One of my resolutions for this year was to share some of my learnings about starting and running a small business. I am just wrapping up my first year of business at Colette Patterns, or at least of publicly doing business. I’d been scheming and planning for much longer than that.
I get a lot of email and questions on this topic. I realize that there is a wealth of information about starting a business, much of which is written by extremely knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs. With just a year under my belt, I do not count myself in that category (yet). But that first year of doing business is quite a ride, so I hope you’ll appreciate the perspective of someone still in that initial, tumultuous stage! It’s rough sometimes, but quite an amazing experience.
In this weekly series, we’ll start by exploring the planning stages. I spent a great deal of time in this stage and while much of this planning is done before you’ve even launched your business, it really sets the foundation and tone for the whole endeavor. It’s something you can return to again and again as you progress.
After that, we’ll take a look at day to day operations and the myriad aspects of maintaining a new business, from marketing to customer service to product development.
Finally, I’ll tell you a little bit about growth: what it means and how to do it in a responsible and sustainable way.
As you can probably tell from that description, this will be an ongoing series for quite some time. If there are particular topics or aspects that you’re interested in, do let me know and I’ll add them to the list of future posts!
Oh, and the name of the series is obviously a goofy Project Runway reference for those of you who watch it, but I thought it fitting since running a business can sometimes feel like a race to make a ballgown out of trashbags… in one hour.
(I couldn’t resist posting that image, it’s hilarious.)