What I Learned from Launching My New Business
Launching a new business is scary.
There’s no way around it. You’ve been putting your hard work into this project and you don’t want to see it fail. For many of us, this is the first business we’ve actually launched and the road is bumpy and full of dead ends. Navigating around pitfalls is difficult and confusing to say the least. Doing it all on your own can feel impossible!
Don’t fear though, babe. That’s what our fempreneur community is here for. I launched my own online business just under a year ago now, and I learned a lot. I’m here to share those lessons with YOU and make this journey a whole lot better!
Talk To Your Audience!
This is your market research.
I was originally going to build a business providing custom website designs for wellness brands. Before launching, I decided to do some market research by chatting to a few people in that niche. All of them, except one, said the reason they hadn’t hired a website designer yet was because they couldn’t afford it.
After those conversations, I was so stressed because I was thinking I was about to start a business that no one could afford. Then, I realized this was a perfect opportunity for me to find a way to serve these new to market wellness entrepreneurs in a way that I felt the market was lacking. They needed a solution that would give them a great website without breaking the bank.
From this, Wellness Site Shop was born. Had I not actually gone out and talked to my target audience, I would probably still be struggling to be a custom designer doing client work. I’ve received such a positive response so far, and I’m so grateful I was able to get over my fear and talk to people about what they really needed.
If you’re still feeling a little timid, reach out to people in your inner network first, or a community like The Collective. You can bounce ideas around and get feedback to what people are really looking for without overstepping your comfort zone too much. Eventually, you will need to reach out to potential clients for market research, but having some practice will build your confidence for when the time comes.
Listen To Your Gut
When I first had the idea for Wellness Site Shop, it wasn’t called WSS. I was branding under my own name since that was my plan when I thought I was doing custom work. I had a whole brand designed for me. When I was one week away from launching my Instagram, with my full business launching two weeks later, I kept having this weird feeling that something wasn’t right. I finally realized that with my new business model, I didn’t want to brand under my own name anymore.
Thankfully, I thought of the name pretty quickly. I postponed my launch, went back to my designer friend with the most puppy-dog apologetic eyes and told her I wasn’t going to use the beautiful brand she designed for me and I wanted her to design another one. She happened to need help with her website so we wound up trading services and it worked out beautifully!
While I loved my old brand, I cannot tell you how stoked I am about what she did for Wellness Site Shop. It was super scary and sort-of disappointing making this decision right before I was supposed to launch (I was so excited) but I’m so glad I listened to my gut to pull back the reins and do it the right way from the beginning.
Remember your business is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If your gut says wait, listen to it. Making big changes once you’ve already developed a reputation can be way more difficult than postponing your launch a little bit to really understand your direction.
Don’t Be Afraid To Outsource
I knew very early on that Instagram was going to be a primary marketing strategy for me since that’s where most of my audience could be reached. But, I knew nothing about IG since I didn’t even keep up with a personal account.
I knew getting everything ready for WSS was already so much work, and I was super stressed about learning and implementing an IG marketing strategy. So I made the risky decision to outsource months before my business was even supposed to launch. I’ve been a VA for another online business owner so my hubby and I decided to use all that money I was making from her and put it towards an IG strategist.
Well, I hired one and had to fire her a couple months later. She was great at what she did, but had overloaded her schedule and unfortunately the quality of work I was getting wasn’t what I wanted (check it out – I listened to my gut here!). That was a really hard conversation, but I knew I needed to do it.
Soon after I found Natasha at Sol Studio who has been a lifesaver and such a joy to work with! Allowing her to step into her expertise for my business so I can work in my own zone of genius was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
I know outsourcing can be scary, but I truly believe the best and fastest way to scale a business is to hire people who compliment your weaknesses. If they can help you focus on creating things that actually move the needle, why not let them?
Do What You Can When You’re First Starting & Allow Yourself To Grow
My big plan was to write blog posts once a week, then film Youtube videos of me talking about the blog posts for those people who preferred to learn through video. When I sat down to film these videos a couple weeks ago I realized that it was going to take a lot more work and mental energy than I thought to start this Youtube channel. Since I was already starting to feel overwhelmed, I decided to ditch this idea for now. I was super disappointed since I know the future of content creation is video and I wanted to jump in on it.
It’s still my dream to have a Youtube channel one day, but I’m working with Natasha right now on developing an IGTV strategy. This way I can still share my content through video in a much less curated and more casual way. This strategy is actually manageable for me at this point. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but I’m focusing on doing what I can right now instead of hustling myself to death trying to start the perfect Youtube channel.
My takeaway here is that you don’t have to do everything from the get go. No one is going to launch a new business with every aspect of it running perfectly right away. It takes time to develop. It is better to focus on one or maybe a few key strategies that allow you learn along the way, than to try a little bit of everything and crash. Once you are mastering these strategies, start growing your brand to include those big dreams of yours.
Entrepreneurship Is A Mental Game
Yes, you actually have to know all these things, or be willing to learn, and you have to be dedicated to the work. But, if you can’t learn how to ride the mental highs and lows, you’ll stop before you even get started. This path you’ve chosen now is guaranteed to have ups and downs. It’s okay to feel upset when something doesn’t go as planned with your business, but you must be ready to try again.
This strategy may be different for everyone, but the bottom line is you need to take care of yourself first. Learn what keeps your happy; family, friends, nature, reading? Whatever it is, schedule in that time for yourself that allows you to mentally unwind and come back to your business with a clear head.
Having a good support system is important as well. Whether it be a partner, a best friend, a parent, having someone to help you talk through your struggles at work will allow you to offload some stress and see the problem from a different angle.
Keep rocking ladies. Remember that wherever you are in your business launch is the right place for you right now. Find out what your clients want, listen to your instincts, use all the resources you can, and take your time. Most importantly, breathe. This is your dream, and you can’t rush dreams.