Welcome to 2017! Where do we even begin?
Make networking work - how to grow your business and enjoy your success.
Let’s start at the beginning. I am Andrea Kiff, owner of ajar designs ink. As of 2016 I reached 10 years of being in business. Next week I officially celebrate my 10 year anniversary. It’s amazing that 10 years has gone by so quickly. Then again, I needed that time to learn and grow and evolve as a business owner.
When I started ajar designs ink. in 2006, I was young (well, younger!) and didn’t understand how to run my own business. Luckily, one of the first steps I took toward success was joining a networking group where I met women who could give me the advice I really needed. From there, I continued to network and meet the people that allowed my business to grow: clients, advisors, associates, new friends. All the pieces that work together to form your own business community.
Why am I telling you this?
Back in 2006, I had an idea that I would work with small businesses on designing marketing materials and sell them printed products. I have a very specific idea. I didn’t realize how much that idea would change! What I learned through my business community was that you adapt to what your clients want and need, you work with associates, sometimes even your competitors, to make sure the jobs get done. And you evolve and develop new business strategies and goals along the way. This is what I didn’t understand at first - how much I would grow and evolve.
In 10 years, I’ve gone from designing marketing materials and selling printed products to various projects that I never thought possible. I sell promotional products. I sell branded clothing. I’ve worked with some bigger organizations that never crossed my mind.
How did this happen?
Well, I was persistent and networked and made the right connections. Sometimes I made the wrong connections, but then I quickly moved on to the right people. I created my business community and am very lucky to have amazing and supportive people in my life. It took effort - don’t forget that you need to be persistent.
Why am I telling you this?
It’s hard to be in business for yourself. You don’t get a lot of time off, you get tired, you have to do things when you don’t want to do anything. But, you’re doing it because you love your job! The positives far outweigh the negatives. Think about the support network you’ve built. That is how you keep moving forward and growing your business.
If you have a tough day - don’t give up! Reach out and talk to someone who understands your world. As business owners, we need to stick together!
For more networking ideas, I would love to chat with you! Visit me here.