By Guest Writer Emma Vollrath
How to start a business…
That open-ended question comes up often. To not steer anyone in the wrong direction, I tried making my answer as straightforward and digestible as possible.
Until I realized, amid starting my own business, that it’s neither of those things.
I started to think of my business journey as more of a creative endeavor, as opposed to a by-the-book plan of how I was going to run a business. There was pressure to do everything right, in the exact order that it should be. No one is alone in this feeling; starting a brand is oftentimes daunting.
Luckily, I’ve learned key things along the way that have helped me and my business organically grow.
Find your passion
When growing a brand, think about the daily activities you love to do. Baking? Running? Sewing? Dancing?
It can be anything that brings you joy. Keep in mind you work for free in the beginning stages of running your business, so you might as well do something you actually like.
For me, I love to work out, so I became a personal trainer and my business grew from there. Trying different things and noticing how you feel afterward is key to honing in on your craft. It may be uncomfortable to try new things, but it’s all part of the journey.
This is also a great way to get to know yourself better so you can be well-equipped for the future.
Test the waters
Something that can help you on your business adventure is testing the waters. Once you’ve gone through your checklist of activities and found the one that you love and can monetize, it’s go time. In this stage, applying for a position in the industry you are aiming to start a business in can be helpful.
Do you like fashion? Try and see if a local boutique or designer is looking for extra help. There are always ways to get your foot in the door of any industry when you are just beginning. Selling on shopping-based apps is a way to get your product into the hands of consumers before having to build your own website.
I started out by wearing my own athleisure to the gym and to pilates class, which got people talking about my brand.
You can be your own model and advertisement, just find creative ways to do so!
Starting a business comes with its own set of challenges, but you learn and grow as you go along. Compared to when I first started my brand, Emma Lou, I have learned so much in my day-to-day experiences and it all happened when I stepped out of my comfort zone. Most things seem impossible until they happen for you. Focus on yourself and what makes you feel the best and this will reflect in your business.
People love authenticity, so use that to your advantage because you have so much more to offer than you think.