It’s time to celebrate as BB Events turns three in August! When I set out to build the company, I had no idea where it would take me. Luckily, it’s been three years of working with incredible local businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, elevating the missions of multiple nonprofits and learning how to create more impact every day. In the spirit of celebrating, I’ve summarized some of my learnings over the years in the hope that they’ll help you and your small business thrive.
1. Be Flexible Like a Business Yogi
As a business owner, you’ll know that things can change in seconds and you need to be able to act on your feet. This skill allows businesses to keep running despite hiccups and pandemics and gives you a calm attitude to challenges that may crop up, whether that’s staff getting sick, double booked meetings or…the rain in the forecast at the outdoor event.
The past few years were not what you’d call the perfect time to grow a business in the events industry. When live, in-person events were no longer safe, we adapted to changing needs. I used Covid as an opportunity to move events online and create more hybrid options. It’s an area that is now booming as organizations see the value of engaging with their communities outside of borders. It’s opened up a whole new world of events for us.
2. Stay True To You
When starting out as a small business owner, there’s a temptation to take on any work that comes up and say “yes” to anything and everything. Sure, there’s a time when this might be a needed financial option or an eagerness to experience new things and not miss what could be a golden opportunity. However, I’ve grown to understand the value of values and recognize that I’m privileged to be able to say “yes” to the projects that align with those core values. At BB Events, everything we do comes from the foundational pillars of sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility that’s reflected in everything we do, from vendors to clients, venue choices and volunteers.
From my experience, the best projects I’ve worked on were with the organizations I really believed in. I wanted to champion their success through a standout event. Creating a relationship built on mutual trust allows for better communication, passion and celebrating each other. I want to spend my time and energy on projects that are meaningful to me and have the capacity to focus on each one thoughtfully.
Make sure to ‘check in’ with these values monthly, quarterly and annually. Review whether you’ve changed business direction and need to revisit your values (or if the values themselves need to be tweaked). It will give you a renewed boost of why you set up the business and what you’re working towards.
3. Rest is Best
This ties back to my point above about saying “yes” to everything in the early days. In your first years, you’re likely to want to build your experience and portfolio as much as possible. There’s excitement when you see an email from a potential client and want to impress at all costs. I know, I’ve been there!
My biggest learning was to set boundaries. You can’t run a business when your glass is half full. You need to feel your best to put 100% into the work you’re doing, whether that’s running an event or running a business. Here are my top mindfulness tips to honor rest:
- Set clear hours when you’re available and unavailable. If you like your weekends work-free then make sure your team and clients know that – and yourself. That email can wait until Monday!
- Switch your notifications off. Whether that means silencing the phone, leaving it in another room of the house or (even better) leaving it at home and getting out in nature, we all need breaks from our tech. I know how hard it can be to step away as a small business owner — but regular breaks are important so you’re refreshed for the week when you truly got to enjoy the weekend for yourself and with your loved ones.
- Check-in with your energy levels. We’re often guilty of wearing too many hats in the business. Finance, HR, Ops, Marketing, Sales…you name it and I’ve probably given it a go at some point. When taking on many roles and responsibilities, you can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.Take a few moments to check in with your energy levels.
If you’re feeling drained then take time out. A cup of tea, a walk in the park, a nap — anything that is going to take you away from ‘work mode’ and provide some time out. You’ll come back feeling ready to take on anything the day throws at you.
Time To Put It Into Practice
I hope these tips have given you some food for thought in your own business. Whether you’re just starting out, or an established brand, they’re tools I’ll continue to work on year after year at BB Events. Owning a business is a never-ending journey of learning, much like running an event. If you’re interested in working with BB Events, get in touch today!