CoLab Nashville’s Kia Jarmon shares important small business tips

Kia Jarmon

Have a clear business plan.

Separate your personal and professional lives.

Ask for help when you need it.

They’re good rules for business in general. They matter just as much, if not more, in a coworking environment.

Kia Jarmon, who owns the boutique PR firm MEPR Agency at CoLab Nashville, recently gave a Lunch and Learn about those and other lessons for entrepreneurs, and they apply equally to CoLab Orlando.

CoLab holds several Lunch and Learn sessions throughout the year, allowing CoLab members to deliver talks on their areas of expertise. Lunch is free, and the sessions do a lot to build community and set up some powerful idea exchanges.

Kia mentors college interns about PR and entrepreneurship, and her top 10 points should matter to any freelancer or small business owner:

  1. Outline your business goals at the beginning. Start with a clear plan of what you want to achieve. Without it, you’ll have a chaotic business that may not succeed.
  2. Understand, respect and learn the word “no.” In business, you can’t make everyone happy! Sometimes it is just good business to say, “No.”
  3. Make your own rules for work-life balance. Working 24/7 is a surefire way to burn out. Freelancers and small business owners often fail to balance their personal and professional lives, and it’s not just the business owner but clients who end up suffering.
  4. Observe the Golden Rule. Treat staff and clients the way you would want to be treated. Fire staff and clients who won’t.
  5. Don’t do everything yourself. Know when to delegate. Outsource what you can and know when to train staff. This ensures you have time to work on your business, not always in it.
  6. Collaborate whenever you can. Being able to work with people in other businesses is one of the main benefits of coworking at CoLab. Try sharing a client with other small companies and bringing in consultants and freelancers. You’’ll extend the range of your business and build important relationships that will help it prosper.
  7. Know when to ask for help. Ask for help if you get in over your head. Coworking is a wonderful environment for getting help! Most freelancers are willing to share, and you never know when you might be able to help someone else out and return the favor.
  8. It’s OK to make mistakes. Businesses learn by taking risks. It’s normal to make mistakes. As long as you own and learn from them, you’ll grow.
  9. Reassess your business model every year. Or more often. You’ll be surprised at what you learn when you stop and take stock.
  10. You’re in a business, so act like it. As a business owner, you are always on display. So pay attention to your personal brand, both in person and online. Customers make snap decisions about you, and you can’t always take back a poor first impression!

Our Lunch and Learn series is a great place to share ideas, network and get to know your fellow coworkers. You can’t beat free lunch with the ability to gain knowledge for furthering your business!