I run a record store here in Orlando and we are just about to enter into our 3rd year in business. The last three years have been very challenging and most importantly I have learned so much. Soul Quest Orlando has taken its toll on me but I am just so happy that after many years of dreaming about this, I finally took the plunge and did it. I had no prior business experience and so this was a stumbling block for me at times. Nonetheless we have done well so far and we are even turning a profit! If you have dreams of setting up a business then here are some tips based on my own personal experience.
Pick A Passion
Honestly there were some days, weeks and months where I was all too aware that if I didn’t have a passion for this business then there was absolutely no way I would have put in the work that I did. For this reason my first tip for you is to start a business based on something that you love. Don’t get into business for the money, that will come later, pick something which you enjoy doing and go after that, this will keep you hungry and it will ensure that you love what you do.
Don’t Expect An Easy Ride
Mistakes will happen, errors will be made and money will be lost, you have to just accept that you are going to be in for a rough ride when you get into business. Nobody knows how to perfectly launch a business and the truth is that the only way that you are going to survive and thrive in the future is if you make these mistakes and learn from them. I am still learning every day of course but there are things that happened in the first year of the business which I took great lessons from.
Invest in Marketing
No matter how much capital you have to throw at marketing I would recommend that you do it as it will yield more business and more visibility for your business. I made the mistake of thinking that we couldn’t afford any marketing and it was only in year 2 that we decided to invest, after seeing the success which this brought I have really kicked myself for not doing it sooner. Once you get your business off the ground, spend whatever you can to tell the world about it.
I wanted to create really cool atmosphere in the store which is why in the first year I wasn’t really strong with my staff. Unfortunately however when you give people an inch they will take a mile and this is what started happening to me. It is great if you can be nice to people but don’t let them take you for a ride, this is a business after all and that should come before everything else.