Entrepreneurship – It Takes a Village

I would never be able to get everything done without my team! A community of like-minded individuals aka my “Village” are essential to a successful entrepreneurial career. Don’t know where to find your future BFF’s? Want to know why your village is so important? Watch the video above to see some of my suggestions!

xoxo,

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I Have a Business Idea, Now What?

When I started doing regular meetings with my long time friend and fellow entrepreneur, Heather, I realized how often people come to me when they realize they want to start a business. I usually get questions like, “I have this idea but can you tell me what paper work I need to get this going?” or “What kind of business should I open up?” or “Can I pick your brain about this business idea I have?” or “Do you think this is a good idea?”

Well, let me tell you that if you have a business idea then I think it’s wonderful! Entrepreneurship and small business is my life. I love being a business owner. Through good days and really crappy days in the end I know being an entrepreneur is what really makes me happy – it makes me tick. So, you’re thinking of starting a business of you own? Great! Here’s my advice of what you need to do first before taking the plunge.

  1. Get prepared
    1. Do. Your. Research. I can’t stress this enough. A lot of businesses fail before they even begin because of lack of research. A couple questions for you:
      1. What do you need to start up?
      2. What kind of permits are needed from the county and/or state?
      3. What kind of monetary investment is needed for start up costs?
    2. Scope out your competition. And not in a creepy stalker way! Reach out to them as a colleague in a professional manner. Worst case scenario is they don’t respond back to you. But best case scenario you have a new friend that you can talk shop with!
    3. How can you differentiate the market? Basically, unless you’re an inventor you’re business idea is just reinventing something that has already been done. So how is your product or service going to be different from what is already out there?
    4. What can you bring to the table? This is the culminating question based on questions 2 and 3. Most of the time you and your personal brand is what is going to set you apart from the competition. Is there anything else? Maybe you have an innovative way to present your product. Or maybe you are going to utilize technology in a way that hasn’t been done in your industry. Or maybe, the exact opposite, you plan on going back to basics and minimizing the use of technology. Who knows? You should know ūüėČ
  2. Figure out your costs. I know a lot of people don’t like to discuss money, it’s a touchy subject for some. But let’s be realistic here. You want to start a business for 2 main reasons: to do what you love and to make money, right? Now I’m not talking about start up costs anymore. I’m talking about operation costs.
    1. How much will it take to keep your business running after you’ve started? Create a budget of your monthly expenses for your business. That way, you know exactly how much you need every month to break even. Do you need to rent office or warehouse? Do you need internet? Do you need a website? Do you need a company phone line? How much will you pay yourself? Those are your monthly expenses.
  3. Create pricing for your product or service. Now that you know how much your business is going to cost you it’s time to think about making some money. A lot of people think you can just take the cost of your product or service and multiply it by 3. But that’s not true for everyone. In fact, it’s not true for most. Pricing your goods or services correctly is extremely important. Some things to think about when :
    1. What is your competition’s pricing? It’s very important that you don’t undercut your competition. Not only will you be sabotaging your colleagues but you’ll be cheating yourself on potential profits. Just because you’re just starting out doesn’t mean you have to charge 50% less than the competition. You have value, your insight is valuable. You are knowledgable and have something to contribute in your field.
    2. What can the market bear? There are numerous factors that can play into this. Yes, your competition..but also your geographical area. Where are you located? Who will you be servicing? What kind of added value are you including into your product?
  4.  Go for it! Lastly, don’t be afraid! Take the leap and invest in yourself. Whenever people tell me they’re thinking about starting a business I get extremely excited for them. Why? Because it takes courage, and most people won’t have the courage to go for what they want. I’ve noticed that a lot of people that people don’t know what they’re passionate about. But if you’re thinking about starting a business that means you must be passionate about something and that’s exciting! I ain’t gonna lie people – owning a business is extremely hard. You’ll learn things that you never learned before, put in more work hours than ever before, and you’ll wear so many hats you never thought you’d have to! But for a lot of people they wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? Because despite all the hardships, entrepreneurship will always have the biggest potential for more. And more I mean not just more earnings, but more life experience, time, and more getting to know what you’re really made of. So go out there and do it! I’m rooting for you!

In your corner,

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Owning a Business is Hard – No. 3

owning-a-business

Ain’t it the truth.

Ugh, on the real guys. Entrepreneur life has not been great for me lately and I could not figure out why. All businesses are growing, I’m getting help with the work load, can’t really complain.

For the past few weeks I’ve just felt a little blah and burnt out. I didn’t feel like writing, working, creating product..nothing. I was harboring it because I felt like I shouldn’t be complaining when good things are happening. And then one day it just spilled out. Charlie and I were eating dinner in our living room when I suddenly said, “I feel burned out.” He asked why and it forced me to really think about why I feel this way. When I put it out into the universe, the universe responded. It was negativity. It slowly chipped away at me and I didn’t realize it until I was negative too.

Being in the business of customer service is hard. Those that have never worked a job in customer service¬†consider yourself lucky lol! Especially the retail or restaurant industry, WOOWEE! Any type of work place where you are serving a large amount of customers in a day(I imagine working in a place like a hospital is the exact same thing) boy oh boy, it takes a toll on you. People can be very critical, totalitarian, and really mean. Our job in the customer service industry is to try to add a little positivity to your day, and I really try to do that every day I go to work. Really, I do. Customer or employee I try to be a positive person to everyone I’m around. There isn’t one day that I walk into work saying, “My goal is to make people mad at me.” I’ve never said that, ever. I can’t please everyone, I get that and I try to remember that every day.¬†But what about when you don’t feel like being¬†positive? What about when you’re having a bad day? When you get up on the wrong side of bed? When something bad happened to you or your family? Doesn’t matter in customer service.¬†We have to be¬†on (those in customer service will know what I’m talking about)¬†regardless of our personal lives or how we feel. That’s what happened to me.

Working in customer service has helped me to mask my real emotions. I’m starting to get good at it and it’s not a good thing. The more I let it simmer, the more I push it down, the¬†harder it is to snap out of it. But you know what? It’s getting better. It’s not going to happen over night, but slowly it is getting better.

Every business owner goes through it, the discouragement demons are real guys. And when it hits it’s no joke. If you’re there like I am just remember:

  1. You’re awesome
  2. You’re not alone
  3. Don’t quit
  4. Don’t focus on the bad
  5. Recognize every victory, even the small ones
  6. Give yourself time to snap out of it

As for me, I’m taking it day by day. I’m taking time every morning to pray, I try to write down little victories throughout the day, but most of all I’m giving myself time. So if you’re where I’m at right now don’t get discouraged guys. It happens even to the best of them. Just keep your chin up and keep working through it.

xoxo,

Kissa

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