcing products - How to find the best products to fit your niche? Find a product that works for you and fits your passion but will work for your customer
- Trust in business - Having your Graphic Designer as your un biological sister (we chose each other as children) I was able to create a brand with her by asking her to replay our childhood memories and create designs from them. Picking flowers and playing in the garden and being absolute free spirits just like the wind or wild horses running in a paddock. I wanted this to resemble that picture. Within this freedom in the designs lies the love for my father who is free like the wind as well. So, the most perfect brand was created thanks to Laa De Dar Designs
- Education - I truly believe you can never learn enough! You are growing and expanding every day to suit your business and the ever-changing market! I am constantly on the lookout for new courses, webinars or similar inspirational businesses that are succeeding and observe what they're doing and learn from them! I received some of the best advice recently during a coaching call - ' continue to grow but stay in your lane' For me this was so real because we all need to keep learning, but we need to focus on our lane and the road ahead, ' Our Own Business'
- Connecting and engaging with your audience - use the back office of Instagram to see when your viewers are most active and engaged. Don't waste your time posting when it best suits you! Make sure you're posting is effective and it is when it suits them - because overall without your customer there is no business! You need to be seen!!
- Tell a story! - Don't be afraid to be raw and honest about you and your story! I often share photos of myself with my tea and give fun facts about myself and my life to share with my viewers and the response is ALWAYS overwhelming!! People love to buy from people and to see that the person behind this product is a real person dealing with real life STUFF just like them! People love to relate to your story and see that they're not alone! If I can offer any advice, tell your story and engage with your followers! Build that connection with them, you'll be so glad you did.
Stats show that being consistent improves revenue by 23%. This is because consumer who hear your name often are more likely to remember it, which will make them more likely to seek you out when they are in need of your product or service but if you're not regularly putting out content, and staying engaged in fresh conversation, audiences will not be able to find you.
I believe this can be one of the most challenging things to conquer - being consistent and constantly posting interesting content for your followers! When I first started my business, I thought it would be easy finding content to publish, since then I have learnt so much and grown ten times and have changed my style so much hence why am so much more particular in what I post and when.
Finally consistency improves your SEO rankings as well. Search engines take into account how often you post, and if you are regularly posting content with keywords, this helps you rank higher. This also gives the search engine more pages to index and it gives people more chances to find you.
The road to success in small business is certainly far from an easy one, I've heard it be likened to a roller coaster even. But one thing is for certain, it's a wonderful learning experience and if you broaden your horizons and seek the advice and support you require to lead you to your pot of gold under the rainbow you may be envisioning, you really will unleash the keys to a whole new world! The support and educational platforms that are available are phenomenal. I encourage you to reach out and grow as much as humanly possibly!