It might never be the intention to start a business (photography or baking), but the idea can ignite a small fire that may take you on a journey of a lifetime—no matter how long it lasts. The idea of starting a business can happen overnight. But as a newbie you will encounter things you might not have anticipated.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. IT TAKES TIME
As much as you’d like for everything to be speedy (get clients, get recognition, get thousands and thousands of views a day) you need to realize that it’s not going to be like that. You need to enjoy the process of building a business from the ground up.You will make many, many, many mistakes because you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going to have to do research and get resources and volunteer to do things for free. It doesn’t matter what people say, free work gives you experience. Trust me, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and that’s just when it comes to posting on Instagram Stories. It’s part of the process. It doesn’t mean you need to give up; it means you need to embrace it.
2. NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE YOU THE TIME OF DAY (AT LEAST, NOT RIGHT AWAY)
With that being said please remember that you will hear a lot of “no’s”. It just comes with the territory. You’re new and people don’t know anything about you or what you’re offering.
You might cry yourself to sleep thinking “what is wrong with me?” (btw, nothing is wrong with you) but this should motivate you more to keep moving forward. Don’t give up on getting your name out there. Invite people for coffee or lunch. Remember how earlier I mentioned that you should work for free?
Tell people that you’re willing to do something, for example take pictures of them if you’re starting a photography business, in exchange for exposure. At least in the beginning- not always, (if they are willing to pay DON’T SAY NO!). You’re building relationships and next time they need someone they will think of you.
3. TAKE THIS TIME TO ORGANIZE YOURSELF
If you already have a full-time job and are thinking about leaving that job to pursue your business don’t just quit the next day. Figure out these things first:
- What your business will be?
- How much you need to save? (more on that later)
- And how long you’re giving yourself until you’re fully running?
You need time to process this journey you’re about to embark before going full force. Do your research and search how others are doing it. Reading blogs and books and watching YouTube are great resources for learning.
Of course, nothing beats experience but if you could avoid something that won’t suit you or your company from the beginning, would you? So, keep a notebook in hand and ask questions about everything and to everyone who will listen and answer.
4. FIND MENTORS
In the last couple of years social media has been a game changer. A resource such as YouTube, has allowed for people to learn at their own. time and has taught people how to start a business, how to organize yourself, etc.
Get in people’s inbox and ask them questions. Be respectful if they say “I can’t right now” or they straight up ghost you (like I said its part of the territory) but in time you will find people who will give you advice.
Three things to remember:
- Take everything they say with a grain of salt
- Give credit where credit is due
- Adjust what they say to your specifications
5. FAMILY AND FRIENDS MIGHT NOT BE THERE FOR YOU
This might be a hard pill to swallow but it’s best if you learn this one straight from the beginning. Your friends and family might not be there for you. They might question and some might even go as far as to say “you don’t have the potential to do it? You will not succeed so why do it?”
Don’t listen to the doubters or the haters. Just remember your “why?” always and you’ll succeed. Even on those hardships that will inevitably come your way.
6. SAVE MONEY
Before quitting your full-time job (or before starting your business) make sure you have the money for these things. You want to start a business legally. Sometimes, just getting the domain is what can start the entrepreneurial journey for many.
- Get domain
- Register your business
- Get business cards
- Get website
About Pamela Valencia
Pamela Valencia is a journalist and content creator based in Broward, FL with over 10 years of experience. Pamela covers events, creates content creation for the web and blogs and just started her photography business. So she is a business newbie. Follow her on Twitter & LinkedIn.