What I've Learned in 6 Years of Business
Wow - we blew past our 6th official birthday, so consider this our 6.5 year celebration! :) River Valley Designs turned 6 years old on September 16th of 2019, so I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on my 6+ years of business so far!
I absolutely love owning my own business. But looking back, I don't think I ever really knew this was what I was supposed to do in life. However, when the opportunity to become an entrepreneur presented itself to me, it came SO naturally. I fell in love with it and never looked back!
There really is a huge sense of pride in owning your own business. It gave me a huge amount of respect for other business owners and ever since I owned one of my own, I am much more mindful of where I make my purchases. When you know how much time, blood, sweat, and tears go into running a small business, you realize the importance of shopping small and shopping local. Some of the most inspiring people I've ever met are business owners, and luckily, I have met many of them through my own: River Valley Designs!
Because us small business owners carry so much pride in what we do, we tend to take it VERY personally if any employee or customer is unhappy. I think that's one of the most difficult things I've learned over the years: not to tie my value or worth directly into my business. I'm continually working on separating this and trying not to take things so personally!
Looking back on 6.5 years of business, it's really tough to choose my most FAVORITE memory. The moments I will remember and forever cherish include my ribbon cuttings, open houses, every single wedding I've been involved in, and other special moments of my customer's lives. The overarching theme of my favorite memories is that I LOVE building relationships. And that's exactly why I'm proud to be in the floral industry. I'm involved in some of my customer's biggest life milestones. Whether it's under happy or sad circumstances, it really helps me create an amazing connection with my customers. For that, I'm forever grateful!
If you're a new or aspiring small business owner that's reading this, I wanted to provide some advice. My first piece of advice would be to FIND A MENTOR! I was so lucky to buy an existing business and continue to learn from the previous owner. That was really priceless. I also had the wisdom of my dad to learn and bounce ideas off of! I'm so thankful I had two strong mentors when I was getting started (and still today!) and I don't know where I would be without them.
Another piece of advice for aspiring small business owners? For the love of all that is holy, take an accounting class! Or at least take a class through QuickBooks. I wish I would have prioritized this sooner! I am grateful to have an accountant that takes care of my taxes, but I do my own bookkeeping myself. In the beginning, it was such a mess! Your finances should be something you should prioritize and/or outsource from the beginning!
Thank you so much for being a part of our 6.5 year journey so far! We appreciate every single one of you that reads our blog posts, email newsletters, Facebook and Instagram posts, and helps us spread the good word about River Valley Designs! We would be nowhere without you!
Thanks again! Talk soon,