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10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting My Small Business

Written by: Brooklynn Bradley-LaFleur, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


When I first started out as a small business owner, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I was thrown into it as the result of a small family matter and had no plan, no goals, and no ambition because my goal was to work for my aunt and be good at my job. Now, I want to share my story with other small business entrepreneurs to help them pass through as many struggle stages as I can in order to get them on the right track.

1. Posting First, I start with Facebook. When I go to post a product, I may mention the name of the product, a general representation of what said product is used for, then I decorate the post with emojis to get attention, add some hashtags and tag the company along with anyone else involved in what I am talking about. The key is organically maximizing your exposure.

After It is officially posted, I go back into the comments and post different pictures of the same product, benefits of the product, price and maybe personal testimony. I tend to change it up. Whatever inspiration comes to me. I keep it genuine and honest. Always respond to everyone who comments. It boosts the algorithm/impressions of your post. If its being “loved” Facebook will love it too! After I am done with those steps, I copy the caption of my photo and share it to all of the groups/pages I personally own. Including Pinterest. Second, I head on over to Instagram. I put each product I posted at that time into my stories (make sure your Instagram stories are connected to your Facebook stories to maximize efficiency and save time). I’m a little pickier when it comes to posting on my IG wall, but I apply the same posting techniques that I use for my Facebook posts.

2. Consistency

I cannot say this enough…. Whatever you choose to do for your business (posting, videos, business hours, etc) BE CONSISTENT!! When I first started, I would make like one post per week and it would get no attention. I didn’t post more than that because I thought it wasn’t working and it was very discouraging. Little did I know if I had just kept it up, even though no one was engaging with me, I would be leaps further than I am now. You have to post every day. You have to be consistent. Different people see your posts each day.

3. Engage

It is also important to spend a little bit of time each day scrolling through your feed (any feed) and engaging in other people’s posts. What I mean by that is, comment on their pictures/posts, like, love and share. Subscribe to and follow them. You may think, “How is taking time out of working on my business to comment on people’s pictures going to help my business?” Well, that’s easy. People love to support and lift each other up. Especially if they see you are like-minded or willing to support them. That helps get you in front of their audience and helps the impressions of your posts.

4. Events

Participating in local events, or hosting your own, are a great way to help spread the word of your new business. Once you decide what event, promote it every day through your social media, local newspapers, local chamber of commerce/tourism. Make sure you have cute marketing created for your event. You can partner with other small businesses to get even more exposure to your event.

5. Giveaways

Giveaways are a great tool when trying to grow your audience on a platform. I am currently doing a Facebook giveaway. I partnered with the women in my company to put a really nice goodie basket together with products and gift certificates. To enter the drawing, they have to follow our Facebook page, share our giveaway post, and comment WIN on the original post. I know most of you are familiar with that type of giveaway, but sometimes it gets overlooked when it comes to our own brand. I have grown several thousand followers just by doing that. The cost is minimal but the exposure is excellent.

6. Networking

In the last year, I have started engaging with like-minded entrepreneur groups and I wish I would have done this from the beginning. The people you connect with in groups similar to your niche are irreplaceable. Everything from professional advice all the way to finding people to collaborate with. Follow the Facebook pages/groups, YouTubes, Pinterest, Blogs, Instagrams, etc of people similar to your brand. Study them. Apply it to your brand.

It helps tremendously as you navigate your niche. There are people out there who would love to connect... NOW GO FIND THEM!

7. Branding

One thing I never even considered when I started my business was branding. I never thought of myself as having a “brand”. That wasn’t even in my thought process. One day about two years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Holy S*** I HAVE A WHOLE BRAND... and it’s REALLY good! Create a clean, easy to read logo people can recognize right away and associate it with your brand. You want to use that logo across all social media and marketing. Make sure when someone sees your logo, they can tell right away what the name of your business is and what you do. Not only will it help you with any networking/marketing it will also make you more professional.

8. Believing in what you are selling

Honestly, I struggle with this constantly. Not because I don’t believe in what I am doing/selling, but because it’s me and I let my anxiety trump my confidence sometimes.

Don’t fall into this trap.

“Listen woman! You know what you are doing. You are making a difference. Keep going. You’ve got this!”

Don’t let small-minded people or skeptics hold you back; don’t be one of those people.g yourself) tell you what you are doing Isn’t good. I am a small business owner from a small town and sometimes I feel like it holds me back. I have to really give myself a pep talk about it. Like, “Listen woman! You know what you are doing. You are making a difference. Keep going. You’ve got this!” Just because you aren’t from a big city or just because you are starting out, doesn’t mean you don’t have a good thing going. Don’t let small-minded people or skeptics hold you back; don’t be one of those people.

9. Personal Testimony

In this day and time, we are sick of the facades. We are trying to sift through what is real and what is fake. It is so important to let your followers know who you really are. They need to be able to trust you; connect with you. In order to establish trust, it is important to get down to the real, raw version of ourselves. No, we do not have to put every inch of our lives on social media, I surely don’t, but in order for them to relate to you, give them personal testimony. Let them know you have been there, done that, and are a regular person with struggles, fears, and accomplishments.

10. Consistency

I know I have already talked about consistency, but I am bringing it back because it is probably the MOST important point I will make in this whole article. I have been in business for about 10 years and would be a lot further along if I had just known to be consistent. It really is discouraging when you make a post and no one cares, but you have to build your audience and that takes time. Patience… something my dad has been barking at me my whole life. Something I have yet to be good at… Find a posting schedule that works for you. I get up early and do all of my posting then spend the rest of my day responding/engaging/networking and marketing. Keep moving forward. Even if you feel like you are the only one noticing.

I truly hope this helps other small business owners who are starting out in their business. If I had only known a few of these things 10 years ago, I would be much further along.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube-Channel and visit my website!


Brooklynn Bradley-LaFleur, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Bradley-LaFleur is the CEO & Founder of Brooklynn Three. Brooklynn Three is the parent company of Salon Rouge Spa, LaFleur Couture Wellness Boutique and This Beautiful Tripp Blog. Our mission is to help people transform their lives from the inside out by offering a variety of holistic based and safe products from makeup, vitamins and cleaning supplies all the way to a wide variety of spa services. We host a web series every Monday morning to help answer questions and connect people everywhere with the products and services that best serve them and their families. On Friday mornings, we provide store shopping lives to conveniently shop everything in our store from the comfort of your own home. We ship and are happy to provide in house or over the phone consultations to find the best plan for you!


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