Building my e-commerce vegan bakery has not been easy, but it has been an amazing and fulfilling experience. I wanted to share some of the top 5 things I have learned as a small business owner in the industry. I'm am all about paying it forward, and if some of my struggles and advice can help others I am here for it. There is enough for everyone to win. I have a sharing mentality to provide growth and access to those that desire it.
1. Seek Out Guidance From Federally Funded Entities
One of the best decisions I ever made was reaching out to SBDC (Small Business Development Center). They are an independent federally funded program. They operate with funding from the federal government and matching dollars.
Their ultimate goal is to help small business owners throughout the process of developing their small businesses. SBDC offers free webinars on a variety of topics to boost your business. They also provide specialized business consultants ranging from hospitality and marketing to human resources and business basics.
I highly recommend any business owner at any stage to reach out to them and see how they can help you. Here is the link to their website SBDC.
2. Have A Captivating Business Card And Always Have Them On You
One of the first things people ask me when I spark up a conversation about my business is do I have a business card. My best advice make sure it stands out and has these things:
Social Media Handles
A 3-5 Word Statement Saying What You Do
Your Logo (Clear and Crisp Not Pixlelated And Blurry)
Make Sure It Is Unique And Represents Your Brand
Have a QR Code On Your Business Card
Don't Leave home without your business cards, they are an extension of your business and a golden ticket to success.
After a year and a half of business, I am on my second card, because I am constantly upgrading my brand with a facelift every now and again.
3. Have A Separate Business Bank Account
Keeping your personal funds and your business funds separate is key and here is why.
You don't want to wait until tax season to separate your business income versus your personal income.
It makes keeping track of your business profit simple
You can calculate gross vs net income
You can see what your business expenses are
It is simply just the smart thing to do
Bonus Tip: I advise sorting your business receipts 2 to 3 times a year. This way when tax season does come it is easier on you.
4. Put A Face & Voice With Your Brand
At first, I was not putting myself in the brand too much. I realized that my personality sold itself and that if people got to know me they would get to know Grub It Up, LLC.
This is why I started doing blog articles and posting myself more at events in the community. I want people to know I'm here and happy with my passion for what I do.
Just know if people like you they will support your business. Remember there is no business without you. Own who you are and the why behind what you do, and the rest will manifest itself.
5. Every Month In Sales Will Not Be Your Best Month
I remember when I first started looking more into my monthly financials and not seeing the results. I felt like I was not doing enough or doing something wrong. Neither was the case. I was building my business from the beginning and wanted high profit and fast. Businesses do not build overnight, and financial growth takes time.
In your first year as a business owner, you might not even break even and make no profit.
Guess what? That is normal and ok, don't be so hard on yourself. Keep strategizing, working on your marketing efforts, and brainstorming on ideas for growth.
Every month in sales will not be your best month. Yet, every month can be an opportunity for growth.
Keep going :).