I started dabbling in Quinn's Pins in 2018, little did I know that 4 years later it would be a full time commitment for me! When I look back, there are so many things I wish I knew when I started my business, so many lessons I've learnt that would have been so useful to know when I started up. I'm most definitely still learning now and do not claim to be a business expert by any means, but I thought I'd share what I've learnt so far with you in case you're in the early days of starting your business , or maybe you're thinking of starting a business and you're looking for as much advice as possible...
Branding is your Bestie!
Branding is super important when starting a business. Although it's not something that should hold you back, it's definitely something you should look into! By having clear and representable branding, your audience is much more likely to be drawn to you and trust you. Find your target audience - their age, gender, hobbies etc. What colours suit your brand? What is your brands message? All of this ties into your branding and it's something I wish I'd got sorted sooner!
Invest, Invest, Invest!
Investing in your business is one sure way to help it to grow. When I first started Quinn's Pins, every single penny went back into the business. Now that it's my job, I also have to live off of my income, however I always make sure that i'm investing a certain amount/percentage each month! This not only goes towards new products, but towards ads, my website, plugins on my website, packaging for my products. Make sure you always have some money behind you to reinvest into your business, this is a sure way to help you grow!
It's ok to Have Help!
Whilst running Quinn's Pins, I've always been someone who wants to do it all myself. The Instagram, the Ads, the SEO. It can all pile up and get too much. Obviously it's important to stay involved in the business as much as you can in order to keep it yours, and I will always want to behind the "fun" parts of t the one designing the products and running my Instagram - but if you find someone better at SEO or Ads than you, when you're able to, it could benefit you to get an expert involved and allow you to spend more time working on the parts of the business you love.
It can be so easy to overthink and put things off. The best way to start your business is to just start - Not everything will be perfect straight away. I spent SO much time trying to perfect every tiny thing, overthinking things as to why starting a business might not be right and how I might not be good enough. That I only had one product so what was the point? Well the truth is, you never know unless you try. Remember that things can be adapted along the way! Anything that isn't set in stone can be changed later, so just do it!
The OG product in 2018
Embrace your Mistakes!
Part of running a business is making mistakes. I would beat myself up if I designed a product that didn't sell, or spent time drawing something I didn't end up happy with. I got so scared to spend money on new products in case no one liked them, which set my business back a lot and I'm making up for lost time now! Embrace every single mistake and learn from them. Whether that’s an error in your product design, or damage during shipping from your packaging not holding up. No matter what it is, don’t dwell on it, take it as a lesson and don’t make the same mistake next time! You’ll find it a lot easier to grow that way.
One thing I wish I was confident enough to do sooner was to show myself with my brand. Showing my face and chatting on Instagram, making videos on TikTok, even having an About Page on my website has all helped with growing my brand. As much as I can find it difficult or cringe at myself, showing the person behind the brand is a great way to allow your audience to learn more about you and your business, as well as gain trust! It's also super fun being able to show behind the scenes and make friends as you go along!
Master Decision Maker
Ah, my weakness. Decision making. I've found that there is a LOT of decision making when running a business, if you're running your business by yourself, then a lot of the time it's all down to you! So, definitely use the help of those around you to help with those big decisions. Don't be afraid to ask for help, it can easily start to feel lonely if you try and do everything yourself. Of course, you're the owner of your business so you need to make the executive decisions, but that doesn't mean you can't get some words of wisdom from family and friends beforehand.