Five Things I Have Learned from Starting My Own Business


Five Things I Have Learned from Starting My Own Business

On January 13th, I celebrated the grand opening of expanding my photography business into an event venue and photography studio, Adara Events and Photography. This list is definitely not a “how-to” start a business. In fact, I would probably be better at writing the “how not to” start a business. But, here are five of the 3,845,389 things I have learned over the last year. The legal paperwork, insurance coverage, tax papers and the uncertainty are overwhelming.

Take a peek at the top five things I have learned, either through epic failure or good fortune:

1. Small Business Loans

Did you know that banks do not offer small business loans to businesses less than three-years-old? You know, when the business should be in cruise control, only then can you get bank assistance. I visited three separate banks with one telling me to get a credit card, one told me to ask family members to give me money and the third suggested angel investors. Hmmmm… 1. Credit doesn’t give me cash 2. I don’t know what kind of family they think I was born into, but there’s no cash cow to go begging to and 3. WHY CAN’T YOU GIVE ME MONEY. One helpful option that was suggested was to look into a home equity line of credit. This only works if you own a home AND if you have enough equity built up in your home. There are also grants you can look into for startups, and as long as you fit the criteria, those can be very helpful.

2. Contractors, Timelines, and Stress

If you think that the construction should be able to be done in a specific period of time, triple that timeline. That way you {hopefully} will not be disappointed. I planned the grand opening three times. THREE. TIMES. I lost potential business for two months from the first date I was promised. Also, if you think you can start your business with x amount of dollars, triple that too. Again, you can be pleasantly surprised if it does not take that amount or you will be mentally prepared for when it does. Or you can just go ask your family for money…

3. Networking and Support

There are some really great local networking groups on Facebook and talking with other business owners has been the most helpful piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle. I have met some of the nicest, most supportive people who are also business owners. The biggest perk of networking is finding other businesses that can help your business succeed and vice versa. As a local mom, I love finding other local moms that are rocking their businesses to partner with.

A solid support network of friends and family has been my backbone. I have friends shout my business to anyone that will listen and they are exactly what I need. They have volunteered their time and talents to help the success of my business and I am so grateful. Having a solid support group that genuinely cares about the success of your business and the well-being of your mental health is crucial. You will probably cry over money, over delayed timelines, over failures. There is a steep learning curve with starting a business, one that you only begin to learn about once you have already jumped in with both feet.

4. Competitors

Okay, here’s the big one: You will always have someone as a competitor in some capacity. As if starting a business from scratch isn’t hard enough, you will be faced with proving your worth from day one. You may also encounter businesses trying to compete with you as they steal your ideas, pictures, designs, and even advertising verbiage. I know of a local bakery that has had to watermark images of their cakes and cookies because other businesses have taken their images and used them as their own. Insanity. Sometimes smiling and wishing them the best is your best option. Chalk that up as motivation to create bigger and better ideas to offer something unique to the community. You cannot let one person or company steal your joy or your motivation; this is your dream and you got this. If you focus on creating products or services that people can see value in, you will be rewarded.

5. Take a Deep Breath, Cross Your Fingers and Have Hope

If you are starting a business, you are hopeful that you have a product, service, or idea that will succeed. Sure, there is plenty of fear: What if it fails? What if this costs me and my family thousands and thousands of dollars? What if people don’t like my business?

But, what if it succeeds? What if it provides dance lessons for your kids or allows you to take that vacation you have had on your bucket list for years? What if people love your business? What if you absolutely rock it?

Fear can immobilize you. Fear clips your wings and prevents you from flying.

Keep the hope. Hope that you were right. Hope that people support you. Hope that it all works out.

And if it doesn’t work out, pat yourself on the back just for trying. It takes a lot of guts to dive into something without knowing what the outcome will be.

Crossing your fingers probably wouldn’t hurt either.

How can you support local businesses?
You can easily support local businesses without spending one penny! Attend free events and workshops, share their social media posts, and tell your friends about the business! I can assure you that the business owner would hug your neck and love you forever just by supporting them in those ways.



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