Here it is, I’m just gonna spill it…starting a small business is not easy. I know most of us know this, but it can be easy to forget given the dozens of adds we see on social media about building an empire overnight, growing your Instagram followers by 3,000 in a week, or funneling tons of traffic to your website with just a few simple steps. The truth is, it takes a lot of time and effort to be successful.
I decided to write this post in order to be a breath of fresh air, to be an encouragement to those of you who may just be embarking on your journey. Because when you don’t see numbers increasing while it seems like everyone else around you does, it can be discouraging. I just want to let you know that there are others out there who are experiencing the same things. But first a little background information.
I started blogging about 10 months ago and I would be lying if I said that I have been wildly successful. I have a hard time with consistency and even went without blogging for several months, which you can read about here. I started the blog shortly after opening an online boutique calledLydia & Lilac. This is in addition to being a full time behavior specialist for our school district, volunteering in youth ministry at our church, and being a wife and mother of 3 boys. Needless to say, we are a little busy, so I do what I can to prep and plan ahead of time and one day I may write about that when I figure it all out…lol.
We are constantly hearing about all the wonderful things about starting a blog or small business and it’s true, there are a lot of great things about both. However, there are hard times too and these shouldn’t be overlooked, because if you want to have any sort of success it’s gonna take a little elbow grease, or in my case a whole lotta elbow grease! So here are some truths about the struggle, it’s real.
Money…I’m supposed to make that right?
So here is something that has been true, at least for me. Because I was not just starting a blog, but also a boutique, there were start up costs. Now that our business is almost a year old, the truth is we haven’t made much and anything that we do has gone right back into the boutique. This has been fine for us because we don’t rely on money from our boutique. If we did, I’m sure I would be working a whole lot harder to make that happen. But even then, I’m not sure we would have made enough to live off of or anything like that. I’m not saying we never could, I’m just saying it takes a lot of time and effort and it doesn’t happen instantly for most.
Money…now your telling me I have to spend it?
In my case with the boutique I have found that we have to spend money on adds. At first I tried to get reach without them, but I was getting absolutely no traffic. Zero. None. Zilch. Even now I don’t get a whole lot, no where near where I need to be. This is mostly because I don’t spend a lot of money on adds, which in the end means less views.
You’re on all the time.
This is so true! Each day, every activity, any event, they always become an opportunity…am I wearing something from the boutique, will there be a good photo opportunity in the day, is this something I could blog about, did I make sure to check in with our followers on social media, did I make sure to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest? You see, there is opportunity every moment of the day and if you don’t take it, someone else will. For this reason I am still learning how to balance it all.
The creative juices are flowing, BUT.
There are many times during the week that ideas will just hit me, but I can’t do anything about it at the moment. Such is life, right? Raising a family, working, and volunteering, there are times that I cannot stop what I am doing to work on my business. During these times I make a lot of mental notes, lists on my phone, or grab a sticky note. Even this post was a result of list I put together on my phone.
Although there are struggles that come with starting a small business, I do have to say that it can be very rewarding too! When someone tells you how much they like your content, that they really related to your blog, or that they adore what you sell in your shop, it makes it all worth it!