Starting a new business can be a daunting task. As an entrepreneur, you alone are responsible for the success or failure of your business, and will be tasked with finding creative ways to solve problems facing your company. This comes along with crafting every aspect of the company, ranging from designing a product to executing a business model. The good news is that DC is teeming with resources and networks of independent business owners to work with as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
Recently, Team TMG attended How She Got There: An Evening with DC Entrepreneurs. The Moak Group is built on a platform of gender equality, and we make sure to take time to explore the important role women play in the business world. The evening featured Sarah Bayot, founder, and designer of Kicheko Goods, speaking about her entrepreneurial journey and how she developed her business model. Here are our takeaways:
The Big Leap
It is risky to leave a comfortable job and start a business from the ground up, but you aren’t alone. Of the 28 million small businesses in the country, three-quarters of them are single person companies. Thinking about the issues you are passionate about and the skills you already possess is an important first step in figuring out if branching out on your own will be a fulfilling use of your time. As an entrepreneur, you should always be asking yourself if the product is filling a meaningful gap in the industry, as well as revisiting aspects of your business that could be improved. You are the champion of your product and your company, and you need to make sure you are a believer in the product or service you are selling.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Being an entrepreneur is exciting because you get to control every aspect of your business. However, it can be challenging if you don’t have a particular skillset you need to take your brand and your product to the next level. Asking friends and family for support by trading your skills for their expertise can help grow your business while building relationships with other makers and creators in the industry. Investing in the skills you don’t have can give you peace of mind and the confidence you need to keep yourself on track and continue to sustain your business.
To Partner or Not to Partner?
Partnering with a more substantial company can take your business to the next level. Reaching out to companies you admire, whether it’s their business model or their product, can catapult your business into a broader market and may have the payoff of improving the financial health and name recognition of your brand. Confidence comes from passion, and if you believe in the products you create you are staying true to yourself and your brand.
Maximize Your Local Resources
It can be challenging to navigate the new space without a cohort, but spaces like 202 Creates, Walk With Locals, and Made In DC can open new doors for you and your brand. These initiatives were created to support and cultivate the momentum of the creative culture in Washington D.C. and have helped local businesses raise their profile. Running your business may take up most of your time, but don’t overlook the incredible opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs and draw inspiration from the community they provide. Remember, you are pursuing your passion, not just working for a bottom line.