5 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Business
Advice from SaVonne Anderson, founder of Aya Paper Co.
BY VICTORIA REED
Starting a business is part of many women’s lifestyles. That’s why I felt getting advice from a successful business woman like SaVonne Anderson would be helpful for many of us. Aya Paper Co. is a sustainable stationary brand that makes greeting cards that resonate with black culture, and focuses on caring for the earth. All the products produced by Aya Paper Co. are 100 percent eco-friendly. This company has been featured in Allure, Architectural Digest, E!, and the list goes on. Anderson has built a recognizable brand in just over a year, and she’s sharing with us a few of the things that have contributed to her success.
1. Knowing Your Why
“When you know why you’re doing it [starting your business], it’s easier to keep going because you have a vision and a goal in mind,” Anderson said. “I do nothing without intention.” And the way you do that, she said, is by deciding what you want your business to look like early on.
Anderson says, nothing in her business is done just because--everything has a reason for why it is the way it is.
I continue to go back to my intention before I make any big decisions, she explained, to make sure the business is not veering away from the original plan and vision.
2. Treat Your Business Like It’s Worth a Million Dollars
Anderson says, do your research. “No one launches a product in a million dollar business without testing, without research, or without making sure that things are going to be done the right way,” she said.
She believes that even small businesses should treat their business like there are several people watching it, and it’s important to do your research on your products or services. She also says, make sure there is a plan in place for marketing, and test your website..
“Even though it’s small and it might just be you, make sure you have a standard of excellence and quality because that’s what will set you apart as a small business,” Anderson said.
3. Bring People on Sooner Than Later
“When I talk to other people and I tell them that I have a team they’re always really surprised,” Anderson said. “I think that a lot of entrepreneurs feel this pressure to have to do everything on their own, or that it’s better to be able to say you did everything on your own.”
Anderson says she knows her weaknesses, so she brings on people who can handle the areas in her business that she’s not the strongest in.
“I also realize that you can’t grow fast by yourself,” said the stationary brand owner.
4. Learn How to Say No
Entrepreneurship can sometimes feel overwhelming with all the things that need to be done. Anderson says she can relate. When asked how she deals with being overwhelmed, this is what she said: I feel it’s best for me to get myself in the mindset where I don’t feel the pressure to say yes to everything.
Anderson is still the only full-time person in her business. She’s learned that sometimes she has to say no to opportunities if it’s not a priority. She finds that the process of prioritizing is much easier when you have a vision and a mission--and you’re intentional. If the opportunity doesn’t make sense for her business, or align with the values of her business she simply says no.
5. Free Time is Okay
“It’s okay to have free time,” Anderson said. “There’s going to be a time where there's too many things to do, but try to make space for free time as much as you can because it’s important to have that time to reset, release and just relax.”
She says trying to do everything all the time is not sustainable, and she frequently reminds herself of that.
“If I want to run this business for years, I can’t run myself into the ground in year one,” Anderson said.
To learn more about Aya Paper Co. or purchase a card, click the “Shop Now” button below.