The reason I interviewed Vanessa is because she started her business when the economy started heading south – talk about passion!
She owns ENV by Vanessa Coppes – a handmade jewelry line catering to fashionable women and on the interview she explained how the economy varies for different business niches and that you the small business owner gets to create your own economic reality based on the needs of your clients and customers. In essence understanding your client is vital to the survival of your business – your products and services must be affordable and at the same time, it needs to satisfy the needs of your client.
Be the face of your business:
Always be willing and be ready to represent your business anywhere because prospective clients might have questions for you on a dimes notice.
Passion is one of the main ingredients to the success of your business:
You first need to believe in your products and services before you can convince anyone on why they should become your client or customer.
Pay attention to the need to express yourself artistically:
Your experiences in life all eventually lead you to coming up with the idea for your business so treasure every experience you have because you never know where it will lead you to. In her case she listened to the voice in her head that needed to create handmade jewelry that she liked and knew others will too
Take risks and make sacrifices for you business:
Find what works for your business and make it work. It sounds like work and yes it is. It’s the passion you have for what you are doing that drives you through the touch times.
Learn how to use social media for marketing your business:
Create the interest in your business and services by connecting with potential clients and customers on the social media networks where they hang out. Provide value for as many people as possible on these sites and they will start telling their friends about what you do – free referrals and word of mouth.
Be willing to give out samples of your products for free (in case you provide a service be willing to freely give you time):
This might sound counter intuitive and you might be thinking why give away your time or your product for free; the simple and short answer is that you want your customers to trust you, you want them to see value in what you have to offer because just by doing this you are establishing a relationship that will lead to them buying your products or sending you loads of referrals down the line
In her own words:
I started my business amid the crisis last year and have only flourished. Hardwork, social networking, outstanding customer service have helped me stay afloat.
- If your heart believes in it, follow your dream. While it may be a hard step to take, you must be able to step outside of the box and dare to do.
- Take advice from business professionals who have succeeded in taking the path you wish to take. They know what they’re, therefore should be able to give you sound advice as to how to go about your own path.
- Be unique and stick to your company’s identity. As tempting as it may be to copy someone who may be doing more business than you, in due time, people will start to recognize your efforts, and will flock towards what you offer, considering that it is unique.
- Learn how accounting works. If you don’t know how to bill and collect money that is owed to you, keep track of your receipts, or have a fundamental knowledge about accounting procedures, find a qualified accounting firm. It is very important to keep accurate and detailed records of all transactions (sales and purchases). If you have time, and the extra money, take a few accounting and business courses at your local community college to further your knowledge of how to run your business. If you can do it yourself, you will be able to save money and keep afloat during hard economic times. Quickbooks Pro has worked wonders for my company.
- The reaction from the customers who use your services or purchase your products, not only sales, should help you measure your success. Many companies have forgotten what customer service is really about. It is the key to your success. Satisfied and unsatisfied customers talk about your product and services. Bad news tends to travel faster than good news unfortunately.
- Create a sample of your product or services to give away. Contact local charity events to find out if your product or service can be donated.
- Network, network, network. I have joined face book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, and possibly others I can’t remember… they have helped me stay current on the Internet, and gotten me even more customers than I could’ve gotten on my own.
Connect with Vanessa Coppes:
On her personal FaceBook Profile
On her FaceBook Page for her business
Check out her awesome jewelry on her website www.ENVjewelry.com
Questions from me your host:
Do you have any questions or suggestions about this interview? I’d like to get some feedback on how your passion for what you do has motivated you to take the big steps forward with your business or idea? Please be so kind to share your story with me by leaving your comments below.
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