Another year passes us by! Thank you for celebrating The Extension Bar's 4th year anniversary with us! It has been an exhilarating (tiring), exciting (terrifying), and enjoyable (stressful) journey. One thing is for sure, we've learned A LOT. We've decided to share a few of our most valuable pieces of advice with new/future small-business owners. We made the mistakes so you don't have to!
Let's get started...
UNDERSTAND YOUR SHIPPING COSTS
Working through shipping details might be enough to make you question “why did I ever start this business in the first place!?”… But we’ll be the first to tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Take your time, explore your options, and consult with your fellow, local business owners because it is SO important to have a good understanding of your shipping methods prior to launching. Believe it or not, it is common for shipping companies to charge hefty fees… (shocker!) Proactively exploring shipping methods and having a clear understanding of the cost, will help to eliminate unexpected expenses and instead allow you to price your product with consideration towards these shipping costs.
PICK ONE PRODUCT AND MASTER IT
It can be tempting to expand your store quickly to incorporate new products. Our suggestion; choose one product and master it into perfection (can you guess which one we chose? 😉) By doing this you are not only creating a product that your audience will know and remember you for, but you are also building your brand standard. Would you prefer to have one specialized high-quality product or numerous, mediocre products? This strategy goes a long way for brand new, small business owners. Not to mention, the cost associated with store expansion tends to be less manageable for new businesses. So, find your one product, perfect it, grow your profit, and then expand.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF
Have you heard of ‘imposter syndrome?’ Well, any new business owner can tell you that it undoubtedly exists! Never underestimate your ability to achieve those ambitious dreams (some call it ambitious; some call it crazy). It may take some getting used to, but remind yourself that your success is completely feasible. Avoid second-guessing your abilities, avoid comparison, and avoid the negative energy!
BRANDING IS KEY
For those of you who have kept up with TEB for at least a year now, you might have noticed our transformational branding journey. This was the year that we truly realized the importance of effective branding. Basic branding elements like a logo and colour palette may seem insignificant at first, but this is how you are communicating with your audience. Your brand is what your audience remembers you for, so make sure it is something they can’t forget!
INVEST TIME IN THE BACK END
A.K.A. invest time into the “boring stuff!” It’s not all glamorous (in fact, most of it isn’t), but it is extremely important to invest time and effort into what goes on behind the scenes of your company. This may include website development, customer analytics, search engine optimization… the list goes on. These are normally the timely, skill-oriented tasks that may take some practice, research, and patience BUT we cannot begin to explain how much it will pay off!
Starting a business is hard; continuing your business is harder. Though it may appear to be rainbows and sunshines on social media, the fact of the matter is there are days that you will want to call it quits. Our advice… don’t. Pursuing your goals and building the business you've always dreamed of will be one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Hang in there and do not underestimate your ability to persevere!
Thanks for reading and cheers to our 5th year 🥂
We want to hear from you; comment below a tip that you have for your fellow small business owners!