By Erickka Sy Savané
Call Dionne Phillips many things: Eyelash expert, celebrity eyelash extension guru, entrepreneur, wife, but stingy with her information? Never. Since launching ‘D’Lashes’ her Beverly Hills-based studio in 2005, prior to that she worked at a top Los Angeles salon, and before that, she was servicing African American and Asian clients in New York City, pre-social media, Dionne has firmly established herself as the queen of eyelashes. Shows like The Doctors, Good Morning America and Extra TV all consult with Dionne, and clients as diverse as Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham, Mindy Kaling, and even Steven Tyler, clamor to get an appointment, which you wanna make at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Dionne is in business!
The great thing about this former actress and Toledo native is she wants you to be in business too. Sharing what she knows, better yet, the things no one shared with her, is a part of her higher purpose. So if you’re planning on starting your own business, or you’re already a company owner in need of a few tips, pull out your notebooks for 7 Things No One Tells You About Starting Your Own Business from Dionne Phillips!
- Ask Yourself, ‘Why Not Me?’ Why not? Why not you? Saying these words will open you up and give you the courage and strength to just do it! And that courage and strength that you build from starting your business will carry over into every other aspect of your life. Asking this also helps when you get discouraged.
- Know Your Numbers. Know how much everything is going to cost. Know how much your rent, your lamps and tables are going to cost. Don’t just go out buying stuff because you have some money in the bank or you think you have a lot of money. It’s the reason a lot of small businesses don’t get ahead. Big corporations know their numbers; they bring in a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). If you don’t know your numbers you don’t know your business.
- Watch Marcus Lemonis on CNBC. His show, The Profit, is business 101. It breaks down the key to a successful business into 3 Easy Steps: People, Process and Product. The most important, I believe, is Process. Meaning, if you were to train someone to work for you, what are the 5 steps of running your business? Knowing this is key.
- Know All The Details of Having a Business. For example, the certificates, licenses, inspections, taxes. A lot of people have gone to jail and prison for taxes, but they have a nice car. Ask someone with the same business as you what you need to know. It’ll keep you from having to pay more money in the long run.
- Say Thank you. Send a nice thank you card or get some cards made with your business name on them. We’ve lost the fine art of saying thank you by sending text messages and a quick email. That’s okay, but etiquette is still there. I get an abundance of flow simply by saying thank you.
- Don’t Allow Anyone To Run Your Business. Everyone thinks they need an assistant because they’re so busy. But what happens is if that assistant ends up not being around for a while, say it’s just a summer check for them, they end up running your business into the hole. If you do hire someone, you want them to be smarter than you, but you have to be in the loop with it. Otherwise, you might as well just be an investor.
- Know Why You’re Doing This. People think that by having their own business they’re going to be able to take off and go on vacation all the time, but you end up working more for yourself than you would for another corporation. Know the why because it’s your higher purpose that keeps you going year three, five, and 10. Telling people the things no one told me is a part of my higher purpose. Working with cancer survivors and seeing how confident they feel when they get up from my chair is a part of my bigger purpose. It’s a reminder that I’m not just working for the money.
Are you considering starting a business? If you're a business owner, what tips can you share!