- Category: MSBA Blog
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- Written by Rikki Winters
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It is hard to believe that there was a time when many believed that social media was a passing fad and that it would never last. Thankfully, one of our own MSBA members, Lily Dagdag, wasn’t one of those naysayers. With two years of business under her belt, this busy military spouse has turned social media savvy into marketing genius. We asked Lily to share some of her thoughts on her business and life as a military spouse entrepreneur.
Name: Lily Dagdag
Business: BCBS Media
Years in Business: 2 years
Business Structure: LLC
Q: What are some things you like about being in business for yourself?
I like being able to set my own schedule and being able to work from home. My favorite part of being in business for myself is that I can choose what to work on and delegate other tasks as necessary.
Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
It has been a challenge to keep a balance between my home life and work. When you work from home it is often difficult to draw boundaries. I have struggled with setting specific work hours and sticking to them. I often end up working 10-12 hour days because my to-do list is never-ending.
Q: How has being a military spouse helped/challenged your business?
Being a military spouse has helped my business because I have found a lot of support from fellow military spouse business owners. We face some unique challenges that can only be understood by others who have been through those same challenges. For example, I have had to move four times since starting my business. Other spouses that I have spoken to have shown great support since that is definitely something they have dealt with in their personal lives as well as in their business as a result of their husband’s career in the military.
Q: What would you like your customers to know about you and your business?
I would like customers to know that our goal is to make services available to businesses that are just starting out (which are normally available only to companies with huge marketing budgets).
For example, when we first started researching social media as a niche, we found several companies that charge up to $1000.00 per month to manage your social media accounts. That’s not feasible for many small businesses. We think that all businesses should be able to have a professional website and online image. Also we don’t want those same businesses to give up on marketing themselves online simply because they think it is out of their budget.
Q: What are some things people may not know about your business?
People may not realize that we also offer the option of teaching clients how to do things for themselves. It’s a more affordable option than hiring someone to perform these tasks on a monthly basis but it is also better than just trying to learn social media or websites on their own in addition to running a business.
Q: For fellow military spouses considering a business, what advice would you give them?
Find something that you enjoy doing, and make sure it happens regularly. Being a business owner can be very stressful at times, and being a military spouse is no walk in the park. Put it all together and it's easy to become overwhelmed. You need to make sure that you are taking time to take care of yourself, your business and your family will reap the benefits.
Q: Share with us a business experience when you’ve had to learn something the hard way.
Know your worth and stick to it. When you first start a business, it can be tempting to get clients by any means necessary. In most cases this means charging low prices to lure people into signing a contract. However, all this does is create a bad precedent. You have to know that you are worth what you're charging or no one else will.
Q: If you could go back to the day you started your business with the knowledge you have now, what would you change?
Always have a plan. Have systems in place before you even think about finding that first client. We have thought several times that we were well prepared but with every client there has been at least one surprise that has left us scrambling. Having systems in place not only prevents that from happening, it means that when you need a break (which all of us do at one time or another), it is easy for someone to take the reins from you, even just for a little while.
Q: What do you wish you had more access to? How can MSBA help you?
I wish I had more access to business resources. I know that there are resources out there specifically for military spouses, but I do not know much about what they are or how they can help me.
Q: Anything else you want to share with our members?
We are always looking to connect with other business owners to find out how we can help each other. We would love to talk to any other MSBA members about their business.
Q: Website/Contact info