Last year I shared about 5 tips in starting a business because of people asking for advice. Since another year of experiences has gone by I’d like to add 5 more tips, this time in running a business. (Missed our first 5 tips in starting a business? Read them in our previous blog 5 Tips in Starting a Business.
TIP 6 - SACRIFICE
Over the past 3 years of running my own business I’ve learned more and more of what successful businesses had to do in order to reach their goals and dreams- sacrifice. Sacrifice may happen in the first few months of starting up, raising capital to grow, or even to keep the company afloat. I can’t tell you when you’ll sacrifice for your business, but 9 out of 10 times (I personally think 10 for 10) it is going to happen. So what can you do?
Sacrifice, while usually negative, can be a good thing within context. Usually when you sacrifice in a business you’re doing so in hope for something better to happen (i.e. Sacrificing time, energy, money, and hanging out with friends to start a business. Giving up a portion of your company to raise money and continue to grow the business.) Whatever the case may be, remember the reason why you are sacrificing to keep the bigger picture in mind when things are going well and when things are going not so well.
TIP 7 - HAVE A SUPPORT GROUP
Your business will need customers, but you will need someone to support you in whatever you’re going through. For me, that person has been my wife Aimee. My wife has been there for me through the good times and the bad and without her I honestly don’t know where I would be or where STAY would be today. She was there to talk about important business decisions, to vent, to celebrate, and many other things. Not only was my wife there for me, but I have a few close friends that I call or text regularly that are part of my support group. Many of you will build your business with a co-founder or team (TIP 8) and in that case they can be your support group.
In choosing who you rely on for support be mindful for those who will give you their honest feedback and opinions rather than those that say things to please or give false positivity. For example, it’s been helpful for me that my wife sometimes opposes/challenges my thoughts or ideas and provides a counteractive perspective to consider that I hadn’t thought about.
As important as it is to have a support group, it is also important to get rid of those that are negative around you. NEGATIVITY DOES NOT ENABLE SUCCESS TO HAPPEN and your time is not worth being around negativity. If they decide to support you later on great, but don’t worry about them.
TIP 8 - BUILD A STRONG TEAM
Let’s be honest, every great business started with an idea, but it takes a team to be able to make it grow from there. For the first year I asked for friends with their help and knowledge (TIP 1) and eventually after not having enough time to do everything myself I had my wife start managing orders and shipments. From there we have added 2 part time employees to help us manage orders and shipments so that I can focus on other parts of the business. We also have Alice Cannon who is our main photographer and has helped us for almost as long as we have started this business. I am super grateful for her helping up our visual game these past 2.5 years!
How does one build a strong team? Help them believe in what you are trying to accomplish! Help them see the vision! STAY’s motto and mission were enough to help each of them want to be involved with the brand and to help it grow.
I’m also going to put a plug in for my STAY WEAR brand ambassadors aka “THE STAYERS” for continuing to share the message wherever they are!!! STAYERS have been a lot of fun to grow this brand with and having a family vibe together. For those of you who have wanted to be an ambassador or have wanted to know how to apply we are opening up applications starting next month for Winter Season! (Jan - April Season).
TIP 9 - HUSTLE
Each of us has the same amount of time and time is a limited yet valuable resource when you’re starting a business. On top of that, we’re human- we need to eat, sleep, etc. and what time we have left needs to be used effectively in order to succeed. For example, this past week the earliest I went to bed was 3AM because of things that were timely and needed to be done. Not every week is like this for me, but when I first started I was managing dating my now wife, studying full time as a student at BYU, and running STAY in a small college apartment. Those days were very late nights, but I did it because I knew if I were to back down when I first started that there would be no one else to push me and no one else to blame for my lack of success (I will further go into the word success in the next TIP).
While hustling around, be genuine. People can see right through you if not and people will respond to you differently. On top of that, people will know if you worked hard or if you cut corners. Hard work pays off.
TIP 10 - SET GOALS
Before I started STAY, I did a ton of research (TIP 3) and a finally took a chance a year later (TIP 5). During that time I planned out some goals to not only have a better focus on what I was set to do, but have vision and clarity on where and how I would obtain those goals. Some of my early goals were short term (i.e. getting 1,000 followers on Instagram in the first 3 months and selling merch in a retail store by 6 months) and long term goals (i.e. selling merch in Zumiez in 3 years and doing STAY WEAR as my full-time day job in 5 years from inception). Some of those goals stretched us and we were able to achieve them, and some of them we are still working on. (Side note: one of our current goals is to have 6 STAY WEAR School Assemblies this year so if you are a school admin make sure to shoot us an email!!!)
Goals are best when they are SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound). I won’t go into the details of this because school or the internet can teach you this, but make sure your goals are like this so that you can 1. measure your success and 2. set a time limit to get things done - setting a time limit will make you HUSTLE! (TIP 9)
Why do we set goals? To feel accomplished and feel successful! Success is what you make it to be. If STAY ended right now, I would call it a success. Not that I made a lot of money from it, or made a decent size of following, but because it made a difference in at least one life. My personal goals in life are structured because of my religious belief as a Mormon. The late Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence.” Set small goals and big goals. Set goals you know you can achieve, and set goals that stretch you. The more you feel successful the more you will end up being successful.
Whether you are going to build a business or want to feel successful in life, I hope these tips can help you on your way to feeling successful. STAY HUSTLIN!
CEO & Founder