Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paloma Ramos, Founder of Paloma Vocals, LLC, located in Valley Village, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Based in Los Angeles, California, Paloma Vocals offers singing lessons to professional musicians, amateurs, and students of all ages, in addition to public speaking coaching for professionals and academics. I help singers, musicians, producers, actors, voice actors, CEOs, Sports Casters, Salespeople, Attorneys, and anyone looking to utilize their voice effectively. Whether preparing for auditions, the next album, the presentation, or simply seeking more balanced and confident control over your voice, I help get my clients' voices to where they want it to be.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from the California Bay Area, and I myself have taken vocal training since the age of 5. I started coaching at Keith Holland School of Music in Los Gatos, CA as an independent contractor and have been in business ever since, over 10 years. As a recording artist who has been signed to management, worked with big artists, toured internationally, and understands vocal performance, it gives me a lot of joy to help others who are looking for help with their voices. I've done my fair share of public speaking and was raised by my father, who has been a Toastmaster for as long as I can remember, winning awards and bringing me along to Toastmaster meetings. The voice is not a complicated instrument once you learn how to use it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was hiring another vocal coach to help me with the constant inquiries for vocal coaching. I only have so much time in my work day, so being able to refer people to her has been so rewarding. We are busy!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being accountable at all times. The business doesn't run without me, so I often work on holidays, vacations, etc. Especially now that I have someone who works for me, I need to make sure I'm taking calls to book her lessons and keep her busy as well.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Well, it depends on the business. But if it's a business similar to mine, where you're providing a service, I could suggest the following tips:
- Build your clientele after hours while maintaining a job as an employee. I didn't take the leap of quitting my day job until I had enough clients to be able to sustain myself. I worked 9-5 at my day job and took coaching clients from 6-9 pm on weekdays and the weekends.
- Be prepared for a ton of marketing expenses. I spend the majority of the business money on marketing. At first, it was really expensive. But as your business grows, you will get more and more referrals and returning clients so that you can dial back your marketing expenses and only boost them when you need a boost in business.
- You'll never want to work for someone else again. Once your business starts making good money and you have all the control, you may find yourself looking for ways to grow, either by offering more products or services or scaling the business by hiring others. It's a lot of work, but it's not any more work or stress than working for someone else. You might start feeling sorry for your friends that aren't in business for themselves and can only take a certain number of days off, for example. Owning your own time is invaluable.
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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