Milton & Goose founder, Shari Raymond, took some time around the one-year anniversary of her business to give some advice to other small business owners, and those considering such a venture, having learned more than she thought she would since she herself began.
How did you begin setting up the business?
Shari Raymond (SR): One of the first steps I took was selecting and securing my business name. Early on, I bought a URL, filed for a trademark with the U.S. Patent Office, and formed an LLC. All critical first steps in creating a legal and secure business!
What other professionals have you needed assistance from as a small business owner to get up and running?
SR: Entrepreneurship can be pretty lonely, so I turned to others for advice early and often. I’ve used everything from government resources through the Small Business Administration (their mentoring programs like SCORE and the Business Development Centers are great), to other business owners I either knew through my network or met through networking. I continue to lean on others for advice and guidance, but in the early days, it was especially helpful to learn about other people’s journeys into business and get their thoughts on next steps.
How did you go about getting noticed in the marketplace?
SR: Instagram has been huge for me. A combination of beautiful pictures, and strategically linking up with influencers and retailers really helped propel my brand forward.
What are a few things you didn’t anticipate needing when you began?
SR: Working capital, a business plan, a publicist, profit and loss projections… the list is endless, but you learn as you go!
What advice do you have for others considering starting a business?
SR: Seek advice from others whenever possible. Listen to all of it, but only take what works for you. I can’t tell you how many competing opinions I get from respected mentors and advisors. It’s always helpful because you start to see things from another perspective. Starting a business is all about taking it all in and ultimately being the one to make the decision.
What specific advice to do you have for mothers in the small business world?
SR: Go easy on yourself. Starting a business is hard, and doing it while parenting is even harder! Don’t expect to do it all at once. There are days your kids need you, and the business will move to the back burner; and there days your business needs your attention and your kids will have to watch another episode of Daniel Tiger.