I say I am a small business owner with pride, I started my candle making business over ten years ago. Starting a business on your own, helping it to grow and keeping it thriving in good and bad economic times are no easy feat. You have to have not only a good idea or product, but drive and determination no matter what bumps you come across. When you start your own business you will also get a lot of advice most unsolicited. You will find some is good and some not so good. The best piece of business advice I ever received was, “To never undervalue my product.”
In the first few years while I struggled to get my business name out there and find a market for my candles it was my sister who gave me invaluable advice. Almost twelve years ago when I started making soy wax candles many people where not familiar with them. You did not see many products made from soy, especially candles. I began making them for myself, unhappy with the way store bought candles I purchased did not burn well or smell very strong. I wanted a candle that burned clean with less emissions but also had a strong, amazing scent.
During my first few years of self doubt and trials it was my sisters word ringing in my head not to undervalue my product that kept me strong. Like many other small business it is hard to compete with the prices of large chain and dollar stores. There were many times people would smell my candles and love them but balk at the prices and state how they could buy a candle from the dollar store. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to explain the advantages of soy wax candles and they are a quality, hand made product. It took some time but the more exposure my candles got word of mouth grew and with rave reviews I gained more and more devoted customers.
Starting a small business is one of the most rewarding and hardest things you will ever do. But nothing compares to doing what you love and offering a wonderful product or service. There are many times I sit and think about the advice my sister gave me — do not undervalue your product. So simple but life changing. I am so grateful for her words, without those I know I would not have the growing business I do today. I hope her words that inspired me help to inspire other small business owners also.
USAtoday.com – www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/columnist/abrams/2010-11-18-small-business-saturday_N.htm
smallbusinesssaturday.com – smallbusinesssaturday.com/