{small business 101}

Advice for small business owners even newer than me {I guess that would be people just thinking about starting a small business…}

Part One {because there will plenty more where this came from}

Just go for it.

There will never be a perfect time to start. You just have to do it, or you never will and you’ll regret it.

Start Something


Believe in yourself.

As of only a few weeks ago, I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in doing a photo shoot with me. But after a few encouraging words from a fellow coordinator, I decided to at least ask around. My shoot isn’t scheduled until March, but I’m already amazed at the response that I’ve gotten for it. I have so many vendors willing to work on this with me, and it truly amazes me. Before I could take that leap, however, I needed to believe in myself, and believe that I could actually do it. And now, I’m doing it.

Network. Network, network, network.

At first, you can’t think of your competition as your competition. Think of them as your mentors, the people that you can learn from, even if they aren’t willing to work with you. When I first got started and launched my website, I decided to go out on a limb and contact another local coordinator. She immediately offered to get lunch with me, and started inviting me to local networking events. Her support and knowledge has been invaluable, and I would be nowhere without her right now. I’m obviously a lot lower on the totem pole than she is, so we don’t need to think of each other as competition right now, which is great. I can pick her brain for now, and she seems perfectly willing to let me.

In the wedding business, networking really is key. Without a well-rounded list of vendor contacts, I would get nowhere. Which is why I’m constantly emailing vendors, asking to meet for coffee or a drink, and they are always willing to meet. Because not only does it mean more clients and more credibility for me, it means more clients for them as well. Networking shows that you are serious, and that you are willing to put in the time and effort to make relationships with the people you will be working with.

Check your pride at the door.

When starting a small business, your ego will be bruised more often than not. You’ll face rejection by both other professionals and prospective clients. But what you have to realize is that it’s nothing personal. The business world, and for me the wedding industry, isn’t about you as a person. It’s about what you can offer. And starting your small business is a constant learning experience. You will not get everything right on the first try {which I’m learning the hard way right now}. But eventually you’ll learn how things work, and use it to your advantage. You just can’t let your pride, or your ego, get in the way.

“To some people, I am a kind of Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances, but rarely makes mistakes. I've made some bad ones, but fortunately, the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes.” ~Walt Disney


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, it is really inspiring me this morning. I'm always toying with the idea of jumping into my own business but never know when the 'right time' is as well as trying to figure out if it is actually the right thing to do.

I appreciate all of the encouraging words and look forward to more of these posts :)


sampenner said...

Wow! What excellent insights. I just found your blog and adore it. Can't wait to follow along as your business grows!



Stephanie said...

This is fantastic! I definitely want to own my own business, but I just can't pin point the service/product I want to offer. It's really frustrating! :)

Amanda said...

This is really great advice, Joelle. Especially for me, since it's been so hard to break into the photography world. Thanks for posting!


Betsy said...

you are so brave to launch this adventure! you'll be magnificent. good luck!