Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Haley Ingram, Owner of Coffee and Contracts, located in Saint Petersburg, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Coffee and Contracts is a subscription service for real estate professionals. Each month, our members receive a content calendar with a social media post template for each day, Instagram reel ideas and prompts, branding tools, Instagram stories, email newsletter templates, marketing guides for their clients, and more. We offer training and support to help our members utilize the tools and grow their social media presence.
Tell us about yourself
In college, I worked as a marketing intern for a real estate brokerage. That experience led me to get my real estate license. Shortly after, I moved to Saint Petersburg, planning to begin my career in real estate. As a new real estate agent, I struggled to get in front of more clients as a younger agent and new resident. I knew I needed to get creative and tap into another skill set to get in front of more potential clients. I started an Instagram account for my real estate business and started receiving the majority of my leads from this. Soon, other agents were reaching out to me, asking for help. I started helping agents one-on-one and creating templates to sell on Etsy. Around this time, I met a personal trainer who created a subscription service for her one-on-one clients. They received a weekly workout plan and access to a Facebook group so she could coach everyone in a group format. This inspired me to create a subscription service for my clients, and Coffee & Contracts was born!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has probably been building such a strong community in our membership. We have a Members-Only Facebook Group where our members can network, ask questions, provide feedback, and help each other out. It has grown so much and has turned into one of the most valuable aspects of our membership. It makes me so happy to see people chatting in there every day and providing so much value to each other. It is also really beneficial as it helps us feel connected to our members and lets us keep a pulse on what they need help with. If a member asks for a piece of content we don't currently have in our Content Vault, we add it to our list to create for them!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner has been pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone. When you are your own boss, you don't have a manager asking you to do things that you may not be super comfortable with. For example, I've always been very uncomfortable with public speaking. I recently had an opportunity come up to teach to a group of real estate agents on a stage of over 100 people. My gut reaction was to decline and stay comfy behind my laptop screen, but I realized that these were the situations where I needed to push myself, even if it's not what I'm used to or great at. It went very well, and I had a blast doing it!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start your business as a side hustle/hobby - If it's something you enjoy doing, everything else comes naturally, and nothing has to be forced.
- Be patient not only with the growth of the business but with everything you're learning along the way. It takes time to understand all of the not-so-fun business owner things like LLCs, taxes, etc., but it gets easier with time (and help!).
- Don't overthink your ideas to death. Launch before you're ready and tweak along the way. It'll never truly be "ready," it will always be evolving and changing.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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