5 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Business

At HCSC’s major networking event, In Her Shoes, attendees received a first-hand insight into the world of an entrepreneur. Although the panelists spanned across different locations and industries, they had some universal truths for what it takes to truly be a girl boss. If you’re interested in starting your own business, keep these tips in mind.


1. Be confident.

Confidence is key for all opportunities in life. When starting your own business, you aren’t just marketing the company, but also yourself – and it’s important to realize that your confidence translates into the business. If clients see that you believe in yourself, they are more likely to believe in your company too! It’s easy to feel nervous about putting yourself out there. But, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will? “Just be really confident in your ability,” said panelist Nicole Storey, owner of Izabee’s Confectionaries. Storey has enjoyed baking since she was a child and has grown her business from dream to reality with the confidence of a woman on a mission.


2. Networking is your friend.

We live in a world that relies on multiple channels of constant communication. So take advantage of them! Chances are the people you meet were in the exact same place you are just years before and would be happy to help you. Photographer, Laura Effinger, shared a piece of advice she received from a friend. “If you don’t have time to market yourself you will soon find time to do so,” Effinger told audience members. When you decide to start your business, be sure to market yourself and your company because you are your company’s biggest fan!


3. Listen to your heart and turn passion into a career.

In college, students are expected to have the rest of their lives mapped out before them. All too often, students look for jobs that will make them the most money. However, In Her Shoes panelists agree that in order to be successful you should come home happy each day. “Hands down, passion is success,” said panelist Lorna Hollifeld, author of Tobacco Sun. There’s an old saying that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. So think about what things in your life make you truly happy and run with it. You never know where an idea might take you! “I realized the things I loved to do as a child was something I could do as a career,” said Joy McLaughlin-Harris, the CEO of Verve Salon Suites, “I turned a childhood dream into a reality.”


4. Set yourself apart.

In a world full of smart phones, everyone considers themselves a photographer. Panelist Laura Effinger, owner of Lola Dee Photography, finds it important to establish your own brand and decide what makes you different in the photography world. “Your journey is different from every other person in this room,” said Effinger. When she first started out, Laura was taking photos of anything and everything that would give her exposure and practice in her field. Today, she is able to be a part of people’s lives and choose the clients she feels represent her personality and company the best.

5. Be a girl boss!

Urban dictionary defines a girl boss as, "A woman in control, taking charge of her own circumstances in work and life. Someone who knows her worth and won't accept anything less. She is not a 'mean girl' in fact, she hates 'mean girls'. She is empowering and inspiring to those around her. She kicks ass!". Our panelists had their own definition of what it takes to kick ass in their career. Panelist Angie Sellers, the owner of Fit Columbia, has seen her business flourish over the last year. When asked how she would describe a girl boss, Angie told attendees a girl boss is someone who is really authentic.


So whether you’re part of the corporate world, or are building a business from your living room – remember that being a girl boss is never out of reach. Stay true to yourself, trust your ability and never lose sight of your goals!