When I first said I was going to start a pole dance knee pad business, my plan was to make 100 pairs and sell them out of the trunk of my car. I didn’t care if I made any money, or if it took me until the day I died to sell the last pair.
It’s been a little under two years since I hung out my digital shingle. I've changed my goals a lot. I broke even, but I haven’t Made It in the big sense. Looking back at everything I’ve done makes me realize… I've done pretty well for a hot old lady who had no idea what she was getting herself into. If you are thinking, "Well, I'm sexy and kind of an idiot..." you, my friend, are fully qualified to start your own business!
Here are five things I’ve learned since starting a business:
1. You don’t have to know anything about starting a business in order to start one.
Smart people will disagree, but that’s because they went to expensive business schools to get MBAs and feel #personallyattacked. In fact, my total ignorance about starting a business is my best asset. I manufacture a niche accessory in the USA; there’s nothing more expensive and foolish than that. But here I am.
2. Blaze a new trail… by doing what you already do.
If you’ve seen the first five seconds of a YouTube ad lately, there’s no shortage of people who want to teach you how to get rich by selling products on Amazon, or the equivalent. You can rest easy that if someone is selling a course on how to get rich via FBA, the way they are really getting rich is from teaching you. Try this: write down all the things you already do; find two that could go together in a way that’s unexplored or underserved. That’s your intersection where you’ve already logged tons of hours of experience; that’s where you start.
Know your skill set!
3. Show your struggle so people can help you.
Creating the illusion that you know what you are doing and you have this all under control makes sense on the surface; you want people to take your business seriously after all. However, being too good at looking successful is a great way to make it look like you don’t need any help. But you surely do. Especially if you took my advice on number 1.
4. Figure it out as you go, and be okay with messing up.
I have plans and goals, but I mess up all the time. Remember the “backless tank tops” I bought from Alibaba? Woof. And don’t even get me started on allllllll the material that I bought, thinking I could get a better price on labor to drive production costs down. (Spoiler: I can’t. Now I have a ton of material in my “warehouse” and a depleted bank account.) Operation: Global Domination was a failure, but I’m still here, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Lesson learned. Well, probably not...
5. Be true to yourself, especially when trying to make money.
I don’t use Google Ad Sense to monetize my site because I don’t want my site cluttered with targeted ads. I don’t pay people to positively review my products because I want real and honest feedback on the product that I care about. I don’t litter my posts with affiliate links. If I did, maybe I’d make more money. I’m not losing money though, so it’s a tradeoff. I’ll take integrity over profit anytime. You might choose to do things differently than I do, which is okay, but you will have to choose.
In the meantime, BKKP is going to keep cranking out your favorite pole dance knee pad in five collections: Originals, Nudes, Edge, Prism, and Limited Edition lines, and a new line of dye sublimated patterns called Flair is in the works. Plus, I'm establishing authorized dealers around the country, so you will see Bee's Knees in your studio's retail space! If you are pole dance entrepreneur or business owner, I want to hear from you about what you've learned. If you have your sights set on starting your own business, what's stopping you? If a sexy idiot like me can do it, you surely can!