That’s the highest number ever and a 24% increase from 2019.
And the momentum isn’t slowing. The Census Bureau says 492,000 new business applications were received in January 2021, a 43% jump over the previous month. Many more informal businesses are believed to have been created, often as side hustles, but never registered.
Few cities saw more aspiring entrepreneurs than Miami. Although new business creation was not distributed evenly across racial and socio-economic lines, green shoots of entrepreneurship popped up across the metro area, helping to bring a dose of resilience to the local economy.
[At the same time, untold numbers of existing small businesses — restaurants, neighborhood shops, salons — decided to establish a digital presence, allowing them to find new customers and take orders from beyond their immediate area.
In all, the number of digitally connected microbusinesses in Miami-Dade County rose 6.7% from 2019 to 2020, according to data from GoDaddy’s Venture Forward project, which studies the economic impact of these small online businesses. The Miami metro area, which includes the neighboring cities of Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, has more microbusinesses per 100 people than any other large metro area in the country.
These everyday entrepreneurs make a big impact on their communities, with each new one leading to the creation of two additional jobs, Venture Forward data shows. Additionally, each new microbusiness per 100 people can reduce the unemployment rate by .05 percentage points.
And between 2016 and 2019, every microbusiness per 100 people that’s active online was associated with a $485 increase in a community’s household median income.
Here are the stories of two inspiring women entrepreneurs who took the initiative when the pandemic upended their lives.
Natasha Nails: Rethinking the press-on
It took a painful case of contact dermatitis, a type of allergy, following a visit to a nail salon for Natasha Williams to come up with an online business idea for the future of press-on nails.
The Miami native, who lives in Little Havana, has had her nails done since her teens.
But after her allergic reaction in March 2020, she was forced to switch to press-on nails that used hypoallergenic adhesive pads.
Unhappy with the appearance of what was available — they felt cheap and plasticky — Williams started buying clear nails and hand painting them with her favorite colors and designs.
Around the same time, the pandemic shut down the local economy. A well-known tap dance performer and teacher around Miami, Williams suddenly had a lot of time as lessons and gigs dried up.
By July, buoyed by the admiring comments she got from friends and strangers on the street, she realized there was a market for her creations, so she quickly built an online store and Natasha Nails opened for business.
At first, it was as much a hobby as a career plan. But soon she started asking questions and understanding the opportunity was real.
Why did women tend to apply press-on nails and leave them on and then throw them out? Given how easy they are to remove and reapply, particularly the adhesive-pad type, wouldn’t it be more fun and affordable to have collections of nails so they could match outfits or daily moods, the way they choose which shoes to wear or purse to carry?
“I want people to be able to mix and match, like ‘let’s see what I have in my closet to wear today,’” she says.
If she can popularize this approach, women may one day not feel obliged to suffer the daily inconveniences of wearing long nails.
“Just try typing all day with these things on,” she laughs, showing off long, olive nails. “You really can’t do much. And anyone who tells you differently is lying!”
While her new business doesn’t make enough money for her to quit her teaching, she spends about the same number of hours on both.
That includes 30 minutes each morning tending to her growing Instagram account — where she has amassed more than 5,000 followers who account for most of the orders on her website — and a few hours in the evening painting nails, including custom orders, and packaging up boxes for customers who opt for her monthly subscriptions.
Many challenges remain — particularly how to scale production beyond her ability to hand-paint nails while maintaining the artistic quality. But Williams is definitely a long-term thinker who hopes that, some day, her creations will be featured at major retailers.
“I don’t see obstacles as problems, but as challenges,” she says of the process of building a company. “You just have to follow the steps.”
Like so many healthcare workers around the world, Maryam Kheirabi faced new demands when the pandemic hit. An oncology pharmacist with a Miami-area hospital, she suddenly had more hours, more stress and more fears of the unknown.
To deal with the growing pressure, Kheirabi decided she needed a new activity, something that would take her mind off her stressful job and give her a newfound source of fulfillment.
That’s when Fig & Brie, a charcuterie-to-go business, was born.
“I’m happiest when I’m extremely busy, and I wanted to create something beautiful for people to share,” she says. “In a way, I think the business got me through the worst days of the pandemic. It gives me hope, and hopefully it gives other people hope, as well.”
The idea came to her soon after the pandemic began, when she saw groups of friends eating from plastic containers full of snacks at a park across the street from her home for socially distanced get-togethers.
“How cool would it be to have a charcuterie box to go,” she remembers thinking. It would give people the option to pre-order a food board that could be delivered just when it was needed.
A native of Queens, N.Y., who moved to Miami with her speech pathologist husband in 2016, Kheirabi grew up being responsible for creating food platters for family gatherings.
“We Persians are very big on hospitality, and I never lost my love for creating beautiful, delicious things,” she says.
