You have a hobby, you really love it and you are really good at it. People keep telling you that you should further pursue your passion or constantly ask you “when are you going to quit your normal job?”
Let me tell you this – I am there. We have been blogging a little over three years now and our online store has been growing day by day and we both still have a full time job. So what are some things as a business owner I have learned along the way and what are some things you need to know before turning your hobby into a business?
Here are my tried and sworn by tips that hopefully help you to get that little bit closer to “making it happen” for yourself.
Research is your best friend – The amount of times a day I tell Pascale that ‘I have done some research’ is hilarious. I have literally become the detective in the social media as well as blogging scenes. To the point that “research” is probably my most used word by far. And that is important, if you rely heavily on social media marketing for your brand you need to be on top of things. Technology is changing by the minute and if you are not up to speed you will be left behind. For our blog and shop it is vital that we know how to really get the most of Instagram marketing, FB as well as SEO. My motto in business is “you can never know too much, once you stop learning you stop growing”.
Get others to look at your brand/shop/business idea – There is only so much you can see or imagine. I regularly ask my friends, my hubby (who has no nothing to do with the fashion industry) or work colleagues to look at my new website, what they think of our Instagram feed or their thoughts on what they would like to see more of! Trust me some of the best ideas come from the most unexpected places. You as the creator can sometimes be so stuck on your idea, rather than seeing it simply we can tend to complicate things. So ask your friends for their opinion – it’s free advice that is often golden!
Work smarter not harder – Fact is you can’t do everything. Another fact is that there are so many services out there that can help you to work more efficiently and to automate processes. Some are even free! Our fav programmes to use are: Trello (our online to do list), or IFTT (If this than that) which allows you to connect e.g. Instagram to Twitter and other mediums and automates posting for you! #Winning
Connections are gold – We wouldn’t be where we are today without the amazing people that have helped us along the way. There are actually some pretty cool people out there that will help you on your journey. I truly believe in supporting fellow women in business and we love to collaborate with others to help spread the word about their amazing doings. It really comes down to who you know and how you build long-lasting and valuable connections with fellow businesses. Learn how to pitch your ideas to others and don’t be afraid to ask for help, we have left our egos in the past a long time ago because the worst someone can say is “No”!
Leave your ego at home – You will do mistakes, you will have to get outside your comfort zone and you have to come to the realisation that not everybody is going to like you nor your business. And that is ok. You are not Pizza, so trying to make everyone happy is not going to work and the sooner you realise that, the better.
Learn to say “No” – This doesn’t make you a bitch. You only have so many hours in a day. You need to learn to weigh up if certain things benefit you and your business. Stick to your beliefs and values.
Example: Pascale and I would not collab with a brand we not genuinely love, neither would we promote beauty products on our channels that we haven’t tried ourselves before posting about and feel there is value in us sharing the results with you. When stuff arrives in our Shop and the quality is not up to our standards we send it back. Saying ‘no’ to things you don’t believe in and that do no good for your business are ok to turn down. People will respect you for it and trust us turning down things makes room for more and better things.
Know your worth – Then add Tax. This is something we had to learn the hard way, it kind of goes with my point above of learning to say “No”. Talking money can be awkward – it shouldn’t be. You work hard for what you do and prices should reflect that. Do not undersell yourself as you could accidentally get perceived as cheap. Be confident about your business, know your worth, know your businesses worth and add tax – girls got bills to pay.
Have a plan – This is also something we both had to learn the hard way, you can have a dream but if you don’t have actionable steps those dreams will just stay dreams. This wasn’t something we truly enjoyed putting together at first but once we started ticking off those goals in our business plan it really started to feel a whole lot more “we can do even bigger things.” Trust me when you have a goal make a plan and you will find ways to achieve these goals.
Love what you – This is why you started in the first place and this should always be the essence for your business. What is done in love – is done right.
I actually really enjoyed writing a blogpost a bit more with a business core, if you enjoyed reading this and want to read more similar topics let us know!
Earrings and outfits from Shop Serendipity Ave and Sisters on London