I get lots of emails from like-minded people looking for answers as to how to start a business and how Inspired Goodness got its footing, and think its best to provide everyone with a little background to where things all began.
Figure its most helpful to have these answers up in case any of you out there are planning on starting a business of your own and are looking for a little advice as to where to begin.
What were the first steps you took in starting your business?
I spoke to my accountant and made sure to setup my business properly from a legal standpoint. The process is rather simple, you incorporate in your state, setup a business account and file all paperwork according to that. I used a company that takes care of everything — they made it a seamless process.
Also it's been really helpful to have setup a business checking and savings account. It keeps my personal and business finances separate.
How did you advertise/get brides to know about and use your services?
I primarily began advertising IG on various blogs that I knew would bring in like-minded brides to be. At the time, I had the amazing photos of my wedding as my initial work portfolio and I sent those to various magazines and blogs, in order to create buzz around my work. I even wrote up a tutorial on PWPD, aka, Post Wedding Press Disorder to share the resources I found for getting your wedding published.
Once my blog was live, I tried to keep my focus on the diy-inspired bride to be, offering creative finds and sharing some projects I'm currently working on. Rather than focusing heavily on inspiration boards or real weddings, I like to share tips, products and tidbits that show what I'm being inspired by day-to-day. It serves as daily diary or sketchbook of my ideas.
Once live, things pretty much took off on it's own. The blog is really the workhorse behind Inspired Goodness — it brings in a constant flow of traffic and fresh faces.
What advice would you offer to those who might want to start their own wedding design and planning business?
There's 3 general rules I give:
1. Incorporate and Organize
Talk to your local bank and accountant for tips. No one can quit their day job, starting in this industry, so knowing where you are financially And what You need to make to break even is key.
2. Share Ideas & Talk Yourself Up
Tell everyone what your doing and explain your new venture. Getting used to speaking about your biz, the facets of what you do and what qualifies you to friends and family is A LOT easier than to your first client, so be sure to key in you're loved ones and consider it valuable practice. Another part of sharing is all about knowing how much to share. Someone very early told me the most important thing I'm selling is my ideas. Be smart about what you share and recognize when it's best to wait until you have a signed contract. It's all about practice with this one - experience has been my greatest lesson.
3. Own it
When it was just me at home writing my mission statement, from the very first day, I always treated IG as an established brand. Believing in myself was the greatest piece of confidence I could instill in myself and it allowed me to feel successful from the very beginning.