In this episode, I talk all about business. I know it’s not really considered a “Hard Knock” in life, but running your own business is not all sunshine and rainbows. It can be super hard, but also super rewarding. Listen to the lessons I’ve learned as well as some tips and tricks that I share.
Running your own business is no joke. It’s hard. It’s stressful. It’s very time consuming. It’s a lot of effort and work. But it can also be very rewarding. It can lead you to some freedom that you might not have with an 8-5 job.
Growing up, both my dad and bonus mom had their own business. I always knew that was something I wanted to do. After a visit with my great grandparents in Oklahoma, I came home and started my own business, Jourdan’s Jewels. I was 17. The summer before my Senior year of High School.
One of the ways you will create success with your business is by getting clientele. In order to get clientele, you have to be good at what you do. You want your customers to recommend you and, of course, come back to you time and time again.
Starting your own business is not free. Starting your own business is not cheap. Starting your own business is not easy. You will need a business license from your city (you will need to go directly to your City Office for this). You will need to register your business with your state (Google “register business with [your state]”). You will need to get a federal tax ID number from the IRS (Google “how to get an EIN number”).
Listen to the full episode to hear all the details.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:
-Create your business legally. Buy this, I mean have your licenses and permits. Pay taxes. It’s not fair for those who are doing it the right way and for someone else to just get to keep 100% of the money.
-If you’re doing a booth, make sure you have a good set up. You want to have banners, your business name. Have something flashy that will draw people to you. Add height and dimension to your booth. Make it interesting. Pinterest has tons of booth ideas!
-Keep in mind that employees are expensive. Whatever their wage is, you are actually paying double that! Not directly to them, but to the state and federal government for taxes, Social Security, Medicare, workers comp, etc.
-Set aside money for taxes. Have a totally separate account to house your taxes. At the end of the night or week, go through your total sales and figure out what can be used for expenses and what needs to be set aside for taxes. My accountant advised me to set aside 30% off all income for taxes. My business is a Sole Proprietor.
-Friends and family are not always your best customers. They often expect free items or a big discount. Sometimes, they may not even support you at all.
-Pricing is a huge thing if you want to be successful. Do not use keystone markup. Try to do a 2.5 or 3x (or more markup). Also, it’s easier to start high on your prices and come down than it is to start low and raise the price. Find your sweet spot.
-Some customers are only looking for a deal and this is okay! Everyone loves a bargain, myself included. Some people will only shop the sale rack, but guess what? You want to get rid of it anyway – that’s why it’s on sale! Better than nothing, right?!
-Pick one or two social media platforms to focus on. Get really good at those, then you can branch out, if you choose. Collect emails and send emails consistently. Schedule posts to save you time!
-Don’t expect answers from other business owners. Do your own research. Google will be your best friend when starting a business. Pinterest also has tons of ideas and tips, as well as Facebook groups.
-Keep track of your receipts! I have 12 folders – one for each month. Put your receipts in the correct folders. I mentioned the spreadsheet I use. If you want a copy of that, just send me an email.
-Be careful when buying from China. Make sure you are not buying counterfeit items. Anything “name brand” from China is counterfeit and you could get into some serious legal trouble for trying to import these into the US.
-Any legit vendor will require you to show them your tax ID number in order for you to be able to purchase from them. Some may even require you to turn in some past invoices from other vendors, just proving that you are a legit business.
-To find vendors, use Google! Search whatever it is that you are wanting to sell. Research brands that you want to sell. Find markets near you that you can attend.
-If you take a loss several years in a row, you’re more likely to get flagged for an audit by the IRS.
-Many people say it takes upwards of 7 years in business to finally start turning a profit.
-I highly advise you to stay away from preorders unless you have a 100% guarantee from the vendor that the products will be in stock and your customer has already paid.
-You are a walking advertisement for your business.
-Have all contracts/agreements in writing.
-The more “in demand” you are, the harder people will try to get to you or buy your items.
-Do not ever try to haggle with the prices a business has sent, unless there is a “make me an offer” sign above it. That is so dang rude!
-Sometimes you have pain in the butt customers. Have set and clear policies that your customers are aware of and that you/your employees are able to follow.
-Have a business page (not a friend request profile) AND a VIP group.
-Research your business name beforehand. If it is available, snag it on every platform, even if you aren’t going to be using it. That way if you ever decide you want to try your hand at a certain platform, you’ve already secured your account. Don’t forget to buy your domain name!
-If you have a storefront, you want to create a destination. Choose your location near other stores, even your own competition!
-Make sure you have excellent customer service. Greet them when they walk in the door and when they leave. Have a drink and treat available for the at your counter. Have something for the children to do while the parent shops.
LINKS TO THINGS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
-If you or someone you know in the Sevier County, Utah area are looking for an electrician job, get ahold of my dad with DH Electric.
–Kids name rings
–My name ring
–Jourdan’s Jewels VIP group
–Jourdan’s Jewels(use code “hardknocks” at checkout to save 15% on your entire purchase!)
–Etsy logo designers
–Etsy website designers
–Label printer (this is the exact printer I use)
–Labels (these are the exact labels I buy)
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