Successful small business owners learn from mistakes

November 30, 2012

As difficult as entrepreneurship may be at times, the reward is worth one-hundred times the struggle.

Guest post by small business owner SheRae Hunter of SL Hunter Photography.

Owning a small business is a romance. You fall head over heels, and you spend every waking hour thinking, daydreaming, planning, and building on your new found love. You learn as much as you can, and you spend time with those who share your love. As within any romance, there are peaks and triumphs, but there are also snares and disappointments.

Some days you will feel exceedingly blessed and so very thrilled to have the opportunity that allows you to spend your life doing what you love, and other days you will feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and sometimes even hopeless. As with any relationship, the difference between success and failure lies within how you view every circumstance, and how you choose to respond.

As a military family, we have moved three times over the life of my small portrait business, SL Hunter Photography, and each time I have had to build my business from the ground in a new town, knowing absolutely no one. I have faced many tough situations ranging from legal zoning issues to expensive failed marketing initiatives, but instead of devaluing myself and my business based on my circumstances, I learned from every negative situation and rejoiced in every small victory.

As a small business owner in a saturated market, I learned the importance of the business aspect, from marketing and licensing, to business insurance, (I recommend Hiscox!) and bookkeeping. As an artist, I learned that passion was not enough, and that skill and the ability to stand out artistically were equally as important. As a professional, I learned that above all, world class service is a dominating tool for success. Word of mouth referrals are by far my most powerful marketing tool, and they start with exceptional service.

Instead of using Facebook and Twitter to sell and advertise, I’ve learned to use social media to get to know my clients, while also allowing them to learn about me. This creates a bond of trust and a level of comfort and friendship between myself and my clients. I could fill pages with the values I have learned through trial and error, and from entrepreneurs inside and outside of my field whom I respect and admire.

As difficult as entrepreneurship may be at times, with all of the hats that we business owners must wear, the reward is worth one-hundred times the struggle. I inspire others to not only learn from their mistakes, downfalls, and unfortunate circumstances, but to welcome them as an opportunity to grow, as an inspiration not to remain where you are, and as a gift to push yourself and your relationship with your business to new levels.