If you haven't alredy visited my website, you'll know that Ayari's Makeovers, Inc. is composed of 3 divisions:
-Ayari's Makeovers – my personal brand as a makeup artist
-Ayari's Brides – my hair and makeup bridal service
-The Glossy Party – an annual fun women's beauty event
As a female entrepreneur, it took a lot of dedication, perseverance, resources, and still…money, to get to where I am today. Though it’s challenging, owning your own business is not impossible. Here are some of my own personal practical tips for starting and running a small but growing business that may be beneficial if you are trying to start your own.
Pick a great team. People are everything and will make or break your business. Your organization is only as good as the people behind it. Find people who have passion, commitment, and creativity. I like to surround myself with a community of people who acquire some traits that remind me of myself in some way, but that have expertise in what I lack. Hire people you respect most but don’t be afraid to be relentless about creating an amazing team
Your product or service should solve problems. Start with solving a problem instead of having a product and then searching for problems it might solve. When you create a problem-driven business, eventually you will be of great use to those who need a solution. And if you are unique enough, and readily available, your business will flourish quickly. Therefore, you’ll need to know your customer base and their needs. And think about why someone should spend their money on your product or service. My bridal clients eventually choose me because of my quality of work and excellent reviews, but also because they NEED me on their special day!
Be financially savvy. Have a steady income. DO NOT QUIT YOUR DAY JOB IF YOU HAVE ONE! Though it would be a brave move, unless you have thousands and investors ready to back you up, I do not recommend anyone starting out to do this. Don't spend what you don't have, and make the most of the resources you DO have, and spend your money wisely. Always create a budget before spending any money and be realistic with your numbers. And most importantly, build your credit. You never know when you may need to borrow money from the bank.
Your marketing efforts should overlap. Working at LeMetric, I realized you should invest in your company by spending your money on advertising, PR, social networking, direct mail, e-mail campaigns, and any other ways to build brand awareness through all outlets simultaneously. Using only Facebook and Twitter helps a little, but it won’t work as your only means of marketing. You need to attract a huge audience first before you can engage a small percentage of people who actually want to try out what you are offering.
Think outside the box. I thought of a way to get my name and brand out there. I thought creating an educational makeup series was the way to do it until I realized I don't enjoy teaching. But, to promote my classes, I launched a party to get the word out. What was supposed to be a small event, turned into a much larger vision. The party was such a hit, that I wish someone had created it so I could attend and enjoy it myself! The concept of The Glossy Party is so different and unique, that it makes me stand out. So make sure your brand will have everyone talking. Standing out from the crowd goes a long way.
Be tenacious. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Recognize your biggest challenges and when you face them, push yourself to overcome them. You have to decide what YOU want, not what others want you to do. Focus on the bigger picture, and have a clear vision of where you want your company to go. Trust yourself enough so that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make something work.