I would be lying if I said that as of this writing, my room is not overflowing with packaging stickers, jewelry clasps, and leftover experimental scrunchies and jewelry.
I started my business in January 2020 and there are so many things I learned along the process. From digital marketing and jewelry making to managing finances and legal requirements, I learned more than I could have ever imagined, but I also made more mistakes and learned to improve each of them. First, let me introduce you to my business and my passion, Mantra and Co. Mantra and Co. is an e-commerce based jewelry and accessories company that donates all of its net profits to various charities charities and organizations. Check Out Mantra and Co. Here!
Photo credits: Mantra and Co. and Dandy Babes
There are several things I learned along the way and I’m here to share that with you. From product design to logos, here are some things to consider if you want to start a business.
1. Develop your idea
Each of us brings new perspectives to the table, so find what excites you. Is it a garment? Accessories? Maybe even an app? Try it until you create a product or business that doesn’t already exist (do your research to be sure!) People are always looking for something new to engage with, so bring your unique, unparalleled perspective to anything you choose to create. You can also choose to add flair to something that already exists, like customizing t-shirts or shoes!
2. Know your products and develop an ideal consumer
Once you have developed an idea, prepare some prototypes. Do you like your product? Is it accessible and usable? Think about who your ideal client would be. Your ideal customer is the person who would use your product or service to satisfy a need or want they have. Making this a reality can help you in future steps while building a social media presence and marketing. Of course, this comes after research.
3. Test them out
No consumer wants to buy a defective product! With jewelry, I had to make sure the jewelry was completely tarnish resistant, because I knew consumers would want a long-lasting, stable product. It was the stage that I would have liked to have done more in depth, at the start.
It took longer than you might think: I had to test a wide range of products and parts before I could find the ones that guaranteed high quality jewelry. I would say this is one of the most important steps because if you don’t do it effectively, it could potentially result in you losing customers in the future!
4. Legal research requirements
It’s definitely a key part of your start! Each state (for the United States at least) has certain legal requirements that one must follow. Be sure to do your research before starting your business to ensure that you are running your business legally.
5. Create a team
It depends from person to person, but I definitely wanted to form a team with different strengths and points of view so that I could make my business appeal to customers with different points of view. This allowed me to ensure that I brought diverse perspectives to my jewelry business, but also involved a team of changemakers who are passionate about this business! That being said, it’s totally fine if you want to do it independently.
6. Launch (using social media or a physical location!)
Once you’ve completed all the steps we talked about earlier, it’s time to launch! When I launched Mantra and Co. I used Instagram and Facebook for the launch, but have since expanded to TikTok/Pinterest. Remember that the launch is not the end, it is simply the beginning! This is where the real deal begins.
Since our initial launch, we have continued to improve our products and add more to the collection! Your first launch is by no means final: you can always delete or modify your products from then on! We did the same.
7. Be consistent
Grow your customer base by engaging on social media and growing on new platforms (TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.)! Be sure to connect with others who are in the same field as you. For example, as a small business, we found mentors and befriended other small business owners to promote each other’s products and also build a strong community of friends. You can do the same!
These are just the basics for starting a business! Starting a business or a service is not easy. There will definitely be ups and downs. Some days you might not get any sales or interactions, but one day you might explode on TikTok or Instagram, funneling lots of consumers to your page. Keep working hard and ask for help! You have this.