Late this summer I was introduced to Sonja of Brick and Mortar Maven by a former client who has a local boutique. One of my favorite things to tell people is that you need to get your hands dirty when starting a business, but most importantly hire people who can help you avoid the hiccups that might come along the way. Sonja is located right outside of Nashville, TN but has helped so many turn their dreams into reality.
Why did you start your business? I started Brick and Mortar Maven as an intentional way to help those struggling to open a brick and mortar business. After owning three successful boutiques and other brick and mortar businesses and being asked all the time “How did you get started?” I knew this was a niche that needed attention. Besides, I had been giving the information away for free for years. After getting married and needing more time at home after childbirth this was my way to stay in the fashion industry while tending to my new life.
How long have you been in business? I’ve been a working with clients as a business strategist for 3 years. And an entrepreneur for over 20 years.
The biggest obstacle when initially launching? When I first began I truly had zero knowledge of running a full-time business online. I was completely lost on how to do any of it. Or that it was truly possible. Marie Forleo was my first glimpse into the online coaching world that I now am a part of. My biggest challenge was believing I could actually make a living at this. I had to work on my own mindset.
If you could start all over again what would you do differently? I would get over being right or perfect and just DO more. I spent so much time second-guessing myself in the very beginning.
What area of the startup do people not provide that much information that you had to dig deeper for? How to operate my business as a work from home mom of an infant now toddler. Oh, my gosh, it’s like there’s a model for doing this. But let me tell you it’s completely different for a parent with small children at home with them all day. This requires a lot of mental focus which is hard to do when your little wants all of you. And rightfully so! I just have started to gain some perspective on making it work.
How much was the initial startup cost for your business? I spent less than $150 on my WordPress blog and domain.
What is your favorite thing about being your own boss? I’ve always loved being my own boss because it allows me to shift with my own needs, the needs of my customers or clients, and family. I really value that flexibility.
Do you have a community that surrounds you? If so, how do you find these amazing people? I actually do. Most members of my tribe I’ve met through my business coaches, or coaching events/ conferences.
Did you utilize the services of a consultant, ebooks or eCourse when launching? If so, why was it important for you to do this? Absolutely! Early on I knew I would do better working with someone one on one versus a course. So my first investment into my business was an intense marketing program for coaches.
Where do you see your business 3 years from now? In three years I see my business doing just as much offline as it does online. And working with individuals as well as educational institutions to promote the value of vocational work and entrepreneurialism.
What advice would you give a new business owner? Stop doubting and start doing. You won’t even know what works or doesn’t until you take action. Hire a professional who specializes and has success in the area you need help with and then get busy do-ing!
Favorite resources for small business owners? The book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz.
How can we support you to help you grow your business? Tell anyone you know that’s even thinking about opening or needs help with a struggling brick and mortar boutique to check out my blog. I truly want to see my tribe succeed!