A Few Tidbits For the Budding Entrepreneur!

24 Jun

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Hey Y’aaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllll!

I’ve missed you girls so much. I’m just getting over a really bad sinus irritation so that’s why I haven’t been on here regularly. Now that I’m (almost) all better, I’m back to being all yours! A lot of girls who attend my undergrad alma mater, and others who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting via social media, often hit me up with questions about freelancing or stepping out on their own. Whether you’re self-employed full-time, working for a company by day to pay the bills and building your brand by night, or in that space of contemplating if working your own dream is right for you, here are some pointers from my experience that can hopefully be of some help!

Start Small: You may have several interests that you want to turn into business, and that’s awesome, but pace yourself. If you want to eventually turn doing makeup into developing a makeup line, skincare line and opening a spa, don’t try to do all of that at once. In the beginning, perfect one thing and build your clientele, customers, fan base, etc. Once you start seeing profits and progress from that one thing, then create a plan for how you can move onto the next thing. Taking on too much can cost you lots of money, and it can overwhelm you emotionally. Save money and hair strands by starting small.

Determine Your Value: If it’s a service you’re providing, know your value before you start offering it. As a writer, I already know what it is I bring to the table, how much the service is worth, and how much the quality of service is worth. If there are extra perks that come with your service, or if you invest a lot of time into researching and improving your service, take that into consideration too. For example, when I write someone’s bio I offer two revised drafts at no additional charge if he/she wants edits made, so my price reflects that advantage. Know your value and stand on it!

Don’t Negotiate: As much as I’d love to ask the cashier at Trader Joe’s to take $1 off of my $4 bread, I can’t… or I could, but she or he would look at me like I was crazy. In the same token, when people ask you to reduce your price, you have to remind them why your price is what it is, why it’s worth the price it is, and let them know that you don’t discount it. There are times you can decide if a negotiation is appropriate, but don’t make it a habit. For one, it devalues your work. While we may all love the price point of H&M, we have a much deeper appreciation for Louis Vuitton as a brand. Secondly, as a businesswoman, you can’t afford, financially or professionally, to let someone else dictate to you what it is they will and will not pay you for your work. If they don’t like the price, they have the option of going elsewhere. Whether it’s working with family and friends, holiday specials, etc., decide early on when discounts are appropriate and how much you’re willing to discount. That way when those special situations arise, you’ll have a non-negotiable discounted figure to give the client.

Operate Like a Business… Even If You’re a Creative: You may not have as much trouble with this one if you do taxes or have a cleaning service, but if you’re a stylist, writer, makeup artist, singer, dancer or anything in the arts or entertainment, you may run into a little trouble. For whatever reason, in my experience, I’ve found that people tend to devalue creative services more than they do the traditional ones. Just as a tutor has to stay abreast with academic research, though, so do creatives with their craft. Creatives are typically a little more unbuttoned than the suit and tie professionals, but be careful not to be too laid back. People may misinterpret your business as a hobby and try to treat it as such. The message needs to be clear that even though your “office” attire may be torn denim, an Afro Mohawk, and jumbo hoop earrings, you’re still a business. Create service and price lists, promptly respond to emails and phone calls, treat your clients with respect, keep yourself (and your employees if you have any) in the know of all the latest as it pertains to your industry, organize a schedule, prioritize deadlines, and everything else that traditional businesses do when it comes to operations. You set the tone for how clients perceive what it is you offer.

Write Down EVERYTHING: As an entrepreneur, you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe new ideas. Write. Them. Down! Keep a notebook, and as ideas hit you write and date them on paper. Writing things down keeps your mind organized and it gives you a visual outline to go by. You can visually see yourself scratching off goals as you conquer them, or checking tasks as you complete them. You can also make better sense of what it is you’re trying to do when you’re looking at it in written detail.

Hope these few tidbits help and I’ll share more as they come to me! Feel free to ask questions! Love you lots ❤

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5 Responses to “A Few Tidbits For the Budding Entrepreneur!”

  1. Christi June 24, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    These are some really great tips!!!! I will definitely refer back to these as I take that journey to entrepreneurship! Thanks again for another great and practical read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan June 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    That ‘s good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joslyn June 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Great tips Essence! My biggest question: How do you determine your rates? Do you base them on your personal needs or try to be competitive, or both?

    Like

    • Essence June 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks for reading, and you base them on several things. I suggest first researching the average cost for the service you provide. That’ll give you an idea of where to start. Research several sources so you have a range, and note the differences in service quality between the least and most expensive. Then consider your location, cost of living, cost to provide your business, how much you want to make an hour, any additional perks/benefits of your service, etc, and factor in those things as well.

      Like

  4. Juanita July 3, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Kudos on another great article! Very valuable tips indeed. Especially the tips on determining your value and not negotiating. Great read!

    Like

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