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Don't Make These Business Mistakes!

Don’t make these 5 mistakes that I did! 

I started Bessie Pearl over 8 years ago and here’s what I wish I would have known when I started. 

1. Email is Important

Start collecting emails right away!  Email is hands down a more profitable marketing tool than social media.  Yes, social media is important and a fun way to interact and collaborate, butemail is where it’s at if you want to grow your sales.  

Read all the articles – people who make way more money than me are all saying this, so believe it!  Plus, I’ve actually seen it happen for my business.  Have an Etsy shop? Collect your customers emails.  Posting on Instagram?  Remind your followers to sign up for your emails.  Have your own website?  Get a meaningful opt-in and get your visitors to sign up. 

via GIPHY

 

2. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.

In the era of buying online, a good review is gold.  People want to know what other people are liking.  Its why “influencer” is an actual job title (which still kind of blows my mind, but I get it).  So basically, you want to use someone else’s influence to boost awareness of and give value to your product. 

But be smart about it!  Collaborating only makes sense if it’s a good fit for your brand and demographic.

3. Photos and videos matter!  

The more a customer can visualize using the product, the more confidence they will have you your brand, and the more likely they will be to buy.  I just did a whole post on tips for better product photos that you can readhere.  If product photos just aren't your thing, or you don’t have time – hire it out!  Trust me, it will be well worth the expense.  (Other lesson I’ve learned, you can actually do everything for your business, but that doesn’t mean you should, hah!) 

4. Real Life Connections are Energizing

The online world is great and fun, but nothing is as good as in-person connection.  I tend to forget this and then every year I go to QuiltCon, or another quilting show, and it’s amazing!  I come back energized and having met so many awesome creators.  All because we are in the same room at the same time!  You can’t replicate that connection through a DM or email.  So, find some industry events for your market, print yourself some business cards, put on real pants, and put yourself out there! 

Lisa from Lovering Quilt Co and I meeting (in person) for the first time at QuiltCon 2024!

5. It’s okay (no, essential!) to set boundaries.  

This has BY FAR been the hardest lesson for me to learn.  When I started my business, my kids were little and home all day with me.  So, work happened at naptimes, after bedtime, and just whenever I could squeeze it in (hello 4 hours of sleep a night).   Eventually it took over my weekends until free time was a thing I dreamed about, my family became something that kept me from working, and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, was unhappy. 

It took years, and it’s still a work in progress, but I’ve become better at balancing my work and my life.  I’ve found that it’s okay to wait until Monday to respond to customer emails.  That I need to hire other people to do parts of my business so when my kids are out of school, I can be present with them and not annoyed at them for keeping me from my work.  And that I need time to create, just for myself, or otherwise I will hit burnout real fast. 

This coffee sign made with epp hexies is still one of

my favorite projects I've made.

I hope some (or all) of these are helpful for you as you navigate starting a new business!  I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned along the way so reach out any time if I can help! 

Best, 

Karen 

 

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