It's 2023! Is this the year you... Make your hobby a side hustle? Start your own business? Or work on taking your business to the next level?
Note: The "Small Business and Side Hustles" newsletter is going monthly! That means even more opportunities to connect you to Library and community resources and programs to help you start or build your business!
February is a great month to hear from a florist! That's why we spoke with local Black businesswoman Chanel Lee of Living Beauty Florals. She'll tell us how she stays inspired and focused on the business.
This month’s other featured books and resources are all about that all-important business plan.
Here are Chanel’s answers to our questions:
#What advice would you give someone starting a business in Jacksonville?
Starting a business can be a challenging and rewarding experience, especially in a city like Jacksonville. I believe having a clear understanding of your purpose will help you stay focused and motivated, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. It will also help you communicate the value and mission of your business to your customers. I highly recommend getting involved with the community to see where your business can help our community grow. This is one of the reasons why I turned my delivery van into ChalkVanJax, it’s truly a beautiful feeling knowing that we are able to make so many people smile.
#What book do you wish you had when you were starting your business?
I really wish I had read: I'm Not Yelling, A Black Woman's Guide to Navigating the Workplace by Elizabeth Leiba. It would have helped me to have a more confident and positive mindset from the start. As a business owner, it's been incredibly helpful in addressing the imposter syndrome and anxiety I have been feeling.
The book provided practical tips and strategies for recognizing and overcoming these feelings and it also gave me a sense of validation as a Black woman business owner. It also discussed the unique experiences of black women in the workplace and the specific challenges we face and how to overcome them.
#How do you stay inspired and focused on the business?
I think it is important to have a clear sense of purpose and inspiration to guide you on your journey. As a florist, I have a deep appreciation for the beauty and symbolism of flowers. I use this as an inspiration to guide my business and create a unique and memorable experience for my customers. Luckily, I love what I do. So my business doesn't just feel like work, but rather an extension of my passion for creating beauty. When you are able to do something you love every day, it can be incredibly fulfilling and motivating. It can also make it easier to stay focused and motivated, even when you may be facing challenges or obstacles.
#Books On Getting Started
Business Plan In A Day by Rhonda Abrams was written for anyone who needs to develop a business plan as soon as possible. It breaks down the sometimes-intimidating process of business planning into easy-to-follow, manageable steps. With worksheets and checklists, time-saving tools, and expert advice, this book enables business owners to develop a well-constructed and efficient plan that can help them plan the business they've always wanted to start, raise the funds they need, and move their companies forward.
Anatomy of a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Smart, Building the Business and Securing Your Company’s Future by Linda Pinson contains ready-to-use forms and worksheets to help you develop both a business plan and a financial plan. The book includes great ideas for anyone including business owners, managers, entrepreneurs, and executives.
The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired.
People problems are the leading cause of failure in startups. This book offers solutions and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.
#Featured Resource: LinkedIn Learning
Try out LinkedIn Learning, a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve their goals. All you need is your library card and PIN to enjoy unlimited FREE access to 16,000+ on-demand courses.
Using the LinkedIn Learning mobile app? The Library ID (case sensitive) is: jaxpubliclibrary.
Creating a Business Plan by Mike Figliuolo
Looking to build a business or expand one you're already running? You need to write a business plan. Learn how to define your business, market, product, sales strategy, and more. Experienced entrepreneur and consultant Mike Figliuolo walks through the process of defining your business, researching the market, and determining your product. Once you've figured out what your product or service will be, Mike provides guidance for thinking through your sales strategy, day-to-day operations, staffing, and financial forecasting.
The 45-minute Business Plan by WealthFit
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you can’t just dive right in. In this course, learn how to create a simple and effective business plan you can take to investors, share with cofounders, or just start executing. Discover how to design every part of your business step by step, including how to calculate the startup costs of your new business, plan and predict the cash flow, and determine your business’s mission and goals.