Real Advice from Real Small Business Owners
We’re celebrating Small Business Week by sharing advice from the tinkerers, entrepreneurs, and tastemakers who made the leap and started their own venture.
To celebrate Small Business Week, we reached out to a few of our beloved small business customers to see why they love owning their own business and if they had any advice for other small business owners just starting out. Check out what they had to say below. Also don’t forget to show your support by shopping local this week and beyond!
Q: Did you find starting your business easier or harder than you thought it would be?
A: I knew that it would be a lot of work. I think that no matter what you do, you’re going to be working hard. If you’re working for a company, if you’re working for yourself and your own company, you’re always putting in a lot of work and a lot of effort.
I think that since people connect with our products then it makes them easier to sell. It’s not trying to convince someone of buying a widget. People want to help and give back so it’s the easy story to talk about.
Q: Do you have any advice for people starting a business?
A: I always just say get started. Don’t worry about having the perfect plan and wait until you have the perfect plan. Just get started.
Q: What’s it like owning a business with your spouse?
A: You’re not working for somebody else’s goal, you’re working for your own common goal. Your success is all your own, your failure is all your own. You got to own both.
Q: What was it like making the leap into working for yourself?
A: Taking that leap at first was very scary when I made that decision. I did struggle with it. I went back and forth. But a week into it, I just felt like I’m not looking back. This is what I was meant to do. I love business. I love everything about it. I love combining all the things that I’ve learned and been trained on and been educated on over the years and bringing it into something that we’re building together.
Q: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome as a business?
A: The biggest hurdle for us … hurdles for us… have been finding skilled seamstresses. Also, maintaining the cultural identity of what we do here. So far one of the most awesome thing, I think, about our work environment is that everybody who walks through the door to work at Swift is equally passionate about making the product as we are about using it. To find seamstresses who are skilled, who are also passionate cyclists, obviously that becomes a challenge, but it’s so rewarding in the end. It means we are all super-engaged with what we are producing here.
Q: How do you keep organized financially?
A: We rely on QuickBooks for our financial analysis. I’m always drawing reports on a weekly basis. The how much I’m combing through the numbers I’m seeing will be different from a weekly basis to our quarterly basis or the end of our tax year. I can’t even tell you how much I rely on that information. Pretty critical.
We’ve used Intuit since we brought on all of our employees. I was really intimidated by the process of running payroll and keeping track of taxes. It’s so easy to do with Intuit program. It takes me like two minutes to do payroll every two weeks. I get notifications so that as I’m dealing with all of the other stuff going on in the business I never forget that I have payroll coming, which that sounds like you don’t ever forget payroll but there’s a lot going on. It’s been truly seamless to use Intuit.
Q: Are you involved with the local small business community?
A: I love supporting other local businesses too, even though I was small. I know that’s always … Probably a mistake I made was supporting other people and not really supporting myself, but I want to stay true to my product and make a really good product that I can really be happy about.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The most rewarding is seeing those expressions of the customers and how excited they are because that’s awesome. And seeing how they come back more, I just feel the love that way.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of owning your business?
A: I can’t sleep at night unless I’ve done something creative during the day and before this place that was hard to achieve. Now that we have this it’s just easy to do. Every day you can come up with something new and it’ll probably make its way to the front.
Q: What advice would you give someone starting out?
A: There is a space for you in this world. It’s just a matter of claiming it. It can be very overwhelming. I think it’s smart to not start off with just research and then try to find your spot. That’s a very logical way of doing it that may lead you down a path that ultimately feels a little like you’re not wearing your own skin.
Want to learn more tips and insights from other small business owners? Head over to QuickBook’s YouTube page where our customers talk more about their journey towards owning their own business.