Owning a business can be rough.
I have owned a business(or co-owned, whatever Mom says) since I was 26 years old. On a whim mom and I decided to start a women’s boutique without knowing much except we wanted to be a boutique for every woman as well as affordable. Mom did have a background in owning a business, thanks to my grandma and their antique business for the past 30 years, so we had some clue on how to get started.
We got started and it was rough but isn’t anything when you’re first starting out?
Though, this isn’t really about how we got started though, this is more about what you encounter along the way:
- I would always suggest being nice to those that are in the same business as you. Everyone we met when we first started out was nice and helped point out different things we could do to grow our business. This helped us get to where we are today. If asked, I usually try to do the same for people. Now I won’t tell you how to completely get started because there is the internet for that but if you need little suggestions here and there, I got ya.
- GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Man my dad annoyed me with that growing up but since opening this business, I truly understand it. Whether its from dealing with a customer or a landlord or whoever, it is always best to have it in writing with both parties signed. It seems like paperwork that will just get lost (I usually do lose it) but its something you can always go back on if a problem arises. PS if you take a picture of it with your phone, that counts too! 🙂
- Actually read what you are signing and make sure you understand it. If you have a contract that doesn’t look up to your liking, get a better one. Sit down with that person and work out a new contract together or bring them something you have drawn up and get it figured out. You want to make sure you and that person are on the same page, see number 2. I wish I had listened to my husband when he told me this, he said he wasn’t sure about something and I said it’ll be fine no big deal. I was wrong.
- Did I mention always be nice to people?? No matter how someone is treating you, ALWAYS KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS. Your business is your reputation and vice versa, don’t mess it up because one person gets under skin.
- Your business is your reputation and vice versa. Yes I am mentioning this again because the way you portray yourself on social media or person, whether be facebook, instagram or twitter, it all comes back to you. Even if it’s your personal account but your customers have found you, be aware that what you say could turn some customers away. I mean we have all seen the backlash Chick-fil-a & Starbucks has gotten over different controversial topics.
- Be real with your customers. Let them see the real you, be one of them. We are all humans and we all make mistakes or get behind or forget something. Most people are willing to understand if you just talk to them and let them know what is going on in your world at that time.
- aka KEEP PEOPLE UPDATED. On orders, on things if they’re running behind, on shipping if its taking longer than usual. Some times going a little bit extra out of your way will gain you a customer for life.
Just remember it is rough, growing a business takes time. Don’t get ahead of yourself and don’t get discouraged. Build a community that supports you and always be nice. You will meet good and bad people. With the bad, just take it for what it is, learn that lesson and move on. I know even 4 years into this I am continuing to learn lessons but we are also continuing to grow which is fine by me.
PPS Support Small Business 🙂