When you started your business you probably found a few things that you didn’t realize you’d be doing. There were things you didn’t know you would need for your small business.
For me there were several hats I never imagined wearing, including accountant, content creator, web designer and social media director.
While many hats I have handed off, or learned to love, there are a few things that I know my business needs in order to survive. Without these three things I would not be the business owner I am today, nor would my family photography business be thriving like it is.
Ready to find out the 3 things you didn’t know you needed for your business?
The first thing you need for your small business is a mentor.
In the early days you may be just trying to make it on your own, foraging your own path and creating out of pure love and passion. However, you will quickly reach a point of “now what” of feeling unsure of yourself and your business, of knowing what the next steps are. Whether you’re taking a course, join a mastermind, or hire a mentor for 1-on-1 coaching, having a mentor is vital.
A mentor can help guide you, see things that you may not see because you’re too close to your business. They may also save you from making the same mistakes they may have made in their own businesses early on.
In my business I have had the pleasure of two amazing mentors, Me Ra Koh and Elena S Blair. Both have helped at different points of business, and I still look to each from time to time.
The next thing you need for your small business is a community.
Here’s where the phrase, “community over competition” comes in. It is so important. Running a business can be lonely. Trying to talk over your ideas or struggles with your husband can only go so far if he isn’t in the same boat as you.
Instead, find a community of like minded business owners who are in the trenches just like you. A community can help you feel less isolated, give you a safe space to vent, along with a place to run ideas by.
Of course, you want to ensure you find the right community, one that is supportive and that, too, believes in community over competition.
There have been many times that I’ve reached out to my photography community looking for ideas, suggestions, or feedback on ideas. Often they’ve tried things I haven’t and can save me time, or offer ways that could be better. Maybe they’ve tried products or services I haven’t and can offer recommendations without me having to try everything myself.
A community is a great resource for your business.
(Psst. I have a free Facebook Group I created to help you build that community.)
A final thing you need is a small group of people for support.
This may feel like the same thing as a community, but this is at a larger scale. A small group is a tight group of people who you can go to with anything. A small group works together to help each other out, who you really feel safe with when you need to vent, cry, voice frustration over that one client who is driving you nuts, or who you need to celebrate with. They are a very safe space, where you invest more into each other.
My small group has been pivotal in this past year. I have run ideas by them, they’ve shared theirs with me, we’ve cheered each other on, we’ve whined, and just chatted. My small group is like my photography BFFs. We meet on zoom regularly for calls, hosting live chats on Instagram together, and have a group chat that we contribute to almost daily.
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