**Disclaimer, This is about to be a LONG post**
Looking to start a small business? Do you scroll Instagram and wonder how these small business sustain their lavish lifestyles and build a following? Well this post right here will cut through the bullshit that other blogs put out there. I will share how I started and some of the nitty gritty things that many fluffy blogs won’t dive into when starting a business. So grab a cup or tea or glass of wine and keep on reading.
My personal business did not start under the best of circumstances (just being honest). I was in LOTS of debt…student loans, credit cards, and just keeping up with bills was really difficult. I would scour blogs and financial websites on ways to help myself get out of debt. Over time I kept stumbling over the same articles with the same suggestions; to get out of debt start your own business. I felt so desperate at the time and starting a business sounded like a great idea.
I had written blogs in the past and had some success with that, so starting a business did not feel like a wild idea to me. I enjoyed crafting and knew I would be able to create a product to sell. However, I did not know that this was going to be the easy part to starting a business. Actually being further along in my business journey now, this is where I often see businesses fail due to the lack of business knowledge required after this point.
Now I have this beautiful product. I began making candles as a hobby. I was learning and expanded my interests in the metaphysical field and was able to create candles with crystals and essential oils (which I still make today!). As a hobby this is pretty inexpensive…I did not know the amount of money I was going to have to commit to this business to be able to build it.
So…I want to start a business to make extra money to get out of debt…BUT I have to put money into it to even get it started….money I don’t have due to being in debt!!! Do we see the issue here? This is where my frustration began with all these fluffy financial blogs who suggest starting a business!
However, there was a glimmer of hope which gave me motivation to keep growing this idea. A friend who owned a small cafe agreed to buy a sell a couple candles there. This gave me enough money to buy supplies to make more candles, where another friend helped me sell at their office where they practiced Reiki. And again, I was able to make enough money to order wholesale supplies. At this point I decided it was time to take a jump and enter a vendor show.
This beginning process was SLOW. I was not even on Etsy yet! I was just trying to make enough money to sustain myself. From working small business prior there were a few key things I tried to avoid in these early stages.
One – Sitting on product – I did not want to have so much product made and just have it sit around my house for months.
Two –Don’t get too “creative crazy”- I had many many many ideas I wanted to make, but making all of them would have required me purchasing way more supplies than I needed in the moment.
Three – Use your resources wisely and be patient – You don’t need all the bells and whistles in the beginning. I looked for free resources, small inexpensive shows to enter, and was looking at where I could cut costs constantly.
The Benefit of Investing in Myself
When it is time to make the jump from hobby to business you will just kind of know. I decided to enter a large vendor show which was when I knew this was not a hobby any longer. I needed to file my business with the tax authority for this show which pushed me to a different level. I now would need to keep clear and efficient files of all money spent and how much I was making. It was no longer just simply making candles, now there was a whole new side of shit to learn.
I needed to learn to manage costs for all the random things that are needed for vending. Costs expanded to vendor show fees, ordering business cards and labels, design work, and how the heck are people going to pay me with a credit card??
Again, I was back to the “this business was supposed to get me out of debt” thoughts. I ended up committing more of my personal money than expected.
After completing my first vendor show I started to change my perspective. I realized in the beginning of any business you need to invest in yourself. Some of that investment will of course be monetary, but you also need to invest confidence that you can commit to your business and self-worth that you can do this. You can run a successful business.
Bloom and Grow
My metaphysical business is continuing to bloom in its own time and way. Getting started is only a small part of my business journey. Along the way I have learned a few valuable lessons, both in business and operating a metaphysical business. Her are a few of these lessons I will leave you with to consider:
One – Know your audience – When I started I signed up for any vendor show I could get into. I wanted to get my name and brand into the community, but I realized not everyone “got” the mission of my brand. It was difficult to sell to people who did not understand the metaphysical aspect of my business. I learned what places and what customer base I could successfully sell too.
Two – Internet Platforms aren’t always the answer – Yes I have got myself on Etsy now, but not all internet platforms are great for starting out or metaphysical businesses. I tried having my own platform, but had a difficult time as a small business paying all the fees involved. Etsy expanded my reach to other people across the country, but I am still often overshadowed by many other big brands on Etsy. Keep on the lookout, I will be addressing internet platforms in another article soon!
Three – NETWORK! – The age old marketing strategy of networking is huge in the metaphysical world. You need to find who understands your metaphysical business. Finding other metaphysical businesses and vendors has been a huge contributor to building my business. These are also awesome people to collaborate with!
Okay, I have kept you reading long enough. Of course my journey had more twists and turns, but this is a basic overview. I think it is important for people to understand the highs and lows of jumping into a business. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out on facebook or instagram!