Once the first spike in COVID-19 cases began to ease in August, she started doing research, which included the creation of a variety of charcuterie platters for colleagues at the hospital.
A cousin in New Jersey agreed to help her secure a domain name and choose website-building tools.
“The rest was left up to me, but it was mostly dealing with aesthetics, which I love, anyway,” she says.
In early November, Fig & Brie officially launched, with a range of offerings, from a $20 “solo” platter to an $85 “soiree” box.
The seed capital was $2,000 that her husband, Francisco, urged her to take from their savings, with the understanding that they wouldn’t spend any more if the business wasn’t profitable after a month. She ended up spending $1,900 of it in that time, but by early December the business was making money.
Kheirabi’s digital marketing strategy initially was solely based on Instagram, in part because she wanted to grow slowly at first. But sales jumped more quickly than expected over the holidays, as friends and fans spread the word. One local real estate broker ordered platters as gifts to her clients.
It wasn’t easy, but she and her husband managed to keep up with demand while maintaining their jobs in healthcare. It helps that most orders come on Thursdays or Fridays, for delivery on Saturday.
Francisco does everything from taking photos to taste-testing to driving their only car around the city making deliveries. When he once asked what he would be paid for all his work, she quipped, “Sorry, but we pay in cheese.”
Her near-term goal is to have enough demand to hire a driver or two, and then to find a way to ship around the U.S. (That will require some innovation, to either find a way to keep fruits and veggies crunchy and fresh, or to come up with boards that meet her standards without those foods.)
Ultimately, she’d like to open a storefront in Miami and share her business model so women in other places could follow suit.
“I wouldn’t be doing this if it was only for the money,” she says. “That’s just icing on the cake.” The primary reward, other than enriching customers’ lives, is to empower women, including herself.
“We’re living in a time when women are standing up and taking charge of themselves,” she says. She even welcomes the competition from other female-owned online charcuteries in the city. “There’s enough demand to go around,” she says. “Women shouldn’t compete with each other. We should lift each other up.”
Blogs are an inexpensive and low-risk way for creators and business owners to build an online audience.
Depending on the size of your audience, you can partner with different advertisers to run display ads.
Another lucrative way to monetize your blog is to sell your own products or services.
Top stories based on your reading preferences
There are a million and one business ideas that any aspiring founder can pursue. However, I believe blogging is one of the best options due to the ease of getting started, low startup cost, and ability to scale.
When I started my blog, all it took was getting my domain and hosting set up and then choosing a CMS provider so that I could begin creating content. Running my blog over the past two years has been an exciting journey. I’ve learned a lot about the digital marketing space and what drives traffic to a website. One important lesson I learned is that no one will visit your website for the first few months of its existence. If you’re experiencing something similar, don’t falter. Create a consistent production schedule, see if you can get some writers to help out for free, and try to guest post on other blogs to boost your credibility.
I also learned that when you start, make sure you’re not starting too broad. For example, if you want to start a blog around plants, start with, say, a blog around dandelions. The more specific you get, the easier it is to rank for the terms you want and the less pressure you will feel to cover multiple topics.
Beyond these beginners’ lessons, here’s what I’ve learned about how you can monetize a blog. You can use display advertising, affiliate sales, or sell a product or service.
1. Display advertising
Display advertising, which can be set up through Google Ad Sense, is the quickest and easiest way to start monetizing your blog. The issue with this approach is that it is also the least profitable approach. Your revenue per thousand visitors will be anywhere between $0.30 to $2.
As your blog grows, you can start partnering with more exclusive advertising networks like Mediavine, which requires monthly traffic of at least 50,000 people, or Ad Thrive, which requires monthly traffic of at least 100,000 people. Depending on your niche, these networks will pay you anywhere from $10 to $40 per 1,000 visitors.
2. Affiliate sales
The second method, affiliate sales, is when you get a commission every time you sell another company’s product. This is the approach recommended to most people getting into blogging, as you don’t need to go through the hurdles of creating a product yourself. Also, you don’t need nearly as much traffic as you would need from display advertising to make a living.
The downfall of this approach is that you don’t control the product or service that you’re offering. At any point, the company you are promoting could discontinue its product or cut its commissions.
3. Sell a product or service
The final way you could monetize your blog is by selling a product or service. This is the most lucrative approach but comes with the most risk. When starting your blog, you’re not going to have any traffic. So not only do you have to go through the time and monetary commitment of building a product or service, you also need to do all the necessary steps to grow your traffic.
The most common approach you’ll see is starting with affiliate marketing. Then, once you have consistent cash coming in, build your product or service in the same space and direct your visitors to your offer rather than to your affiliate offer.
