Since I started my company, I've learned many lessons of being an entrepreneur. Here are some tips of what I wish I knew and what you should know before you get started on your lash or beauty business OR ANY BUSINESS! Remember there is nothing small about running a small business.
Business is not always stable, but you'll learn how to get better with each passing month.
Covid-19 really put a test on small business. It really forced me to slow down. As hard as that was for me because for 8 years I was nonstop working around the clock and growing my business. When I was forced to shut down and slow down with work I took it in the most positive way I can. I thought to myself I would have never slowed down unless I am forced, well here is the break I always wanted.
I have tried to embrace the last 8 crazy months of being shut down and slower with work. As a entrepreneur our mind never shuts off so this has allowed me and give me an opportunity to recharge and focus on generating new ideas. Work hard to get out of the valleys and the peaks will be even sweeter. Also remember, entrepreneurs are the only people who are willing to work for free. Sometimes you need to just figure it out. When Covid shut down many businesses we had to think of other ways to make an income. Make an online course, sell beauty products whatever it is you will do what you have to do. Restaurants did take out, gyms did online videos. These are just examples of small business being effected and having to make it work. Remember not all months are easy but don’t give up and remember why you started.
Businesses owners are people too--and sometimes you'll get your feelings hurt.
I care about my customers and clients and will bend over backwards to ensure that they have a good experience. But like every work environment you will encounter different personalities sometimes you have encounters with rude negative people that can turn you day sour. When you are interacting with a business, big or small, you are dealing with a person on the other end. I remind myself and my employees that each customer is a real person who might just be having a bad day. Treating negativity with kindness can go a long way and can turn both your days around.
It will be more expensive than you think.
I have ran into this problem with every business I have started. When I opened Natural Lash, when I wrote my first book ‘The New Entrepreneur Is You” when I launched my Lash Lift products and when I just opened Defined Beauty. You think I would have learned by now. NOPE. Running a business, doing lashes, writing books comes with EXPENSES. When I wrote my book I had to pay for multiple edits some edits were over $800. With lashing and running a beauty salon comes with so many expenses. Rent, supplies, website fees, booking systems, phone bill, internet bill and the list goes on, this is just to name a few. Running a business has been more expensive than I had initially anticipated but it also pushes you that much more. For me I love to be challenged and owning a business is a forever challenge. Before going into business, do a financial analysis to see if you'll be able to have enough runway for your company.
You'll work around the clock, and sometimes go without sleep.
There have been so many nights I went to bed at 2 A.M. after a full day of work. If you know me you know I LOVE my sleep so that is late to me. Putting together defined Beauty during a pandemic was one of the most challenging things I have been through during all my business adventures. February 2020 I decided to open Defined Beauty, March 2020 the beauty industry took a turn. But I did say I like a challenge so I took it and rolled with it. I figured this was just part of the experience and journey for me so lets hustle and make this work. The tears and sweat was all worth it. After all this was a dream of mine since I was a little girl. Part of what I enjoyed during this whole process of building a salon during a pandemic was employing people. I love seeing people grow and during my shut down I was able to connect with people, some who lost their jobs and I was able to give them a job. Everything does happen for a reason. One quote I live by. This is one of the positive outcomes. Most people don't realize just how much work goes into founding and running a business. It goes beyond the sleepless nights; it includes the hard physical labor, making products and moving things around on a daily basis. It's about doing a full day's work and then going home to do more work. In the beginning I would sacrifice LONG days. I think all business owners do this at the beginning. It is what you have to do to make your business grow and work. Now I've learned that not taking care of yourself doesn't help your business grow. You are running the business the business is not running you. I like to turn anything into a positive situation so although this year was not the year we all envisioned it taught me to slow down and make more time for myself. I got to employee 5 wonderful people and help them grow their business, I got to meet so many people along the way and I learned some things about construction while building the place. I took everything into a learning experiences. I got to design my dream salon. During all my business adventures I also learned to be tougher, speak up and stand up for yourself. When I watched Shark Tank recently one contestant was crying and the shark said, toughen up no one will take you seriously in business if you cry. Reality is it is a harsh world. If you don’t stick up for yourself no one will. Know your worth don’t let people walk over you and know when to say no. 8 years of business and I get stronger and tougher each year. Covid put me to the test and I am proud of the person I am coming out of it.
Success will not happen overnight.
Though I might post the positive news about my business on social media, the negative parts of running a business are sometimes hidden. Example, this year I opened a salon called Defined Beauty. I shared my journey of all the pictures ands videos before during and after. What I didn’t share is the nights I went to bed crying … I snapped out of that quick. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I only have time to figure it out! I had many nights where I questioned was this the right decision, even though I wanted this since I was a little girl. Dealing with mishaps, no cash flow because we were shut down had my mind racing. I think every entrepreneur struggles with the up and down emotions. (SEE PICTURE BELOW)
I am constantly my own therapist in my head. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and looking at how everything was going wrong I brainstormed built, hired and tackled other projects and I figured out how I was going to make my company work in a pandemic. If you're trying to "get rich fast," starting a business might not be for you. Entrepreneurship is a long-term game that often takes years of commitment. It might seem like I built my business overnight, but that is not the case.
Running a business can be challenging, but it's also one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. With this insider knowledge and the right attitude, you'll be better prepared to start and grow your very own company.
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