In today’s business market, being an entrepreneur can be a formidable and challenging career path to take. Especially if you’re just starting out and looking to build something that’s not just profitable, but that also makes an impact on the world around you. Aspiring and creative entrepreneur, Jody Barrett, is on a mission to change the conversation with patients in hospitals and nursing homes through her line of amusing hospital wear, Seriously Funny Gowns. With it, she solidifies the age-old wisdom that “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Boasting over ten years of experience serving as an Executive Director on luxury brands nationwide and a decade as a seasoned volunteer at NY hospitals and facilities, where she created projects to distract children in pediatric wards, she channeled her artistic sensibility, she created Showoff By Design and launched Seriously Funny Gowns in 2013. The line of adorned hospital wear offers personalized, quirky and conversational ensembles for people who need it most, the patients: “I see things differently I’ve always asked myself, ‘what would I do different to make this something unique?’” she recalls. “Having grown up with Manhattan as my playground, it taught me to think a lot and go within myself to be a bit more creative.”
As with all entrepreneurs, there were multiple hurdles and obstacles she had to clear in order to successfully launch her company. Of the lessons she has learned along the way, Jodi Barret of Seriously Funny Gowns has picked out the five that are paramount when it comes to prioritizing your business.
- Plan Ahead – Knowing the kind of business you want to build is important, but just holding an idea isn’t enough to get it off the ground. “Create an outline of your expected business trajectory and use this as a guide through every step, and as a way to monitor success and help you stay on track,” advises Jody.
- Expenses – As most of us know from our every day lives, balancing the checkbook effectively isn’t just a good financial practice. For your business, it’s survival. Jody remarks, “Really explore what your initial and long term expenses are going to be. Make sure you have this allocated and are ready to spend it on building your business, because new expenses always come up unexpectedly.”
- Social Media Strategy – From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest, social media is the new frontier in promoting your business. “Explore your options and decide which avenues are best suited for your business. I chose Twitter as I enjoy the rapid pace of networking and being able to spread the word about my business,” admits Jody. “Like it or not, we are now all in the business of being social.”
- Mentor – Sometimes when all else fails, we just need to ask someone who’s been there for a little advice. “It is a great idea to find someone you admire with has a track record of success that can guide you on your journey,” Jody quips. “Helpful advice from someone you trust can help you from making costly mistakes.”
- Networking – “The more people you can connect with and share you business and plan with, both on social media and in person, the better,” says Jody. “Meeting people in person is always better.”
Jody has taken her pillars of advice and applied them to her own business, making plans to offer additional healthcare garments in the future and a line of childrenswear this fall. Whether she is creating smiles for hospital patients who otherwise wouldn’t be or mentoring fledgling entrepreneurs to help them succeed, Jody finds her calling in helping other people become better. She remarks, “Making people smile and lifting their spirits is something that is extremely important to me.”