Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of clients and colleagues ask if I’d be attending one of the many soap/candle making conferences that take place across the country every spring and summer. To each one, I replied, “No, not this year.” Admittedly, some have questioned that decision, with a few even saying “Why not? How do you expect to grow your business if you’re not right in front of your perfect clients?” In their eyes, by choosing not to attend an event, my business would suffer, and that in essence, I need to grow Bath and Body Academy to mega-sized in order to be ‘successful’.
While I do realize that conferences can be a great opportunity to connect with more people we can serve through Bath and Body Academy, what these well-meaning colleagues may not know is:
1) Traveling to spend time away from my family (especially during the school year while we’re homeschooling) does not align with my priorities. I’ve become all too aware of how quickly my children are growing and how limited this time together is, so I’ve deliberately structured my business to be profitable, yet still flexible to work around my family, and not my family having to work around my business obligations, as has been the case in the past.
As my kids grow, I’m sure I’ll choose to travel more, and this may very well help to grow my business. But for now, I’m happy to stay what others may consider ‘small’ in order to do what works best for me and my family.
2) I’m thrilled to have a very responsive list of customers, with clients that repeatedly return to purchase more products and services as their businesses grow and run more smoothly by working with me and my team. I’d rather have a core group of customers that loves what we do and comes back for more rather than feeling a constant pressure to chase down new clients. This can be something to strive for in your beauty business as well – it is easier, less expensive (and often more fun!) to continue serving existing customers than hustling for new ones all of the time. So make sure your customers love you and your products, and you’ll be off to a great start!
Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t market my business. In fact, the opposite is true – I regularly work to build my list, connect on social media and often do free consulting calls. But I am STRATEGIC about it, and everything I do serves a purpose.
3) We’re blessed to have a community of customers and fans who often refer new clients to us. That’s the biggest compliment we could ever receive – when someone has benefitted from our work so much, that they share our website, links or newsletter with a friend. Speaking of which, who do YOU know that we can help grow their beauty business? We’d love if you’d send them our way! 🙂
4) I decided early on with Bath and Body Academy that I didn’t want to be the biggest, I want to be the best. I want to serve my clients with everything my team and I have, and stretching ourselves too thin defeats that purpose. Again, this may be a decision that others may question, but part of the draw of being an entrepreneur is the freedom to do business my way. And you can do the same!
So if you’re in a season of ‘smallness’ – where others may be pressuring you to grow and it may not fit with what you feel is best for you and your family, take heart! Remember that small customer numbers does not necessarily equate to small profits. My customer list may be smaller than some others in this space, but my profits certainly contribute nicely to my family’s income! You too can structure your business to work for you and your priorities, and I can help you do that – let’s set up a time to map out and implement a plan.
Most importantly, never let anyone else’s definition of ‘small’ or ‘successful’ become your own. This is your business, your life, and ultimately, your definition of success is all that matters. I believe in you and know that you can create both a business and life that works for you. In the comments below, share with me how YOU define success/what a successful business looks like for you!