Less than 90 days ago, I started my entrepreneurial journey with Bombay Taxi, launching my retail site focused on statement-making women’s accessories. Prior to Bombay Taxi, I had been writing a blog for five years, and while I knew that making the move to e-commerce would be a challenge, I seriously underestimated the amount of learning I would need to do.
Among the things I’ve learned in the past 90 days: modifying my website on my own, taking better product photos, the power of a good pitch, leveraging my social media. And even though I’ve learned so much already, I have so much more to learn. It’s a never-ending cycle of learning, and sometimes its really hard to be efficient with it, but here are three tips to doing it better:
- NETWORK: Yes, this takes time, but it is important to build a relationship with people in your field as well as people that are peripherally related to your field. Lawyers, accountants, financial planners, photographers, graphic designers, web designers, SEO experts, marketing professionals, PR professionals… you will probably need all these people at some point, so you might as well start networking. The good news is that this can be really easy if you join some local professional organizations, or even attend some free (or minimal fee) sessions by organizations like JumpStart or ECDI. Or, if you’re active on social media, strike up a conversation. You may not know this, but this very website was founded by four people who met on social media long and built a relationship there, long before they ever met in person! Social media works. Use it. It costs you nothing but your time
- ATTEND A CONFERENCE: This takes both time and money, but can be so tremendously worth it if you pick the right conference. As a blogger and business owner, I attended Alt Summit in January, and even though I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what I’ve learned, its already paying huge dividends. Besides the networking, I had an opportunity to speak with true experts– people who’ve been there, done that– learning from their experience, both good and bad, has been invaluable.
- GOOGLE IT: Seriously, if you have a question about your business, google it. I guarantee that someone has already asked the question before, and the internet is FULL of resources for entrepreneurs. In fact, if anything, the amount of resources can be overwhelming. There are experts and so-called-experts so do your research before you pay anyone for anything. A number of business coaches will even offer a free session so you can test them out before you sign up. These days there are all sorts of sessions on Periscope as well- in fact, I learned some really great Instagram tips from a scope just a few weeks ago! Some of my other favorite online resources for some basic classes on photography and social media include Brit + Co and A Beautiful Mess.
There you have it: my quick tips to improve the efficiency with which you learn all the things you will need to know for your business. I’m always looking for more tips, so I hope you will share yours in the comments below!