Where Do you Begin?
The absolute first step is to commit to the idea of entrepreneurship which calls for lots of late nights and early mornings. Lots of time and effort too. Assuming you've made this commitment to yourself. Follow along as I share some valuable tips I've picked up along the way.
Figure out your industry and niche. Once you know what industry your business is in then you can map out a cohesive plan. If you are not passionate about your industry-it just won't work.
Target Audience. Your target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your products. They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. They are likely united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.
Do your own research! Do not rely on pointers, tips, tricks, and YouTube Videos from other creators. It is most important that you invest your own time and energy into researching your new industry and start grooming relationships with potential vendors. Keep your emails too. You'll want to refer back to them over the months to come as you comparison shop for vendors and/or products. Google is your best friend. (Moment of transparency: I still Google EVERYTHING. I like being knowledgeable about my field. I research on Google then follow up on YouTube.)
Invest, Invest, Invest. You want to invest in lots of sample products before placing large orders with any vendors. Word to the wise: Have your coins in order Sis! Samples are expensive because vendors typically only produce 1 or 2 items per sample order. Samples from overseas carry steep shipping prices too (sometimes even more than the product itself). You may find yourself questioning the prices as they will seem very unrealistic but trust me---you want/need samples. If your products can be ordered from vendors in the States-try shopping local and explore all options. Investing in your business may also mean taking classes, courses and studying. Do what will benefit your business most but don't get into this cycle of taking class after class. You must learn then apply the skills.
Don't be afraid to ask tons of questions. Ask everything you want to know. Your business is your baby. Just like you'd ask questions of daycare staff make sure you ask questions of vendors. Treat your business just like you'd treat your own child. When in doubt-ASK!
Eyes and Ears Wide Open. Be Observant of what's going on in your industry. What are the new trends for 2022? Should you follow the trends or carve out your own path? Invest in books and magazines that focus on your industry. Stay in the know. In business there is always something to do-even reading an industry related article is beneficial. Do something everyday that will move you closer towards your goal.
Trial and Error Folks. You are going to make mistakes. I made a huge investment in Valentine's/Love Inspired Gift Bags one year (A $2K Big Oops). It was a complete flop. I lost a lot of money but I learned so many valuable lessons. It is all part of the learning process. You won't always win but you truly win when you learn.
Create a Collection. Your clothing, stationery, fashion pins, etc. should be products you are proud of, the products should exemplify your style, and apparel toyour target audience. It's not about you but then again it is about the business. You always want to add your personal style and flair to your business; however, you must ALWAYS consider the customer. Ask your customers questions. Take surveys and polls. Use your resources. Social Media can be very helpful (or detrimental). Make good business decisions. It's business not personal.
Be Respectful. In business, it is important to have mentors; however, there is a polite and thoughtful way to build relationships. Hopping in someone's inbox and asking for vendors is not polite. It's actually selfish and a sign of entitlement. Take time to build relationships and ask genuine questions. Support others in your industry just like you'd like support. Every business owner has been in your position. Some owners freely share their sources/vendors and others may not share. Either way-lead with respect and courtesy.
For more useful tips check out my YouTube Channel. While you're there Like, Comment and Subscribe. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHBiZAiQD2-NDdoSyvgAIqQ