As a small business owner, I get asked all sorts of questions. Most of the questions are in regards to my work and products, but second to those types of questions, I get a surprising amount of questions about the behind the scenes of running a business.
I think these questions are worthwhile to discuss and answer because I like to share my experiences with others in hopes that they find them helpful in what they are pursuing.
While I can’t answer every single question I get at the same time, I have found that many of the questions I get can be grouped into larger categories that I can answer. Here’s the second in the series of blog posts answering these category questions. I hope you find my experiences helpful! Whether or not you run a business, I’ve found that lots of the things I’ve learned in business also apply to life.
What is Best?
I get asked a lot what-is-best? Etsy or Ebay? Swaddles or Blankets? Instagram or Tiktok? etc. When I get these questions I think of how what I think is best is based on my personality and experiences and what's best for me may not be best for everyone else. So keep that in mind as I share my thoughts.
What's best is honestly going to be whatever is most unique to you. That is applicable in many ways. It could be the contacts that you have that are unavailable to others. It could be your education. It could be your unique story or talents. It can be anything, which is why there really is enough space in the world for all of us because we are all so different and unique.
Some of the things that are unique to me are that I am a hard worker, mom, native-Hawaiian, self-taught artist and entrepreneur, woman, and I believe in God. I use all of those parts of who I am in every aspect of my work.
My work ethic gets me through hard and long days. It also makes it easy for me to try new things because I believe in my ability to make it work even if it will take time to get right.
Being a mom has given me a great sense of purpose. I quite literally have to provide for my children so I don't have as much time as I did before motherhood to second guess myself and care about what others think.
As a native-Hawaiian, I am inspired by the land and community around me. It's a large reason for why we, as a family, have decided to remain in Hawaii even when the cost of living is so high. It's the reason for learning Hawaiian and teaching it to our children which is a big part of our story. It gives me direction and identity.
Teaching myself the art and business side of things has given me what I believe a greater interest in the topics that I am researching. When I think back to school I think about how school killed my interest in pretty much everything. Learning on my own has shown me that there is nothing beyond my reach, no problem that I can't solve.
As a woman, I lean into my emotions and feelings. While they can also be a challenge, they make it easy to care about what I do and the people I interact with. Caring is SO important if you want to be successful in business! Business is all about caring for others' concerns and problems and helping them solve them.
Lastly, I listed that I believe in God. I added this one in because while it is a big part of who I am it also has a very practical application. My lifelong belief in God has taught me how to believe in good and that good can come to me and my family if I put in the work. There are many days where I feel like I'm working blindly or with very little light. I don't know how things are going to turn out, but I trust that they will. I think this kind of belief comes easier to me because I've practiced believing and trusting in God my whole life. I know what it feels like to believe in things I can't see and so I apply that in my work goals as well.
I hope you can see from what I listed how I find what is best for me based on who I am. I hope you try to look at who you are and work hard to find what is best for you.
The following are some of my responses to specific questions I got regarding what is best: (my answers are bolded)
- Using Shopify as my selling platform
- Marketing (getting out products) through social media - I use Instagram, but I know that Tiktok and FB are also effective if you invest time and attention into them
- For taxes I use Charanie from itax. She helps me organize my taxes and what kind of business I should be. I also collect tax from my customers and I don’t spend the tax money. Pay your taxes on a regular basis even quarterly or monthly so you don’t fall behind.
- How to decide whether I need an accountant or online software like turbo tax, etc. I use an bookkeeper and quickbooks. I like to use a bookkeeper because I like to ask questions. I use quickbooks to keep things organized for my bookkeeper.
- What are some way to stay organized with finances so it would be easier to do taxes? Quickbooks Online or Self-Employed also - getting a separate bank account for business.
- Is keeping a list of what you spend to fund business useful? I’m sure it can be. I let Quickbooks do this for me.
- What are good places to find supplies for business (in general)? Check my blog post about starting a business.
- I sell my items based on the time and some of the items I used to create my products. What would be a good strategy to keep track of money and finances to be a successful wahine runned business. Set a time to review your finances every week or even month. Hire a professional. Use a bookkeeping software. Use your credit or debit card so you can trace purchases. Don’t spend more than you have.
- Business loans, investments, tax payments I don’t have experience with business loans and investors. I pay taxes quarterly so that I don’t fall too far behind.