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There is something truly magical about meeting potential buyers at a live event such as a craft fair, farmer’s market, convention or similar outlet. There’s an energy of hope in the air that comes with the start of the event. You set up your booth, and you hope that the people that walk through the doors like your stuff enough to buy the bits and bobs you worked painstakingly on for weeks, if not months. But, how do you sell your art at craft fairs?
There is so much that goes into setting yourself up for success. If you hope to sell your art at craft fairs, you can’t just show up and slap price stickers on your goods and walk away with a bag of cash.
With that in mind, I reached out to artisans who create and craft and asked them to spill their best tips for how to sell at craft fairs. I’m sharing what they told me below. But before we get to that — let’s explore why it can be beneficial to sell at one in the first place.
Why you should sell at craft fairs
One of the big reasons that people start researching how to sell at craft fairs is because they want to make some extra money. The benefits of selling your art at one include, but aren’t limited to:
New buyers that are likely looking to make a purchase. Most people that attend craft fairs are looking for a new prize to take home, or for that perfectly unique gift for someone.
Networking opportunities. When you’re at a craft fair you can connect with other artists, form friendships, and sometimes create partnerships, too.
New ideas. Every artist needs inspiration. Seeing other people’s work can give you new creative ideas for your own work.
Market research opportunities. Perhaps you’ve been playing with a new medium, or have tried a new style. What better way to test out your new ideas than to take them to a place where buyers will be?
Branding. You need to put yourself out there if you hope to become well known for your work. Meeting new crowds and promoting your art at craft fairs gives you the chance to spread the word about your brand. And yes, even artists can have a brand.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of selling your crafted goods at a fair, here are six tips to learn how to sell at craft fairs
Do your research ahead of time.
Know your ideal customer, and look the part.
Go to the event before you’re a vendor if you can.
Bring multiple types of art.
Spend time and money on your booth.
Spread the word before you attend.
Let’s get started!
1. Do your research ahead of time
Julie Bonner of Julie Originals says you should do a lot of research before signing up for any craft fairs, farmer’s markets, etc. The trick to how to sell at craft fairs she says is knowing things like:
The type of audience the event you will be selling at typically draws in
The average number of attendees you can expect
If they require vendors to have a social media presence to promote — when vendors don’t promote, it can hurt attendance
Whether or not you will have electricity — your fancy display with the lights won’t do much good if you can’t plug it in
2. Know your ideal customer, and look the part
For Stephanie Odell, owner of Calithien Jewellery, knowing her ideal customer and looking the part has been her key for how to sell at craft fairs. She makes whimsical fine jewelry, and she says that if your ideal customer won’t be at the event, you shouldn’t even bother showing up.
“For example, if you’re selling high-end goods and the other vendors are all selling mass-market products, you’re probably in the wrong market,” Stephanie says. “Along the same vein, your booth should be designed with your ideal customer in mind. Your color choices, display items, and the thought into the placement of your product will all reflect a certain subconscious feeling back to your prospective customers. A few little details can make a big difference in attracting those who are likely to purchase from you.”
3. Go to the event before you’re a vendor, if you can
Madison Osborne who also sells handmade jewelry says it’s a good idea to actually attend some farmer’s markets, and see what kind of people are vendors and attendees before you commit to being a vendor yourself.
This way you can make sure your art and handmade goods will fit in with what the buyers of that specific type of event.
She also says to mingle with your “would-be competition” to get the lay of the land. This tip is mostly helpful for farmer’s markets that happen weekly or monthly as opposed to annual or semi-annual craft shows.
4. Bring multiple types of art
Sabrina Hartel of iNNo Art Prints says her number one tip for how to sell at craft fairs is to bring a variety of products.
“Just because it’s not your favorite piece of work, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t adore it,” Sabrina says.
Bring items at multiple price points too. This way you can appeal to every budget level of buyer.
Pria Maineri of 88kitty echoes this sentiment and added, bring multiple ways for your customers to pay, too. Be prepared to accept cash or credit — maybe even Venmo.
Editor’s note: Looking for a payment option for your craft business? Check out GoDaddy Payments! You can connect it to your online store or provide customers with a Virtual Terminal or Online Pay Links. Click here to learn more!
5. Spend time and money on your booth
Sarah Stearns aka Sarah Maker says the key to making more sales “is to spend a little extra time and money to make your booth presentation beautiful and well-organized. An eye-catching booth will grab your customers’ attention from afar as they stroll down the aisles of the craft fair.”
The return on investment will be well worth it.
There’s nothing worse than an overly cluttered booth that leaves the customer lost as to what you’re selling. No one wants to sift through bins of stuff for sale — so make your art presentable like it’s the prized piece they should take home with them.
