Top Five Tips for Start up Businesses

Hello lovelies,

How are you?  It’s nearing the end of wedding season but we still have a little way left to go and I’m feeling pretty exhausted. I made the same mistake as last year of not booking a holiday to refresh and recharge my batteries half way through the season which was pretty stupid as you’re suppose to learn from your mistakes so needless to say this post is coming to you from a weary florist. I can’t complain to much though as 2017 so far for us has been pretty mega with lots of stunning weddings (which we shall be sharing with you soon). We have been so busy in fact that we didn’t even manage to celebrate our 5th birthday back in June! Yes can you believe it Joanne Truby Floral Design is 5 years old, I can’t quite believe it myself. With it being such a mile stone for the business I wanted to take some time to  share some of the knowledge that I have learnt along the way with my top five tips for start up businesses. When I think that  I started this floral journey without a penny to my name, no bank loans or investors just me working from my garage and doing all my office and admin work from my dinning room table it is pretty incredible what we have gone on to achieve (if  I do say so myself). It hasn’t always been easy though, especially at the beginning, on the one hand you’re all fired up with excitement and are raring to go with your new business venture but at the same time it can feel overwhelming in terms of where to start and how to get yourself out there. Sound familiar? Then hopefully my views and insights below will help you along the way to building your dream business, now obviously I run a floral design business but a lot of what I mention is relevant to most if not all small start up businesses particularly those with a creative product or service that they are offering. My top five tips for start up businesses, as follows;

Top Five Tips for Start up Businesses

You can’t be something to everyone… 

Speaking from my own personal experience, I knew that my style was more natural but still had a luxe feel to it at the same time and I knew that my business was all about the design and details with a focus on originality. Offering a tailor made bespoke service aimed at the mid-high end of the market which wouldn’t be suited to everyone and I’m okay with that. Remember to do something well you can’t be something to everyone, once you know who you are and what it is you are about you can then begin to come up with a marketing plan to reach your specific/chosen target audience rather then trying to please everybody which often gets you no where.

Find what works for you…

What may work for one type of business may not necessarily be right for yours but you won’t know that until you have tried it. In those early days I tried a variety of different avenues when I was building up the business some of which included wedding fairs, editorial shoots and seeking relationships with other local businesses that I felt were a good fit to partner up with and support each other. You quickly learn what is working and what isn’t and can then adjust what your choosing to invest your money in more wisely. Personally editorial shoots worked really well for me in my early years in terms of what I got out of them with the exposure from the actual feature itself along with the valuable connections and friendships that I made. You do have to be prepared to do freebies when you’re first starting out, it can be really tough parting with your money particularly when you aren’t earning a great deal but you have to persevere and see it as a long term investment that will pay off as time goes on. Eventually you will be in a financial position where you don’t actually have to do any more shoots (although I still enjoy doing the odd few to flex my creative muscles), competitions etc. as you already have enough steady work  coming in and don’t need to work as hard to gain new business.

Don’t run before you can walk… 

Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say, and a successful business doesn’t happen over night. Keep plugging away and take one or two small steps every day that will lead to your ultimate/main goal. If you’re having a bad day/week it can be easy to get a bit despondent and question if you’re doing the right thing but if this is what you are really passionate about then keep going and digging deep, your hard work will pay off. Keep a happiness book and right in it all the good things that happen when they happen this could be anything from taking on a new booking, becoming a preferred supplier to an awesome new venue or receiving a lovely thank you note from one of your clients. Write them down and when you’re having one of those lousy days read it and remind yourself of all you have achieved so far and make sure you give yourself a pat on the back!

Get yourself out there…

Now this has a two fold meaning, the first being literally get yourself out there. Running your own business can be really  rewarding for many reasons but one of the biggest down sides (in my opinion) is that working alone from home can be quite isolating and lonely which as we all know can lead to over thinking things and in turn can create a negative mind set. Besides from that sometimes it’s good to be around other people so you can bounce ideas off each other and get a different perspective. My advise would be to go to networking events, join social media groups that are for people in the same industry as you (if you are a florist reading this, you probably already know about it but just in case you don’t there is a fab facebook group called Flowerona for florists which is there to support florists and help answer any questions/queries you might have). The other meaning behind this is promote your business as much as possible weather it be via social media, blogging, securing blog and magazine features, collaborating with other suppliers on projects etc. the more known you become within your industry the more this will help raise your profile which will lead to more work.

Invest in yourself…

One of the things I love most about running my own business is the opportunity it gives me to grow as a person as wearing several hats and having multiple job roles means you are constantly learning new things. Remember not to forget to invest in yourself as if you are to keep pushing forward and developing your business then you need to focus on your own development too. Now this could be learning a new skill set that you feel is going to enhance a certain area of your business maybe. Every year I set myself at least one task of attending some sort of course whether that be signing up to do a floral design course to refresh and brush up on new skills or maybe a photo shop course that I can then use to edit the images of the flowers I take. It’s important that we grow with our business and don’t neglect our own learning needs as these will in turn enhance our business as we equip ourselves with more knowledge that we can then put into practice.

So there you have it my top five tips for start up businesses, maybe not so much tips but rather advice that I would give to my past self if I were just starting out that I wanted to pass onto you. I hope you find it useful in some way and if you have any questions or would like to chat more about any of the above then just get in touch; I would be happy to help. We also run one to one workshops alongside our seasonal master classes if you are a new florist looking to learn flower arranging or maybe you are already established but would like to hone in on or brush up on your skills, these  classes are completely tailor made to suit you and what you would like to learn. I’m happy for to talk about all things business related too if you would like mentoring in other areas besides the flowers themselves, feel free to pick my brains. More details on our floral masterclasses can be found over on the website.

Keep plugging away…

Image Credits

Amanda Karen Photography 



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