© Sean Loring Schofield

About Laura B Scott Photography

Welcome to the blog!

I am a northwest Florida based photographer & artist. My two dogs & I love to travel & photograph new interesting people. My favorite things include the outdoors, hiking, chocolate chip cookies, a comfy down comforter (any time of year!), and flip flops!

Here you will find posts from my adventures & travels, both personally & professionally. Since I love to travel, do not hesitate to ask about any destination. Special discounts are available for Philadelphia, PA, Charleston-Myrtle Beach, SC areas & San Diego, CA destinations.

I also own an online handmade gift shop with my mom, featuring many different types of lovely & unique jewelry, pottery & home decor. (link at bottom of the blog)

Archive: ‘Business Tips’



The Daily Positive ( Blogs to Follow }

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

I love to read – books & blogs. Blogs about art, fashion, home decor, funny stories, dogs & helpful tips in business & in life. Who has time when there are so many out there to choose from ?  You know I love Bloglovin – to help me keep up with my favorite blogs when new posts are added.

There is a blog I started following a few months back that I love & thought it was time I share – The Daily Positive by writer Dale Partidge. Dale is an entrepreneur & a fantastic inspirational writer. No. Not that sappy annoying platitudes that make you feel sarcastic & cynical. The writer himself is barely exiting his 20’s & you can tell he comes from a church-going life (which may not be your thing)-  but these are applicable words of wisdom with out a religious bias – just fundamentally good human ideas about being kind, grateful & happy. The topics on this blog cover a range of life’s topics & include thoughts on leadership, integrity, forgiveness, faith, bravery , entrepreneurship & generosity – all of which we (as humans) could stand to have more of.

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Why am I telling you about all this ?

In keeping with my 2014 resolution to write more frequently & get personal in my posts, I have shared a bit about my struggles as an artist, business owner /(entrepreneur?) & how failure is a part of the game.

Sharing the bits of wisdom & inspiration I’ve been receiving along the way. (books, blogs, music) might help those of you who can relate. A recent post on The Daily Positive seemed timely to my few last posts.

Pass or Fail

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

A Smooth Sea, Never Made a Skilled Sailor . . .

This past year I decided to take a risk & try out a new business adventure. Some of you may already know & have shopped at Bees & Buttercups etsy shop or the full online shop.  After much discussion, research & planning, my mom & I decided to turn our small online shop into a full retail store.  Since my parents had relocated to Panama City, FL from PA in the previous year & I am of the nomadic nature, I made the 586 mile move to northwest Florida.

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We chose a spot in the historic downtown area at a busy intersection, next to a kids boutique & an established women’s clothing store. The space had a big front window, hard wood floors (which we negotiated to have installed) exposed brick walls & was twice as big as what we needed. We were looking at using the back of the building as an art & photography studio in the near future.

Expanding your business is tough. Owning a retail shop is even tougher. It takes long hours, dedication, a lot of creative advertising/networking & at least twice as much money as you think it should.

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I am not afraid of hard work, trying something new or putting in the extra hours. It was fun having a shop. I met all types of new people, business contacts & artists. We received great feedback from everyone that came in. We had fun trying to outdo our window displays each month. But even with all the hard work, networking & money spent, things just were not breaking even. The landlord was unwilling to do building maintenance require to use the back & we were both getting frustrated to say the least. After much discussion, research into a new location that fit our brand, we ultimately decided to remove the overhead and focus our efforts on the online retail end of it. So we closed the shop.

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Closing was harder then I expected. But this wasn’t how I felt at first. At first I felt relieved. After all, we were only there for a year. No more stress about paying rent, no more downtown business meetings, no networking with people who were unfriendly & unwelcoming, and no more worrying about building maintenance. I was free to be creative & focus on my art again!

But only 8 weeks later I realized I was taking harder than I thought. I was feeling like a failure, like I had let everyone down – especially myself. What did I know about running a retail brick & mortar shop? After being kicked while I was down, I decided to phone a friend. And man was I glad I did! She said some important things I needed to hear. Some things that reminded me of how far I had come & what I learned along the way. This was not a pass/fail situation. Instead it was an opportunity to take a step back, look at what I had accomplished, fill in the weak spots & expand on my strengths. She called me smart, creative & brave. I needed to hear that.

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With some time & new perspective on things, I actually do know more than I realized. While we only had the shop open for 12 months, here is what I learned:

  1. Always have a detailed written agreement about what the landlord will pay for.  Do not move in until these things have been completed.  Make sure you know what ongoing maintenance they will be responsible for.
  2. Be prepared to spend more time & money (at least twice as much as you think)
  3. Ask the locals where they shop before choosing a location. Location is almost the most important thing about having a retail shop. People can be lazy & will not come to you if you aren’t near other places they like to visit/shop. (Be on google maps, yahoo etc)
  4. Give advertising time. It takes time for people to catch on – free features are great especially if you can get on the news! People need to know you exist & where to find you.
  5. Network. network. network. Find a way to mention to everyone you meet, where your shop is. Have business cards with you all the time so you can pass them out. A 5 cent business card could turn into a $100 sale.
  6. Little things can make a big difference.
  7. Hire an accountant/ CPA. Unless you love to work with numbers & keeping track of all that ‘fun’ stuff. (Let’s face it. Most artists are not equipped by nature for this kind of stuff)
  8. Going into business with family or close friends can be both challenging & rewarding at the same time. Business stuff can stress out any relationship.
  9. Trust you instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  10. Relax & have some fun! Make sure you aren’t all work & no play. Sometimes taking a mini vacation, even if it’s just a day to fish in the lake. It relieves stress & gives you a mental break so you can return fresh.
  11. When it’s more then you can handle – phone a friend. Sometimes all you need is a pep talk from a good friend to give you the ego boost you need to keep moving forward. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  12. Confidence & perseverance is half the battle. And while we did give up the retail shop space, I have not given up on the business or the idea that we will open a new shop in a better location sometime in the future.

And now I am ready to refocus, make some needed changes both professionally & personally and move forward.

” A true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell

{PS Thanks Kari! Sometimes all you need is a girlfriend to tell you like it is. I appreciate your friendship more then you could ever know}

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Add your own business tips & what you learned about owning a business in the comments below. Small businesses need to stick together! It’s always great when we can help each other out. Good advice is always appreciated. 

 

 

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