6. Spread the word before you attend
Rowell Concepcion, owner and milliner at Binata Millinery, says if you have an email list and/or following on social media, use it to your advantage. This is especially helpful if you already have loyal fans online. They might be willing to share your appearance news, and in the best cases they will also show up to support you.
Rowell says start spreading the word two to three weeks ahead of time. He suggests “one or two email blasts, at least two Instagram grid posts, and four Instagram stories prior to your selling dates.”
Conclusions and next steps
Hopefully, the wheels in your head are turning with ways you can improve your sales numbers for the next craft fair or farmer’s market you will participate in.
For your next steps, I would recommend the following:
Get a website so you have a place to drive traffic to, announce events you will be at, and a place to sell your art for people who can’t attend in person.
Doing business is not a cakewalk. You need to understand, learn, and manage several things before you actually do it. It is a task that requires continuous efforts. Therefore, it might take days, months, or even years to become successful.
It does not matter how small or big your business plan is. What is more important is how determined and dedicated you are to make it work. As a businessman or a businesswoman, you need to be spontaneous, informed, smart, analytical, and before that a good leader.
Thereafter, you need to keep an eye on your business infrastructure including the building, factory, machines, control valves, security, etc.
Making a business successful and keep it running is not a one-day affair. That is why you must take every step carefully.
Want to make your business successful? But you don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry and follow these 15 tips and tricks to make your business successful-
1. Time And Effort Is Everything
Your business idea is your brainchild. Just like you take time to understand your child’s needs and make efforts to give them the best upbringing. You need to treat your business in the same manner in order to make it successful.
2. Focus Is Your Key To Success
For anything you want to do and make it reach great heights, you need to be focused. Getting distracted by other things can cost you a lot in your business. You need to focus on your goals and work hard every day to achieve them.
3. Have A Fool-Proof Business Plan
The first step towards a successful business is a business plan. Before anything else, prepare a fool-proof plan. This means that it must have all the pros and cons involved in your business.
Nothing works without a plan. So, for instance, if you are trying to set up a business for valves and plumping supplies, you need to consider the best and the most trusted manufacturers like DomBor for your supply needs.
4. Be Prepared to Take Calculated Risks
A great business owner is one, who is not afraid of taking risks. To make your business successful and to make it sustainable in the longer run, you must be ready to take some calculated risks. You must know how your decision will affect your business and how much loss you will incur. Only after analyzing everything make your final decision.
5. Know The A to Z Of The Industry
If you are an amateur in the business industry, then first you must start with the basics. For that learn about every minute detail about how your industry works. You must be aware of the latest trends in your industry. Also, what works and whatnot, and how to enter the industry initially.
6. Connect And Communicate
Another trick for making your business successful is to connect and communicate with people from the industry. Get to know about the industry leaders and upcoming talent personally or through social media. Exchange your ideas with them and try to expand and publicize your business.
7. Keep A Check On Your Growth
Being a business owner you must keep a sharp eye on the growth of your business. Analyze the data, read it thoroughly, see where you are lacking, and what you can do to improve it.
8. Failures Are A Part Of The Process
If you ever face failures in your business, then don’t get disheartened. Because failures play an important part in the process of your success. Out of all the other things, they tell you about what not to do in a business.
9. Learn From Your Competitors
Your biggest learnings will come from your competitors. No one can teach you business better than them. Learn from them whenever and however you can. Use your creativity and intelligence and do what seems best for the success of your business.
10. Be Flexible In Your Approach
Never become too rigid with your approach to doing business. Be flexible with it and be open to changes. Sometimes what you feel is right may not be the best for your business. In that scenario, changing your approach might help.
11. Ensure Your Best Services
Always ensure the best services to your customers. Whether you are a small-scale business or a large-scale one, never compromise with the quality of your services. This builds your customer’s trust in you and ensures a long-term association.
12. Market Your Business
It is important to prepare a market strategy for your business to make it successful. It helps you to introduce your business to a large number of people at the same time.
13. Take Feedback To Know Your Customers Better
To make a business successful customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. You cannot meet all your customers in person. Thus, taking feedback from them online or offline is helpful to know your areas of improvement.
14. Stick to your Core Values
Early success is a myth. It lasts for a short period of time and there is no guarantee that it will sustain itself. That is why instead of using shortcuts, stick to your core values and take your business to great heights.
15. Research And Repeat
Last and the most important tip is to keep researching about the new prospects in your business area. It is crucial to make your business successful.
Every business owner wants their business to reach great heights. But only a few of them know how to actually do it. Running a business is not an easy task. It requires years of hard work and continuous efforts. Also, you need to learn and unlearn facts.
Therefore, to make your business successful and to make it sustain that success, you need to be well informed. Also, you must be aware of the current business scenario of your respective sector. Just follow these steps and see your business become successful.