Elaine Yu - Simply Chic Styling

Happy 3!

I know it's cliche', but 3 is my lucky number. I was born on 03.23.73 at 3 AM so it's fitting that this business milestone is significant, right? But besides being a lucky number, making it through year 3 feels validating - like my business is now legitimate. My passion for personal styling runs deep and creating a business has been the best job I've had. While I celebrate this business birthday, I'm taking a second to reflect on lessons learned in the past year.

Being a personal stylist isn't about looking glamorous or working with celebrities; the clothes are just part of my tool kit. The intention has always been to help clients feel confident in what they wear. My journey started at Dress For Success and I will always go back to the moment when I styled my first client, a college student preparing for her first interview. When she put on her power suit, her eyes lit up, she stood a little taller, her confidence exploded, and she gave me a hug. That was the moment I decided to become a personal stylist.

Happy 3rd Birthday Simply Chic Styling!

Lessons Learned

1. Core Competency

Heather, a smart friend of mine, brought up core competencies during a training run last summer and it got me thinking - what exactly is my core competency?

In 2016, my business vision got a little blurry. I thought that in order to grow my business, I had to keep busy doing lots of different things. Well, Heather's simple comment brought me back into focus and in 2017, I'm realigning my efforts with my core competency: building strong and lasting client relationships. That's my strength - nurturing one-on-one relationships - and it's what I love.

2. CRM - A Small Business Must-Have

Annie, another smart friend, asked me what CRM tool I was using one night over dinner with our 7 children. "C-R-Who?"

Until recently, I tracked everything using spreadsheets: client contact info, financials, projects, and business goals. Then, the old way started to feel cluttered so I switched to Insightly, thanks to Annie's question.

Insightly is my client roadmap and it has significantly changed my business life. Now, I can manage each relationship with a clear vision and plus, it saves me time. And isn't that every working mother's ultimate dream? Which brings me to...

3. Streamline Everything

Kim, yet another smart friend, suggested that I clean up my back end logistics during a train ride into NYC. When I used to print client lookbooks, I was taking too many steps from photo printing to lookbook creation. Now, thanks to Chatbooks, the process is streamlined and easy as 1-2-3.

4. Google - Your Business BFF

Google is powerful and it's the start of every relationship. When I get a client inquiry or want to research sweaters, it starts with Google. There are numerous small business resources available and I've worked hard to leverage Google's tools to grow my business.

One of my goals in 2017 is to finally learn how to use Google Analytics. It's been on my to-do list for 3 years! Well, here it is. It's out there and now I'm committed.

5. The Purple Cow

I recently read Seth Godin's book "Purple Cow" which talks about ways your business can stand out by being remarkable. I love that - standing out by being remarkable. That's my business wish for 2017.

A big thanks to my loyal clients, supportive family, smart friends, newsletter subscribers and social media followers. Without you, there wouldn't be a style adventure.

To read more articles in my Entrepreneur Series, click here:

11 Tools I Can't Live Without As an Entrepreneur

10 New Lessons Learned - Happy 2nd Birthday Simply Chic Styling!

Top 10 Lessons Learned - Happy 1.5 Simply Chic Styling!

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