8 things I learnt in my first year of business

Can you believe that Giggle Me Pink is one year old! Sometimes it feels like we have been around a lot longer than a year.

There was so much pre planning that went into starting this business. An idea, dream, passion for quality children's products, business plan and a commitment to give up a full time job in order to focus 100% on the launch of the business. Sample after sample with manufacturers to get product to a point at which I was happy with the quality and look of each item. The financial commitment, plus the decision to really go ahead with it was a big one…what if I failed? So many 'what ifs' were questioned before my husband and I decided to launch Giggle Me Pink.

I say my husband and I because it is partly his belief in me that gave me the courage to start Giggle Me Pink. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive husband who believes in me.

I have learnt a lot in my first year of owning my own business. I thought I would share the top 8 things I have learnt in my first year of owning my own business.

The master of many talents - When you start your own business you need to be the master of so many things. Not only do you get to do what you are good at and enjoy. For me this is the product development side and creative part of the business. You also need to do the things that may not be your strength and may not be so enjoyable to do. For me this is accounting and the numbers side of the business.

It is OK to outsource and ask for help! -  Something I have learnt over the past year (and it took me a while) is to be able to ask for help and pay experts in areas that are not my strength or I do not have time to do. It is not easy to hand your ‘baby’ over to others. However I have learnt that to succeed it is OK to ask for help and hand over projects to professionals in certain areas. I have been truly blessed with the professional people who assist me. I now have a great team who also believe in Giggle Me Pink.

It takes a lot of hard work – I knew owning my own business would take a lot of time, dedication and capital. However I didn't realise that I would lie awake at night thinking about the business, be working most nights, days and weekends. Owning your own business consumes you. It is great and rewarding, but I need my sleep!

Making great contacts – I have been truly blessed to have met so many wonderful people during the past year. Lovely stockists of our brand, beautiful emails from customers who have bought our products for their daughter, niece etc, and a great community on our social media sites. Plus meeting other small business owners and sharing stories with each other about the joys and struggles of owning your own business. I learn a lot from these contacts.

Celebrate the wins - This is something my husband taught me. I am a bit of an over achiever, so sometimes I lose sight of the good things we have achieved with Giggle Me Pink. As I am always striving to do better, when we received a huge wholesaler on board, I was so stressed about it (what if something goes wrong!). My husband pointed out what an achievement this is, and said 'my love you need to celebrate the wins'. So I did....small fist pump to me!

Decide on your values and stick to them - This is something that I have come to realise is very important to me in my business. I have a set of values that are non-negotiable. Using manufacturers that have passed audits are one value. Treating customers, staff, stockists with respect and giving excellent customer service is another. I have quite a few values that are the core of decision making within my business.

Set aside me time - OK so this is one skill I am still learning. I do quite often find myself working days, nights and weekends. It is important to take time out to regroup, spend quality time with the family and just breathe! I find I come back to my work with a clearer mind and am more efficient after some 'me' time.

Follow your gut instincts ..always! - This is something I have always believed in for my personal life, and it definitely has stood me in good stead in the business world as well. Generally if I have not listened to my instincts, there has an internal 'I told you so' moment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Giggle Me Pink stockists for their support and believing in our brand from the beginning. Also a huge thank you to everyone who has bought our products and the media who have supported us. It is so exciting to see our products out and about and loved by young girls everywhere. Finally thank you to my family, for your support, belief in me and for being my sounding board when I have needed it.

We look forward to bringing you more pretty...girly...fun products.

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