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Lessons Learned: Kate of Kate O. Group

Kate of Kate O' Group shares insight on being a small business owner.
Today, I have the pleasure to introduce you to an amazing women business owner based in the great state of Texas. Yes, I am a little bias, but I am a Texan. Meet Kate a talented graphic and website designer based out of Plano, Texas that has an amazing dog named Bailey that I had to give a shout to too. She is a creative genius behind Kate O. Group and trusts me; you will want to hire her.

Why did you start your business? My first job out of college was in a creative position and I worked all the time.  Which didn’t ever bother me but my friends would constantly pester me to quit working so much.  That business was sold and my position was moved to Florida so it was time to look for a new job and I decided I was only going to work 9-5 nothing extra and got a job in the banking/finance world.  It was fun at first because it was new but the appeal quickly died and I missed doing anything creative.  I started KateOGroup on the side while still working full time and eventually realized that if I really wanted it to grow I was going to have to commit to it full time and even though it’s been hard at times, I’ve never looked back!

How long have you been in business? I filed for my LLC in June of 2011 and November of 2012 I quit my job and went full time with KateOGroup.

The biggest obstacle when initially launching? Finances. I thought I was much more prepared to not have a steady paycheck then I really was.  I took on any and every project that came my way.  

If you could start all over again what would you do differently? I don’t think I would change much.  When I first started out I wasn’t confident in my ability to charge the rate I should.  I always doubted that I was worth the price I needed to charged and would lower my rates.  If I’d been more confident in both myself and the services I was offering I probably wouldn’t have struggled financially as much as I did the first few years.

What area of the startup do people not provide that much information on that you had to dig deeper for? When I first got started, I had no idea what to charge for a website and graphic design.  Which is why I always post my rates online.  I’ve also noticed more and more designers now post their rates as well.  I’ve really seen a big change in the amount of information shared since I started KateOGroup until now.  It is so much easier to find information today!

How much was the initial startup cost for your business? The only cost I had starting up was filing my LLC.  Because I am a website and graphic designer I could take care of everything else without spending any money.

Kate of Kate O' Group shares insight on being a small business owner.

What is your favorite thing about being your own boss? Flexibility because it provides so much freedom.  Most days you will find me in front of my computer hard at work but when something comes up, like hanging with my nieces and nephews or meeting a friend for coffee I don’t have to worry about being gone too long from the office very often.

Do you have a community that surrounds you? If so, how do you find these amazing people? I am very fortunate to have a great local community of friends and family members that support me by critiquing designs, helping with a product launch and just being there for me emotionally on days when running a small business is just hard!  I have also found some amazing friends through Instagram that have really become a community I can bounce ideas off of and brainstorm with.

Did you utilize the services of a consultant, ebooks or eCourse when launching? If so, why was it important for you to do this? I didn’t but probably should have.  I had this naive notion that I had to know everything and not ever let anyone know if I didn’t know the answer to anything.  I think a consultant would have helped me focus on the important things in the correct order and would have boosted my confidence to charge what I should have been charging.  

Where do you see your business 3 years from now? Three years from now, I would love to have a team of freelancers working with me on website and branding projects.  Ultimately I want to help those creatives out there that don’t have the desire to ability start their own business but want to freelance and work from home to help bring in income for their families.  I’d also like to work with young creative professionals that are just starting out and help boost their confidence in their abilities and who they are.

What advice would you give a new business owner? Do NOT be afraid to ask questions and reach out to other people in your field.  There are plenty of people out there that are willing to offer advice and be a resource for you.  There is enough business in any industry that there is no need for people to be stingy with information or projects.

Also, I recommend that you always be thinking about your long-term goals and don’t get too bogged down by all the details of the present.

Favorite resources for small business owners? Pinterest!  I have found a wealth of knowledge and some amazing resources on Pinterest.  Just be careful not to get sucked in for too long!

Which blogs or podcast are you loving right now? I love the Being Boss podcast the most. But I’ve just started listing to Profit Power Pursuit by Tara Gentile.

How can we support you to help you grow your business? Over the next couple of months, showing KateOGroup shop some love.  It’s almost the holidays and there are over 100-holiday card designs available. So shop, share, pin and post your favorite designs! I’m really excited to be offering for the first time, design options from other designers.  

Kate of Kate O' Group shares insight on being a small business owner.

Connect with Kate on Facebook or Instagram.

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