For those of you who may have missed it, I introduced my Small Business Coaching service to the mix this past Spring! My intention with this service was to assist local and remote 20-somethings throughout any phase of their business, whether that be starting from scratch or building their empire.

When I first created Social Southern Hart, I didn’t have anyone to turn to who could relate to the hardships of working through the many hurdles that make up small business, let alone a coach that could talk strategy and work with me on how to stay competitive in my industry. Now that I’ve made it through the notoriously difficult first year of small business (did I mention I celebrated my 1 year anniversary this Summer?!), I have valuable insight into what it’s going to take and how to get there efficiently.

Although I wasn’t sure how my followers were going to react to the sometimes *oversaturated* market of “coaching,” I ended up receiving a message from a local entrepreneur almost instantaneously after adding information about it to my website. To say I was shocked is an understatement! I knew that what I had learned over my short time doing this was valuable, but someone else did, too?! (Sometimes, we all need a little bit of validation to know that what we are doing is important.)

Enter Katie Vernon, local Interior Designer and absolute Boss Babe. Katie was willing to be my guinea pig for this new service, and I was more than ecstatic to help her shape and mold her newest venture. When Katie first came to me, she had her business name, Katie Vernon Interiors, a general idea of what she wanted to offer, and the eagerness to start her very first entrepreneurial venture; what more could I ask for?

Over the next 12 weeks, Katie and I would meet and conference call every few days discussing topics in small business and how they apply to her. Over our time together, we covered subjects in short and long-term goal-setting, created a business plan, formed packages and rates, targeted marketing, development the website, created contracts, reviewed invoicing techniques, covered small-business taxes and write-offs, and much more. Although it may sound easy to just ‘google’ these topics and learn about them yourself, it’s challenging to implement these things in real-time when you’ve never even seen a business plan before let alone handled contracts or your own tax write-offs. With my help, not only did we get Katie’s business off the ground, but we formed a competitive business plan with services that gave her an edge over local competitors. And low and behold about halfway through our time together, Katie even got her first paying client!

Throughout this process with Katie, I was reminded of how far I’ve come since last year, and how much myself and my business have evolved during that time. Some of the mistakes I made in the beginning would have saved me a lot of time and money, and had I had a business coach in place, I probably would have avoided having to learn some of these lessons the hard way.

I always said that I desired a career that allowed me to help people through my love of coaching, and although I wasn’t sure what that would look like, here I am today, and it’s all because I just took a chance. My motto in life and in entrepreneurship specifically is “just start,” because like my story, you never know where life could lead you! Follow your passions, take a chance, and invest in yourself!

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman (co-founder, LinkedIn)

To learn more about Katie and her business, Katie Vernon Interiors, click here!

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