I'm Starting a Business!
Yep, you read that right! I want to create affordable home decor, specifically printable art designs. I will also start freelancing my graphic design on the side, offering website design, branding services, and social media management.
I have come to this decision with no shortage of research. I have spent a ton of time deciding what exactly I was going to offer, what channels I will advertise through, how successful I can really be as a one person business, and whether or not this is the right choice for me. Here's a little history of how I went from afraid of offering freelancing in college to wanting to start my own business:
A few years ago I decided I wanted to run my own business as a small retail boutique. I had just graduated college and I really wanted to do something creative (putting that Graphic Design degree to work!). My grandmother owned a boutique here in Fort Worth and I really admired how she created the business from the ground up. I thought with my experience in retail management, my creative ability to create my own website, branding, and advertising, and with my grandmother as a guide that I would start this endeavor.
I did a ton of research for the fun stuff: what I was going to sell, what my brand would look like, where the store site might be, what the interior would look like, etc. I even went to market a few times to see how the buying process worked and what kind of competition I was up against. But I was super concerned (and with good reason) about the logistical part of the whole business. How would I obtain the merchandise? How would I keep up with inventory? What if I couldn't afford to hire anyone and had to run it all by myself?
I went to the Small Business Administration here in Fort Worth to talk about my dreams and fears. What was really interesting to me (although it will probably come as no surprise to most of you) was that they were much less concerned about my expertise and knowledge, and much more concerned with collateral and money. No, I wasn't laughed out of the door for my ideas, but they told me honestly that if I didn't seem like a great investment financially (which I didn't), no bank would lend my business enough money to get it off the ground.
I was heartbroken. I knew bootstrapping a small business wouldn't be easy, I was now concerned that I would never get a chance to make it happen. So I let it sit for a few months while I gave some thought as to what I really wanted to do. Not long after, a great job landed in my lap and I just had to take it. Two years went by and although I never stopped thinking about owning my own store, I knew that it wasn't the right time for me.
Fast forward to a few months ago when I stopped working at my day job. I decided that this was the opportunity I needed two years ago to decide how to run a business. I hit the ground running with ideas and researching. As it turns out I was much less concerned with WHAT business I ran, so long as it was MY business.
I've decided to make lemonade out of the lemons I was handed and start my own business here at home. I am a graphic designer with a flair for all kinds of design, so what I plan to do is a natural extension of the skills I already posses. I am super excited to get started on this new endeavor in life, but I am of course nervous about failure. But even though I am creating a pretty wide safety net for my self before I even start, I don't plan to fail. In fact, I am super ambitious that this decision will change everything in life for me. I cannot wait to share more with you guys, and I promise to keep you updated as I go forward!
Image courtesy of Lovely Clusters.
Do you have your own side hustle? Are you someone who dreams of owning your own business? Leave a comment below!