Sole Serum is more than just a beauty product. It’s a serum with a serious aim to empower women in their daily lives, and so far it’s working. Harper’s Bazaar and Self have taken note of the product, which was also named one of the most innovative products of 2014 by Forbes. The empowered woman behind it all is Tricia Andrews, who points to the three steps to starting a business that served her the best. Listen up.
It’s been almost a year since I founded my first company, Sole Serum. As a relatively new entrepreneur, the question I get asked most often is, “How did you come up with this?” How did I go from a more traditional career to owning a business that’s focused on empowering women in their daily lives?
This step could also be labeled “have hustle,” because that’s what being an entrepreneur is about.
Starting a business is never easy – that’s nothing new. But there were a few main motivating factors that convinced me to start my business, and turn it into what it is today.
These motivations have become what I call the steps to starting a business. They’re all equally important, but each is unique in its own right. To be a successful entrepreneur means wearing many hats, and being up for any challenge that’s thrown your way. At Sole Serum, we aim to empower women, and I’ve learned that when you’re building a business that aims to do good, the challenges are that much more difficult, varied and rewarding.
Regardless of your product or mission, these steps will apply to just about any entrepreneur or business owner. Here are my top three steps to starting a business that led me to where I am today:
1. Find a problem that needs solving
I pride myself on knowing my customer well primarily because I am my customer. After over 10 years in advertising sales, I’d dealt with my fair share of foot pain caused by my heels. Because I wasn’t about to give up my heels (because of their confidence-boosting powers, of course), I realized that something else had to change –and from there, I came up with the idea for Sole Serum. We’re all more similar than we are different, so if you’re trying to focus the goal of your business, or even thinking about what business you might want to start, think about what problems you would like to be solved. Most likely, there are plenty of others who will agree.
2. Seek a solid support system
A good support system may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely important. Being an entrepreneur has its share of highs and lows, and when you’re passionate about the business you’re building, those feelings are only heightened. At Sole Serum, I work with both my husband and a business partner, and I rely on both heavily. Without their help and support, there’s no way I would be where I am now as an entrepreneur. I’m grateful for them, their hard work and support — plus, they rock.
3. Don’t stop believing
This step could also be labeled “have hustle,” because that’s what being an entrepreneur is about. We all have up and down days, but starting and running a business takes more work than I ever would have imagined. Thanks to my nonstop hustle over the last year, I’m happy to say that we’ve received press in several national publications and were even named one of 2014’s Most Innovative Beauty Products by Forbes. Without a firm belief in my business and a dedication to my work, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
Ultimately, my goal is to develop a platform that inspires young women to venture out and start something of their own. By the end of our second year, I want to give out grants (think seed money) to young female entrepreneurs who need that extra bit of help to get them started on their path to entrepreneurship. We want to keep women in their shoes (literally) and empower them to take that next step in their career and life. Now, I’m urging you to do the same.