Hey small business owner...you can do this

To all of our new friends and followers, HI and thank you for connecting with us! 

As we're moving through the new member application process, I wanted to share a quick post that I wrote for small business owners a few months ago via my shop, Thirteen & Market. Helping one another succeed has always been a mission of this organization, and I thought sharing this piece might resonate with a few of you.

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For those who currently own a small business or are thinking about starting one, this is for you. And it's especially relevant if you're using social media (specifically Instagram) to try to break into your market.

First off...stop comparing yourself to other shops on Instagram. IG is a TOOL for building your business, but it was never intended to be a platform to solely sell merchandise. We had a good run before the algorithm changes (and it was GLORIOUS)...but when you do not control the medium on which you sell your products, you are at the mercy of a system that has been built to make them money, not you.

Invest in a website. A real one. If you are serious about building a business, do this and do it now. (I'm not downplaying those who use Instagram exclusively...but those who are successful at it are getting scarcer.)

Don't judge a shop on how many followers or likes they have. It's a great way to show that people like your stuff, but if you're doing it right, there are many other factors that should be in play outside of this singular avenue. EXAMPLE: I may have 20K+ followers on IG, and that's great, but I have also integrated the following marketing segments into my business:

  • Facebook page
  • Facebook ads
  • Local VIP page
  • A robust website
  • CRM tools
  • Blog
  • Houzz selling
  • Etsy selling
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Pop-up shops
  • Local pr/magazines
  • A women's entrepreneurship group
  • A constant, innate hustle mentality
  • And, we'll have our brick & mortar open this year

SOOOO...what you see on Instagram is a working cog within a much bigger machine.

The reason for my post is not to explain my business to you as much as it is to show those starting out how much should be considered. Don't get discouraged and quit when you're not getting exposure - go out and find other ways for it to find you.

And if you are curious about how shops work or are looking for a mentor - ASK SOMEONE. I chat with many shop owners frequently and enjoy helping others. I have also relied on mentors for years and it is an amazing opportunity to learn.

So,if you made it this far, thanks and please for the love of all that is good in the world, DON'T GIVE UP.

- Nikki