Tips for Starting a Small Business: My Reflections After a Successful Year

Tips for Starting a Small Business: My Reflections After a Successful Year

Reposted from the Spiritual Sunflower's wordpress blog, posted on September 20th, 2021

With a year of traveling and visiting new locations to set up a pop up shop under my belt, it feels time to share some of what I have learned.

I’m honored at how many of my peers have asked me for advice in starting their own business and setting up a mobile shop. Rather than answering some of the same questions repeatedly, I want to make a consistent resource to provide some guidance.

Let’s take a moment to remember the most important thing is that you are creating, connecting, and sharing in a way that is authentic to you and your goals.

What works for me might not work for you. But I hope that through my experiences you can gain insight into what you can try to take your business to the next level.


So, you have a product or service you want to make an income through offering? You have a business idea!

When it comes to starting business, I recommend (big surprise!) lots of journaling to help you get clear on your ideas and what you want to offer, and also, WHY you’re doing this.

The why behind your business is just as important, if not more so, than what your business is actually selling. Why are you creating these things? Why do you want to share about them?

Having a strong bond between your work and your purpose behind doing it supports long term growth and success. Starting a business is no small task, but through dedication and hard work, you can build not only a fulfilling life for yourself, but contribute something beautiful to your community.

From there, brainstorming a name is the next step. Your first business name probably won’t be the one you use forever, but it should be something easy to spell and remember, and be representative of you and what you’re offering.

Once you know what you’re selling, and the name of your brand, I recommend sharing about it!


Social media can be easily overwhelming, so to lighten the load, start with one social media platform you feel competent using.

You can share similar posts and media across various services like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, and this is helpful for reaching new audiences and consistently sharing about your work.

Planning or scheduling posts ahead of time is also a valuable tool in efficiently advertising through social media. You don’t want to spend hours every day making new content because this is valuable time you can spend elsewhere in your business.

Picking two to three days out of the week and creating content in batches helps with organization so you’re able to highlight different products or services, giveaways, events and whatnot that you have going on.


Now that you have your business name and you’ve started sharing about it, it’s time to bring your shop to the local community!

I want to note that some individuals have expressed the desire of having a website set up and business cards made prior to vending. In my experience, this is entirely up to you!

Business cards can be handmade, or you can always connect to your clients and potential customers on social media in live time at the event.

A website is a valuable tool for browsing, but available inventory can also be posted on social media posts and stories, so for me that isn’t something absolutely necessary in order to set up shop at live events.

If it feels necessary to you to prepare in any other ways for setting up your shop, I encourage you to do your best in following through with them. This is just what I’ve learned getting involved in the art community surrounding me over the past year.


  • 4 foot to 6 foot folding table
  • Table cloth or tapestry
  • String lights and/or a lamp (battery powered is easier but if you have a portable charger, USB works great too)
  • Stands to set up your work on
  • Sign or chalkboard displaying your business name / what you offer / anything else that resonates with you
  • Folding chair in case you want to sit down


Probably the most frequent question I get asked is, how do you find local events to set up your work at?

My best advice is to get out in the community and go to venues and events that you’d like to be a part of! Check out social media’s for local businesses you vibe with in your area and see what events they have coming up.

The most effective way to actually make the connections you want for your business is actively putting yourself in places and situations for you to ask about opportunities for your business.

Yes- you have to ASK!

Please do not expect your friends or business owners or the people organizing events to ask you if you want to share your work. In some cases this may happen and it’s amazing, but at the end of the day, only you are responsible for where you’re going with your business.

Release your fear of the word “no.” It can’t hurt you. And the answer is always no until you ask!


When you’ve found an event or location you want to set up shop at, kindly approach the person responsible for organizing vendors about upcoming events and how you can be a part of it. This is how you can find out about all the different things going on, any potential fees, and how you can contribute.

Note that when you are sharing your work someplace, your only responsibility is not just to set up and sell. It is also your responsibility to market the event and bring friends with you to support the other artists and businesses a part of the gathering!

The local community only works when all members are uplifting each other. Remember there is space for you to do your thing, alongside everyone else.


This was a very brief overview of how I recommend getting started with your business and sharing at live events.

I intend to go more into detail about all of these topics in further posts, but for now if you have any follow up questions, please leave a comment or reach out to me privately!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with the Spiritual Sunflower.

One year down at live events, and many more to come!

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