Balloons in the Big Easy
To recognize National Small Business Week, I thought I would share a little testimony about my journey into this land of entrepreneurship.
When I came up with the idea to re-enter the Party and Balloon industry, all I wanted to do was make pretty balloon decorations for parties. I just knew all I had to do was come up with a name, apply for a Sales Tax I.d, get some inventory and we are in business. It's just that easy, right?
The week I recognized I wanted to start a full-fledged business and join the other approximately 600,000 small business start-up's in the U.S, I had to take a crash course in Small Business 101.
I had to learn the difference between sole proprietorship vs. LLC (always, always choose LLC...that's just my opinion)
I had to make sure we had the proper permits, licenses (State and Parish) and zoning. (Yes, even if you are home-based).
Alright.. so I get all my paperwork in order, got the inventory, built a cute website and now it's time to make that money. Let's get it.
Here's when my reality check hit. You need customers and you have to actively seek them out. Unfortunately, your mama, cousins and bff's don't count. One post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will not cause a mass exodus to your website or store. Sorry. This is the part where I had to take a crash course in Marketing 101. Over the past few weeks, I've had to become familiar with terms like SEO, sitemap, meta tags and branding. I've done so much research on Social Media Marketing, I almost feel like that should be my next venture (not really.) I'm still up in the air about direct marketing (you know those postcards you get in the mail offering 10% off of this or buy one, get one free of that?... yea, those).
Overwhelming? Yes, but very rewarding.
So, if you are thinking of turning your "money-making" idea into a business, I say this...
Do your research.
Be prepared to work and work hard.
I found this article on Entrepreneur.com and would like to share with anyone who would like to join the club.
"3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lead Your Business"