10 Pieces Of Advice For Start-Ups
In March, NourishMe Wellness Box turns 3! It’s been a bit of a wild ride and over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking lots about what I’ve been happy with and what I would do differently.
Actually, I will start by saying that I don’t think that I would do anything differently, as such, because when something hasn't gone quite to plan, I’ve learned the best lessons! That old nutshell! But it’s true, and I think that can be said of life in general; it’s in the moments that challenge us the most, that we find out what we really want and begin to navigate & problem-solve.
A Little Bit of Background
I started my business in 2021 when my beautiful Son, River, turned One. Becoming a first-time Mama at this time presented so many different obstacles that no-one could have predicted. Living quite a distance away from my family, and feeling quite isolated, I decided that I was going to start creating and designing self care boxes as a way of staying connected with loved ones.
Soon, orders began to flow and I got my iPad! This meant that I could design every single detail of the boxes myself & this was a pivotal moment for my business.
Since then, I’ve developed NourishMe Wellness Box into something I feel very proud of and I want to share with you some nuggets of advice that I wish I’d known sooner to help maintain balance in my life.
10 Tips for Getting Started
1. There is a lot of trial and error involved when starting a business, but ultimately, go with your heart. It’s sometimes tricky to know in advance whether a product is going to be a hit and it can be a bit disheartening if it doesn’t go to plan, but you can use social media to do a bit of the early leg work. Instagram Stories are great for asking questions, polls and feedback and this data can funnel into your decision about the potential popularity of a product. It’s a great way to get your followers involved too, and it can create a sense of community.
2. Plan. Schedule. Post. Repeat. I’ve learned the hard way that if there is no particular plan in place, or if you’re going with the flow, you might find that you are constantly chasing your tail! This was me at the beginning of 2023 ~ we’d had a really busy 2022, with moving house etc and I didn’t feel like I’d really got to grips with planning! However, this New Year feels completely different and it’s only because I’ve learned from last year that for my business to thrive, I need a plan of action! What works for me?
~ A wall planner for significant dates, launches, dispatch days. Plus an A4 diary with large sections for lots of notes.
~ Planning boxes & social media posts at least 3 months in advance. This is crucial for my business as many of the launches coincide with exciting dates throughout the year, for example: Random Acts of Kindness Day, National Best Friend Day, Advent! All of which, I need to build-up a bit of momentum for ahead of time.
~ Realising that you can’t do it all! If you are just starting-out, social media alone, although an amazing tool for connecting with your customer base, is a bit of minefield. If you need to, just stick with one or two channels that you feel best for your brand and go with them. Also, your mailing list is a great tool for connecting in a more personal way. Offering free prints, exclusive discounts and the first look at new products is a great way to build your mailing list. One of my 2024 Intentions is to nurture my email subscribers as I just haven’t had the spare time to do so recently.
3. Don’t forget to make time for rest. This is a massive note-to-self, but when you run a business, you really do think about all of the different working parts a great deal. Balance is key to my personal well-being and spending quality time with my family, getting outside, cooking wholesome meals, and taking some time for myself all help me to find balance. Of course, there will be busier periods throughout the year, but do what feels right for you and make sure that you balance-out your hard work with invigorating and grounding things.
4. Utilise Apps that will save you time. I mostly illustrate and design all of the posts you see across my social media, but sometimes, I just need to make a graphic really quickly. There are lots of tools that you can use, but Canva is my go-to. It’s fast, easy to navigate and there’s an abundance of things that you can make.
5. Don’t be afraid to let your unique voice and mission be heard, and don’t let any external influences prevent you from pursuing your goals! Your vision for your business is yours, and yours alone, but it can feel quite daunting to let your individuality shine. Trust me, the more you align with what your heart is telling you, the more you trust in your vision and the more you quash any fears, the more your star will rise!
6. Know your worth. Although I have always known the worth of what I create, it’s hard to sometimes balance that out with how to put that forwards as a monetary value (with regards to pricing things). I think that if you find a rule that works for you, so that your margins are effective and you are making a profit that you feel comfortable with, then go with it.
7. Keep your eye on your own future goals. If you’ve create a vision board for your business, this is a really potent tool for focusing your gaze on what’s ahead. You could write-down an action plan of you don’t find vision board helpful, but just remember that what makes you business unique is you. Using gift boxes as an example - there seem to be quite a lot of companies creating similar-looking boxes, and this is fine, but if you want to stand-out from a fairly saturated market, you need to hone your branding, visuals and find a new angle to keep your customers interested.
8. Don’t try to conquer the world in a day! Building the foundations of a business takes time. It can be very easy to get swept along, especially when you’re starting a business. I found that I wanted to make, create and do everything! I quickly realised that this was not possible and I was in fact, watering-down what I was offering. I think that when there are too many options available, your customers can lose a bit of interest; they don’t know where to begin. So, by doing a few things really well that align with your vision, you can conquer your unique corner!
9. Set yourself mini, achievable goals. There is a huge sense of accomplishment when you tick-off a goal that you have been working towards. Moving at your own pace helps to create balance and will stop you from feeling overwhelmed. A step forward is a step forward, whichever way you look at it and when you begin to collect those steps, you feel amazing!
10. Give yourself a break & don’t sweat the small stuff! That’s right! Running a small business is meant to be fun, but if you focus on what hasn’t worked or if you are hard on yourself, it might not feel like this. At the end of the day, if you feel like you’ve made some positive steps and you have made progress from the day before, then you should celebrate their and give yourself a huge pat on the back! Regular pep-talks most definitely work for me and each day, I’ve begun to write down 5 positive things about my business that I feel happy about. This is a very worthwhile exercise and it’s giving me a better view of how I want things to evolve.
Keep moving, keep growing, keep glowing, keep flowing, keep trusting, keep evolving, keep pushing and keep shining.
Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.
All my love & encouragement,