Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Posted by: LocalShops1
We asked: What advice would you give to someone considering going in your line of work?
Here is what some LocalShops1 business members had to say ...
Jo Ann Oliver, Paulie O's Italian Gourmet: You've got to love what you do! It's a lot of hard work! If you love what you do, have a passion for it, it won't seem like work!
Robin Wood, Fred's Finest Pet Treats: Don't just start doing it. Do the research. A lot of it. Know what you are doing and why. Know what is required from governmental regulations. And, of course, listen to your customers to help meet their needs.
Tim Horton, Tampa Bay Discount Mattress: NEVER start a "free" blog. Wordpress charges $10 to put the tool on YOUR web address. site-name.blogspot.com [or others] will never get SEO success. ... You NEVER want your page to look like the content is not fresh, ever. There are choices that are important if you are doing online sales vs brick/mortar only. Make sure you look at ALL the theme choices available too. Do NOT just use one of the "same" that everyone else uses. IMHO, even un-informed surfers recognize "template" sites and mentally discount them. The balance is: Don't be trendy or different, just to be different either.
Ebony Grimsley, Above Promotions: Be prepared to be the face for clients and to also be behind the scenes for others. Some clients may shy away from the lights while others pay you to not be scene on their behalf.
MeLanie Neumann, Tampabay Massage Therapy: Love what you do because running your own business is a lot of work. Long days, 7 days a week. If it is a labor or love it won't seem so bad. You have to put everything into it: heart, soul and funds. I rarely took pay in the beginning because I was reinvesting back into the business.
And specifically, to massage: You must really care about people and every time you put your hands on someone, do it with INTENTION. Clear your mind. Remember why you are doing massage, to heal. There is more to healing than just the modality of massage. The energy and the intention, attention that you put into your work makes a huge difference in the outcome for your patience. If you are spiritual, (most therapists are, but not all) call on a higher power to work through you when you work on others. Listen and empathize with your clients. As for marketing, all that will do wonders for your marketing. One on one you are selling you, your skills, your compassion, not "massage therapy."There are thousands of massage therapists but there is only one you!
Cheryl Hinton, Park Lane Jewelry representative: Perhaps start part time to be sure you love it. Second, try and have a nest egg to get you through until you start making money. Have the support of your family! Love people!!
JoAnna Gilford, Shea Scensations: Don't be afraid to experiment, it opens your mind to many possibilities. Even my "failed" Starbucks Soap had interesting results which led into other areas, not to mention a lot of laughter. Document everything; your notes may become essential to you in the future. Review/rewrite your business plan as needed, you may need more flexibility than what you think now. Don't think everything you do is always going to be perfect because it's not. Chalk it up to learning and move on.
Karen Brantner Taylor, My Storybook Corner: If you love books and you love kids, then you will love having your own Barefoot Books business. You can not have a bad day selling books to children. I will say that you shouldn't expect to pay yourself until the third year. It takes time, commitment, and investment to build a successful business. You don't want to invest too much of your own money, but you probably need to reinvest your profits in the beginning. Follow through! Give back to the community! Have fun and love what you do! ... Oh, and have a business plan! Even if you have a direct sales business...you need to have goals and a business plan to help you reach your goals! Take steps daily to reach your goals.Martha Trangas Ross, Mobile Day Spa Creations: Direct Sales has no limits when it comes to income but find something that you are truly passionate about and believe in. Approach your clients to geniunely help them resolve their issues, not to "sell" to them, listen to their needs and meet them. Segregate your business from your personal finances and it's always good to either have a "nest egg" to work from, or a line of credit, but be frugal. You don't need to have "EVERYTHING" to get started. Establish a base and build as you go. It's hard work but you identify your own schedule!
Daphne Taylor Street, communications strategist/freelance writer: Take the time to build an incredible portfolio, references, links to published works, etc. Be somewhat flexible with changes, and be upfront about your terms regarding those changes and edits. For instance, my contract stipulates a total of two original edits from a client. I charge by the project vs. the hour, so the client is aware that there is a limit to how much additional work I will do on a project before the price goes up.
LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned businesses
and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of
advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies
throughout Tampa Bay. Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the
region's most active voice for small businesses. www.localshops1.com