Faith Over Fear
Quite often (way more than I ever would have expected) I get asked, “How did you start your business?” I always write back a response, but if Bodie is nailing his terrible twos or I’m at the grocery store, I usually can’t provide the full response I wish I had. So, since it seems to be something at least some of y’all are interested in, and because it would be so much easier to respond with the link to the blog, I decided I’d share! Full disclosure, I am STILL starting Britt&Bo – I only started this last October, so I am still learning and growing.
These are the things I think are necessary to being successful and will definitely add more that I never knew I needed as I grow.
If you are starting a business that sells something, obviously you need to find that “something!” Seems simple enough right?! Yes and no. Yes in that there are thousands upon thousands of middle men, manufacturers, wholesalers out there and tons of websites that will connect you to these people all around the world. The not so simple part is finding who to use. That’s where you will have to put in your time reaching out to them, researching them, negotiating with them, asking for samples( do not buy a 100 of something without having one in your hand to test it out.) You must be confident in your supplier to deliver what you need when you need it. It’s a relationship built on trust for sure. If you are making your product yourself, that’s amazing and I wish I was as talented as you!! Good news, you already know your product is amazing. You don’t have to worry with sourcing.
I had no idea how to build a website; I just knew I needed one. I researched the most user friendly platforms and found that Shopify was the easiest for me to navigate. I know nothing above the basics of computers so I made my first website as best I could. Was it the prettiest most user friendly website ever,? NO! But, it served the purpose I needed.
Building a solid following does not happen over night. It’s a lengthy process, that I am still trying to navigate. Just make it your goal to get more followers and page likes each day. Reach out to people on social media; engage people. You should be saying/typing the name of your business at least a billion times a day! ( not really but you get my point) Every time I type a “B”, my auto text pilot has Britt&Bo populating first because that’s how much I type it. Just stick with it and grow your audience one day at a time.
Find your niche-
What is it that you do/ bring to the table that isn’t in a saturated market? Find out what that is and make it your selling point. Mine is I do not drop ship plus have super fast processing and shipping. My stuff is shipped from South Carolina, not overseas. Oh! I am also awesome with customer service! Duh! Find your niche and make sure others know what makes you different as well!!
I treat all my customers like they are my friends and fam, not just a number or dollar sign. I talk to y’all and treat y’all the same way I’d talk and treat my friends. Is the customer always right? Yep. When I have an unpleasant experience, or even better when I have a great experience and want to proclaim it to the world, am I always right? Yep. So obviously my customers are always right too!
I started Britt&Bo with an extra paycheck. It was a month where we got paid 3 times instead of the standard 2 so I had some extra money. I took that money and purchased my first shipment of moccasins. I sold those moccasins and used that money to reinvest in the business and buy more products. How you choose to fund your “side hustle” or business is totally a personal call. Find what works for you.
Faith and Determination-
Last but certainly not least, you have to be dedicated to your business. I worked a full-time job and side hustled Britt&Bo for a long while. There were days when I would work all day, play and be a parent to Bodie, and work on Britt&Bo while he slept. Did I want to quit? Yep. Did I ask my self is this worth it? Yep. Luckily, I had an amazingly supportive husband and great friends who helped encourage me when I needed it (If you find yourself feeling this way, when that self-doubting voice tries to sneak into your ear, just take a step back, breathe and refocus). It’s okay to take a day or two or however long of a break you need. Just don’t give up on your dream because of a bad day!
Building a business takes time. There’s certainly not a get rich scheme I can endorse (if you know of one, shoot me an email – this mama needs a vaca!). All joking aside, it takes a lot of work, faith, and grit but it can be done!!! I hope this was both helpful and insightful and that my advice has some take away to it!!