As an entrepreneur, support is vital from every direction, every skill level, every demographic and every professional network out there within your industry. Over and above all of those is family. Family support can easily make or break a business. When your siblings, your parents, your spouse, your children, (whatever applies to you presently) support what you do and make an effort to help get your business known, the brand is spoken of in public at the right time in the right place, it means more than your own life’s efforts to you personally and professionally. The more supportive, the better.
With my own business, in a very competitive town with so many bath & body crafters already saturating our town, it’s nearly impossible to find a market that will allow you the opportunity to sell in their market. If they already have a soap or bath & body product crafter, they aren’t interested in having a second one in their market, even if the two types of soaps or lotions are miles apart in looks or content. Enough “No thank you” and “Sorry , no room left!” have been said to make me think twice about my career change.
I left a part-time position with no benefits, no decent pay rate, no paid vacation or sick leave for personal reasons. Sticking with my bath & body business became more vital than ever at that point. It’s long hours, 7 days a week, no paid vacations, no benefits, but it feeds a part of me that needs feeding. It’s necessary for me to make something useful, something (hopefully) beneficial, something beautiful that brings others a smile. Makes them happy inside and out. Makes them feel better. To feel better for your own sake is… well, nothing’s better than that!
As a bath & body crafter, that support is coming first from my wonderful, adorable husband. It was his encouraging words that pushed me to step off into the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool again and go back into business for myself, making soap this time around. In case you’re wondering, the first time around, I was a baker. Breads, cakes, cookies, pies. Desserts and treats. I loved it. Still do and miss it….occasionally. But now I’m running an online business selling bar soaps, liquid soaps, cream soaps, a hybrid of liquid and cream soaps with sugar for a creamy rich sugar scrub, lip balms, lotions, body creams, body whips, and plans for other lines running fast and furious through my overactive brain. I love it and my brain never stops thinking of future possibilities!
Support came from other avenues as well. My youngest son (28 years old now) has touted my business almost from day one and that boosted my self-esteem back up where it needed to be to march forward even when things were flagging. My love of the work never wavered, but the need to rethink whether to close or keep trying faltered more times than I’ll confess to anyone. This biz is not for the faint of heart!
The latest addition to the growing support system, just added this week, is Indie Business Network. Just from exploring the web site, reading blog posts, listening to past podcasts, I can tell I’ve made one of the best decisions of my professionally life in joining this network. I won’t drop my membership to the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild membership because they too offer a lot of information and provide support in many areas I can use throughout the year along with insurance and certification that stays valid as long as I remain a member. But the IBN is fulfilling a huge need with bits of vital information that I can glean from their site, their Facebook page, their blog, Podcasts, and other social media outlets on a DAILY basis. I’m so glad that I’ve added them to the support system for my business and hope this will bring the results I’m hoping for at last. Thank you, Indie Business Network for being there with all the expertise and encouragement you provide to your members, new and ongoing!