What did we want? My wife had a dream since she was a teen to own her own flower shop. That was a big deal. However, having time for family was a big deal as well. When the opportunity came to start our own business, we determined that our goal was to start a profitable company where my wife could do what she was passionate about and still have control of her own schedule. We also wanted a good number of weekends off so we could travel out of the country. As well as avoid certain holidays. Bye-bye Valentine's Day.
That was us. Will that fit everyone? Not at all. And it's incredibly important for you to outline specifically what you want. How much do you want to make each year? How much do you want to work? Do you want employees?
If you leave it vague, you'll find yourself in W4W sake. You'll start advertising with a magazine because you're trying to "support the local wedding industry." They aren't going to send you a check each month to support you starting up. Yet, if you don't have your goals defined, you'll end up making decisions based on what other people are pressuring you to do. Which leads to our next point.
If your situation is different, think about how to maximize your skills. Can you work freelance jobs? Can you continue your other job? We have many, many Stemcounter users who work full-time jobs and still do weddings and events on their weekends. We know teachers who had summers off so they used it to their advantage. Whatever your position is, you CAN do it. Don't take no for an answer. It may even require downgrading your lifestyle and giving up on your morning Starbucks. But if you really want it, you can do it.
Write out a personal budget of what you need coming in and shoot for that goal. With Stemcounter, I knew that I needed 100 users if I wanted to go full time on the software. So I had a full-time job but I also worked night and day (still do...lol) to get myself to 100 users so I could go full-time. Look at what you need and shoot for that goal!
Note: You WILL be washing buckets. You will be sweeping floors. You will be driving a delivery truck and picking up vases at 1am. You will be having to tell friends who have a last minute trip planned that you can't make it... because you've already told your floraboss you can work. And if you are hoping to own you own business someday, you'll be doing with a smile because you know you're growing.
There are also a ton of great certifications and workshops out there geared towards helping growing entrepreneur.
When we were first getting started with our St. Louis floral shop, back in the days before Stemcounter was even an idea, we set up an advanced Excel Recipe Spreadsheet that was a good stopgap measure until we needed a professional tool. We know that not every florist is in a place where they need the super powers of Stemcounter so we're sharing an updated version of that Excel Recipe Spreadsheet with you to help you until you're ready for a tool made for professional florists.