Everyday I sit down to write a post and I think to myself, should I write something useful or something completely self indulgent?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but lately I’ve been leaning heavily toward the self indulgent side. I can’t help myself. Something about summer fills me with nostalgia and creative energy and I just want to keep my head in the clouds all damn day writing fan fiction about people who run firework tents.
But there’s work to be done unfortunately. Ugh. Boring, right?
In order to pull myself back down to earth and focus on my business I’m going to write a very BUSINESS friendly post today. Woo! We shall call it: Five Things That Helped Grow My Small Business. And here’s a pic of me in my new Let’s Get Campy shirt because why not!
1. Hire Help.
Last year before my best friend’s wedding I was packing shirts until nearly 4 a.m., before my taxi came at 5:00 a.m. to take me to the airport. That weekend I decided I was done with shirts. I needed to find a new job I declared. (I wasn’t really done) I was just burnt out. I needed help.
And yet I resisted hiring anyone for a long time after that because it sounded scary and I didn’t want to relinquish control. And also money…. I didn’t know if I could afford it. But when I got married last July I really had no option since we were going to be away for nearly three weeks. So I bit the bullet and hired someone and it has been a life saver.
Enter coworker number one: Molly! She keeps my Etsy reviews at five stars because she’s lighting fast with shipping. Having her on board allows me to spend more time growing my business by focusing on marketing, advertising, and all around business growth strategy. (I just made that last part up but I feel like it sounds kinda fancy so I’m keeping it.)
Which brings me to number two…
2. Pay for advertising.
In the last six months I have doubled what I spend on Instagram and Facebook ads and I have seen the return. It continues to blow my mind that a small business owner like myself can reach the masses that I do in a single day, all from the comforts of my couch. Back in the day if you couldn’t afford a TV ad, or a billboard, you were screwed. Not today, friends. We can do it all.
I had a new shirt I wanted to push last week so I spent $140 on a Facebook ad (that’s a lot of me) and it reached more than 63,000 people (that’s also a lot for me.) I covered my $140 and then some.
And that’s just Facebook. I haven’t even dabbled into Pinterest ads simply because I don’t have time or knowledge in that area – yet. If you’re a Pinterest expert, send me a message 🙂
3. Hire a Chloe.
Chloe is my newest coworker and I’m pretty sure she’s better at everything social media/blog-related than me already – but this is a good thing. It’s my intention to surround myself with a great team of people.
So when I say “hire a chloe” I mean don’t be threatened by others in your industry who may be newer and already seem to have a better understanding than you do, see what you can do to work with them.
Chloe pretty much runs my business Instagram @taylorwolfeshop and she’s killing it. Her photos are amazing, her captions are the voice I want, and her strategy is as good as it gets. She also keeps me on task… (more so than usual.) When I hired her I warned her than I can be a little bit aloof and am not great at giving direction. But my business is at the point where it needs a more clear direction and she has forced me to do that.
You can see Chloe’s blog here and check out her gorgeous pics on Instagram @thebasics_lifestyle.
4. Be a human.
People want to buy from a person, not a brand. (In my experience.) I used to think that I should hide the “real me” from my customers, but in reality I get so many customer notes saying they ordered from me just because they want to support me as a person. (Or Harlow. It’s usually Harlow who am I kidding.)
I know this doesn’t necessarily ring true for all businesses, so know that I consider myself really REALLY lucky you all see my nutty insta-vids and still want to buy from me. It makes me happy I don’t have to hide that side of me, so thank you.
5. Goals. Goals. Goals.
I started this new thing in January where I write down five different numbers almost everyday. One pertains to the amount of sales I’d like to get, another is where I’d like to be financially, one is followers/customers, and one is word count on my novel. I’ve named it my “Rule of Fives.” By writing these numbers down everyday it’s constantly in the back of my head what I hope to achieve.
It always gives me chills when I look back in old notebooks and see things I wrote down four years ago (when at the time it seemed basically impossible) and to know I’ve surpassed it. Write it down, make it happen. I’m a BIG believer in this one.
Unfortunately, the word count is slacking the most as of now…. So on that note, I’ve got some writing some to do.
But before I go there’s one more I forgot: Practice gratitude every. single. day. For what you have already and also for what you’re working toward. You may eye roll what I’m about to say, but sometimes I feel like I could burst with the gratitude I feel over the fact I get to work next to Harlow everyday. (We all have our things, being with my dog all day is mine.)
I’m also grateful for coffee today. CAN YOU TELL? Let’s all go tackle the world! Please buy 100 new t-shirts and share this post in 1000 different places. Thank you and good day.