Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sharon Zimmerman, Founder of Sharon Z Consulting, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a jewelry designer by trade and a small business consultant by passion. I help small product makers run more profitable businesses through better financial planning and better marketing. My customers range from jewelry designers to bloggers to creative makers to yoga instructors. Mostly I work with solo entrepreneurs who want to make more online sales, book more clients, or who need guidance in creating a better financial plan for their businesses.
Tell us about yourself
I started off in the jewelry industry, and my heart is still in it. I have always worked with my hands, and I love to make and build all kinds of things. But where I really found my passion was in being of service to other business owners. Seeing my clients be able to relax more in their businesses, make more sales, and focus on their profitability has been truly rewarding.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is knowing that my clients feel supported by me and seeing them accomplish their most challenging goals. Last year, two of my clients were able to take a larger owner's draw while working just a little less, and I am so happy for them!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For me, it has been knowing that I buck the trend of treating solo entrepreneurship like it is effortless. The most popular narratives about it don't show the messy side of running a solo business. I've had my own business full-time since 2011, and I know how much effort it takes, and I have never shied away from sharing about it. I hold a lot of space for the complexities and struggles of running a solo business, and that honesty sometimes gets me in trouble. And yet, I persist.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research! If you have a question about your industry, or if you have an idea and want to know if there is support for it, do your homework. This extends to getting to know your customers too. Don't be afraid to ask them questions or get to know their concerns and desires so that you can learn to empathize with them.
- Be curious. This entrepreneurial life means you'll always be learning something. Stay open to new systems, new ideas, and new people, and you'll always stay engaged with your work.
- Ask for help. This one took me years to learn, but wow, what a difference it made once I started paying for all kinds of help with my business. I used to think I had to manage all of it alone - every website migration, every email setup, figuring out how to make YouTube videos, learning the process for producing eCourses - but hiring the right people to guide my process meant that I could achieve my goals much faster and with more clarity.
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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