5 Must-knows for the First-time Entrepreneur

February 20 - Paulina Serrato

1. You will fail, and that’s okay

I can’t tell you how quickly maniorpedi.com changes each year – from updates to the website and brand refinements, to the never-ending search for the perfect towels or mobile manicure equipment. When building your company, you’re going to have to make a lot of uninformed decisions across many areas, some of which you may regret.

Learn from those decisions. If you really believe in your product or service, take what you’ve learned and find smart ways of continually improving each aspect of your business until you feel (in your gut) everything is aligned. And do not be discouraged with change – embrace the hustle and stay positive.

2. Time management, especially when working from home

It’s extremely important to give yourself a schedule that works for you. For example, you might say “I’ll work from 9AM to 5PM and get a break at 1PM.” If this is works for you, stick to it. Personally, I do not look at emails before 9AM or after 5PM, because the morning is for me, where I exercise, read, or make a healthy breakfast. And the evening is for family, friends, and my dog. This can be hard with so much to do, but balance is key for a healthy body and mind, both of which are necessary for quality growth.

Also, avoid personal distractions if you can – doing the laundry, going to the gym, and grocery shopping is best done during the designated personal time you set up for yourself. Yes, this means you might have to wake up a bit earlier, but the difference from a 14 hour day vs 10 hour day are profound.

3. Build solid relationships with your suppliers

When starting maniorpedi.com, I researched all of the wholesale nail product suppliers in the area. Then, I made a plan to visit each of the suppliers to evaluate not only who they are as people, but also their products, pricing, and customer service. This assessment was tracked in an Excel spreadsheet until I selected two suppliers who I really liked. These suppliers have helped my company succeed tremendously! They consistently carry the polishes and tools our company relies on, which ensures my business is consistent.

Not only that, they’re on the pulse of what’s new and give practical salon management advice. We now order our own branded files and buffers from China, which we would have never thought of if it wasn’t for them. Take your time to evaluate each and every supplier, ask questions, and find the perfect fit for you. Don’t be shy when approaching suppliers – they are there to help you grow and succeed.

4. Treat employees with respect

Yes, you are the boss. That doesn’t mean you treat people poorly. At maniorpedi.com, we treat everyone as family and want to be a part of their happiness and success – whether they choose to continue working with us in the future or somewhere else. We’ve had many technicians come to us from other competitors because they’ve heard from other maniorpedi.com technicians how well we work and play together. We put on anniversary and Christmas dinners for the entire team, as well as throw baby showers, birthday parties, and much more.

Our philosophy is: If our technicians are happy, clients will be happy too. Additionally, we pay technicians 2x what they’d get paid at a traditional salon, and in half the amount of time. This gives them the opportunity to make money and spend more time with family. You are a small business giving people jobs – being a good provider is being a good boss.

5. Work as a team

Things happen and getting everyone working together as a team can be challenging. There are times when people show up late to an important meeting and you have to step in for them. Or maybe you have a lot on your plate and need some assistance. When building a company, it’s important you hire people who not only get along, but who also trust and support one another. What I’m trying to say is: don’t be in a rush to hire just anyone. When interviewing candidates, ask “what would you do?” type of questions and evaluate them on their problem solving skills, as well as their approach to managing conflict.

Having a well-rounded employee who can perform their duties is great – but having an employee who can respond to unforeseen circumstances calmly and professionally with a positive attitude is key to your business success.

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