Image via Pinterest So here I am… writing this post as IDEA! event + style turns ONE! What an AMAZING year it has been! I’d never imagined my little IDEA! would take off so fast, sometimes almost a little too fast for me. But I am SO grateful. This past year, as a fresh new entrepreneur in the field of event planning & design, has taught me so much. A lot of great people in the party world have unconditionally helped me along the way, and I think it’s only fitting that I pass on what I have learnt to someone who might be planning to start her own little business. And these simple thoughts below could probably apply to a lot of different kinds of small businesses…. so read on, to discover my discoveries, and my mistakes too… Imagine that! Image via Pinterest
What I have learnt (in a randomly funny order) this past year:
To all of you planning on starting your own business, I wish you the very best! Take the plunge and watch yourself grow in ways you never imagined. Image via Pinterest
- That fire inside of you, to make something happen?… Don’t ignore it! It is the beginning of something big. Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and learn to trust on your way up, or temporarily on your way down too!
- Compare notes with your fellow business owners/competitors but don’t focus on their successes or failures. Stay true to YOUR brand and YOUR unique vision. You DO NOT have to do what everyone else is doing.
- Always surprise your clients with something unexpected. Something that wasn’t discussed or wasn’t in the contract. Something that you’re absolutely sure they will like of course!
- An event planner/designer/stylist’s life is NOT glamorous. Be ready to haul furniture, lift heavy boxes and look like a hot mess while everyone else is looking pretty and sipping champagne.
- Always always always focus on your client’s likes and dislikes when designing the event. Remember that someone is trusting YOU to make their special day even more special. It’s not about how the event will look on your portfolio, or on a popular website. It is about the memories you are helping create for a family. KEEP IT REAL! I cannot stress this enough… it is what I whole-heartedly believe in.
- Go the extra mile to make sure your client is informed every step of the way. If you are a control freak, you know how difficult it is for someone else to be in control. The least you can do is make sure your client is well-informed of all the choices and decisions made, and knows exactly what to expect.
- Don’t under-value your time. I have definitely made this mistake and am learning from it. As anyone in a hand-made, creative business knows… being creative takes time, effort and a lot of patience. You have to account for your time, not just the materials used, and charge your clients accordingly. Come up with a fair formula that you are comfortable with and work with it.
- It does not matter how many Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram fans you have. What matters is how many actually engage with you, and could be potential clients, even if not directly but through referrals. Focus on gaining fans that are relevant to your business.
- NOTHING replaces word-of-mouth advertising. It is the most effective and probably always will be.
- Breathe. Don’t stress. And enjoy your new endeavor…. try to remember it was one of the main reasons you started it anyway.
- And lastly, inspired by a recent quote I read somewhere…. wherever you go, always leave a little sparkle behind… :)