The first year for any business owner is bound to be full of ups and downs. Co-founders of Eivey, an online marketplace for luxury, pre-worn fashion, share their best tips for surviving year one without losing it all – including your mind.
Entrepreneurs and friends Maryna deLannoy and Laura Sim decided to enter into the world of business during a walk through their local neighbourhood.
“We both had overflowing closets and couldn’t believe there was nowhere online to sell our clothes, shoes and accessories without the hassle of organizing delivery,” comments Maryna.
Identifying a gap in the market they felt they could fill, Maryna and Laura worked out their concept step by step for two years before they officially launched their business in 2017. After years of concept mapping, planning and behind the scenes logistics, Eivey, an online marketplace for luxury fashion, was officially born.
“We worked for over two years to give us an opportunity to work through some of the challenges that arise from launching any business” adds Laura. “There’s a learning curve associated with any new venture and it taught (and continues to teach) us some valuable business lessons”.
2018 marked a milestone year for Eivey as they celebrate their first anniversary.
Here, the co-founders share some of the lessons they learned in their first year as emerging entrepreneurs:
In the early days of business, you have to rely on yourself. You need to be dedicated to learning each and every aspect of your business and knowing it inside and out. Hiring professionals is expensive, so utilizing the skills you already have is really important and allows you to make progress while keeping expenses low.
Your support network are the people around you that ‘get’ your business and can support and propel your business forward. Support from your network can come in the form of their time, influence, network or advice. Take advantage of the opportunities they offer you: take those 7am meetings, attend those networking events, and engage with the conversations. You never know who you’ll meet.
You’ll spend more time that you anticipate getting your business off the ground. It takes a monumental amount of time and effort, can be frustrating and can feel like you’re not making progress. Patience is the key before you start seeing results. Very few businesses are an overnight success and it takes time to build momentum. Some months will be busy, others will be quiet, and you’ll work late nights and weekends. It’s all par for the course and makes up the bigger picture. Don’t let this phase you.
Be smart and realistic about when you expect to make profit. If the startup is a side project, keep it that way until you can commit full time. If it’s a full time gig, plan on having savings or a side job that pays the bills for the first few years. It takes time to start making a profit and earn a salary. In summary, don’t bet on a “get rich fast” plan — be ready for the long game.
You need to be able to pitch in do all parts of your job even when it’s outside of your comfort zone. You might not be comfortable in all these roles, but you need to give them 100% of your effort. Embrace expanding your horizon when your business opens. It’s one long adventure!