7 Tips for New Entrepreneurs
Tips by: Joanna Lovering, Founder & CEO, Copper + Rise
Our friend Joanna recently launched her NYC style coaching business and ever-so-generously shared seven of her biggest lessons learned in the process.
You MUST invest in your product, no matter what it is, when you start. That means you need to spend money on marketing--like a graphic designer for branding, a web developer for your website, a copywriter for language and tone--if you aren't an expert in that field yourself. Yes, that means you need some $$ up front. But it's worth it to look legit!
I had this grand [and delusional!] idea that somehow I would make a ton of money in my first year...or even in my first few months. HA! Expectation setting and patience is key here: it takes a while for any new business to ramp up, let alone be profitable.
While you may have started your business because you love making the product / doing the "thing," be sure to take into account that more than half of your time will be dedicated to selling and marketing yourself, especially at first! This was a tough realization for me--I hate selling myself because I always feel like a used car salesman--but if you don't sell, you won't have a business. Period.
Other entrepreneurs are much more open to chatting than I thought. I dunno—in the NYC “rat race,” I imagined no one having time or even wanting to talk to a small business owner like me. I was so WRONG! I have essentially “cold emailed” business owners and pretty much all of them have written back. Pretty incredible!
As a small business owner without a partner, I will admit that this has been a lonelier journey than I expected. There are definitely days when I am home all day, on the computer, unshowered and in my pajamas (TMI??), and talk to no one but my dog. Unless that sounds invigorating to you, perhaps investing in a laptop (to work outside of your home) or even a co-working space is the ticket.
Despite not having a lot of capital to invest, one of the BEST investments I ever made was in a business coach. Why? Because I suck at being accountable to myself. My business coach helps me with everything from strategic decision-making to proofreading my website to assigning deadlines to email launches. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her!
Every time you put something out there, especially something new, people will have feedback. These people often love you, support you, and encourage you; they want to help you, even if you don't ask for it. Fact is that YOU get to choose which feedback to take in--and it certainly doesn't have to be everybody's. "Feedback" is the often the same thing as "opinion," not facts that you must follow.