1. Take the risk
We spent so much time planning and getting products ready as well as discussing options. We were hesitant about opening the store until Annette just simply said "Do it". Things are never going to be perfect before you open the store or small business. Some things you need to learn as you go. The main thing is to throw caution to the wind and dive in! You will learn as you go.
2. Connect, connect, connect
Starting a small business and Teachers Pay Teacher store was exciting. But you need to get your brand and message out there. Social media options such as Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, while time consuming are one way to get your brand out there. We had a "connecting" mindset rather than a promotional one. Simply reaching out to people and asking questions as well as asking questions or for feedback is a great way to start.
3. Learn, learn and then learn some more
Some people have learning plans to learn a specific skill. However, you often don't know what you don't know. I found that reading blogs, Facebook posts and forums were invaluable for tips, ideas and tools. You can often use the wisdom of people to work out the next step. I have learnt some things that I thought that I would never had to learn. This learning may change your original direction but you have to ask yourself if the results are worth it.
4. Smile and be proud
Enjoy the "OMG, we did it! We have a small business" stage. I had to take time to stop, smile and acknowledge that we did it. Why? It kept me passionate, positive and eager to move forward.
5. Expect small things
Instead of expecting the world instantly, I started expecting hardly nothing for at least 6 months. My mind was set on having no reward for a while. Reading other forums and blogs, 6 months seemed to be the window that people said business kicked in. We have been pleasantly surprised at the short term success that we have experienced. It's actually humbling to have sold over 300 products already!
6. Take the time to comment and respond to all feedback
It is vital that you take the time to respond to those who have taken the time to ask you a question. After all, you want people to leave with a positive feeling, not one of under appreciation. If people take the time to comment, then you need to take the time to respond.
7. Have a clear vision
If you have a clear vision then you know where you are aiming. When something new comes up or new opportunities arise, simply check back with your vision. Is this what we want? Does it help us get to where we are heading? Is this in line with our vision? Having a clear vision, even in a statement form should drive everything that you do.
Reflecting is important and I have been proud to share my reflections with you today. If you do have a dream, dream big and start small!