Today marks six months since we have opened the doors of 701 Design + Events (0h, yes, we are those people that celebrate half birthdays). Although we may have only been in business for a little glimmer of time, we have learned so much about relationships, the business world and ourselves. So in honor of our first six months, we are going to share six little business lessons we have learned.
1. You need confidence, and lots of it!
Confidence is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something (shout out to Merriam-Webster dictionary!). It takes confidence in yourself to believe that you can run a business. It takes confidence in your skills to place a value on your services and products. It takes confidence on those hard days, when everything seems to be against you. It is unreasonable to think that there won’t be days when you don’t doubt yourself, but if you are pursuing something that you are passionate about, that you absolutely love, it probably means that you are good at it. People like what they are good at, so be confident in your abilities and talents.
2. And if and when your confidence isn’t at its highest, have a strong support system.
The greatest asset in our business is our support system. This business would not be here if it was not for each other, and our friends and families. We were fortunate to start 701 Design + Events together as a team. Since it was the first time either of us have opened a business, we relied on each other a lot in times of uncertainty. I mean, when you start up a business in a small midwest town during the time of a large economic shift, you are going to question yourself. We would be liars if we said there weren’t times when we were scared, its going to happen, especially when finances are involved. However, when there are people that believe in you even when you doubt yourself, it makes it so much easier.
3. Running a business is not always as glamorous as it looks, despite our best efforts.
Sure, our Instagram account makes it look like we just take a bunch of pictures of our feet all day long, but there is so much going on behind the scenes. Social media is the most wonderful and powerful outlet in the business world today, but it can definitely romanticize a person’s life. Our office is rarely clean and picturesque, and we don’t drink perfectly frothed lattes* all day (…I’ll admit, we do take a lot of pictures of our feet though). We are usually sitting in our office, with our headphones in, silently typing away on our computer or painting at our desk. How’s that for glamorous?!
*If anyone wants to bring us lattes though, we will definitely take cute pictures of it and post it on our Instagram.
4. Have a website that is clean and easy to navigate.
This has been a work in progress for us. At the beginning of the year we began creating our new website, and it was a lot longer of a process than expected (like, two months longer). However, once we launched it we instantly began receiving inquires about our products and services. Its been so valuable to us to have a website that presents all of our services and contact information in a clean and creative online space.
5. Get a good attorney and accountant, it will save you time in the long run.
The legal and accounting side of business has been the biggest learning experience for both of us. Sure, we are experts at designing interiors and organizing weddings, but when it comes to all the legalities of business and loads of tax information, we find ourselves overwhelmed. Our advice- enlist the experts! Your business will be much more organized with the assistance of these two practicing professionals. They know their stuff and will send you on the fast track to small business organization, efficiency, and success. In turn, you can dedicate more time to your passions and building your business!
6. We still have bosses, they are called clients.
No, we don’t have someone checking our time clock or scolding us for being 5 minutes late in the morning, but we still do have bosses. They are our clients. They are the ones that are ultimately paying our wages and creating our schedule. Although we have our regular work hours, we always try to accommodate their schedules and make sure we are making their day a bit easier. Because when its all said and done, they are the ones that allow us to do what we love, day in and day out.
All the love