Starting your own business can be tough and often we don’t have all the answers. We chat to Emma Blomfield about the top five questions she wishes she could have asked a mentor when starting out in the interior design industry and the answers she has learnt along the way.
Where do I find the right help to get my business off the ground?
I had a lot of trial and error setting up things like websites, logos, business cards and marketing. After many false starts and a lot of cash spent I’ve got a great team of freelancers to help me outsource a range of services but it took a long time to find them all and a lot of expensive mistakes made along the way. Where possible, go with a word of mouth recommendation, they are usually a lot more reliable, willing to help and incentivised to do the right thing by you if they know you’ve come to them from another client of theirs.
How long will things take?
I’m quite an impatient person and as soon as I’ve made my mind up about starting something I want to get started on it straight away. But it doesn’t really work like that. Things pop up and slow you down all the time so learning to be patient and go with the flow is something I’m still working on!
How do I stay sane?!
I started my business when I was pretty young (24), I hadn’t really worked that long in the industry for anyone else so I had a really unrealistic understanding of what it took to run a business. I’ve had plenty of “oh shit” moments (and still do!) where I didn’t know when I’d be paid next so I could pay outstanding bills, sleepless nights worrying about whether a client’s sofa is going to fit in the elevator to get into their home and so many other things that I can’t even remember now but lay awake at 5am worrying about too many times to count. I wish I had someone telling me things would all work out, and even if they didn’t work out the way I wanted them to now, they would work themselves out without me dying, becoming homeless or starving to death…. (I still wouldn’t mind having someone tell me this!!)
At what stage in the business do you outsource?
I wish I had outsourced things a lot sooner. Granted, I probably couldn’t have afforded to do this too early on because I wasn’t earning much but hiring an accountant and bookkeeper was something I would have benefited from doing at least a year earlier than I did. It saves me SO much time having someone else do this for me.
When will the clients roll in?
Just because you’ve built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. It takes longer than you think (or at least longer than I thought!) to find the right clients or any clients at all. I tried to be all things to all people but in reality, you only really succeed once you find your niche and really own that market.
If you feel as though your styling business could benefit from a mentor, then join us at The Business of Styling Mastermind on Saturday, 17th June 2017 in Sydney. We’ve brought together a team of experts to give you the tools you need to grow and evolve your styling business in no time.