Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nichole Simms, Founder and CEO of Creative Visual Solutions, located in Paramount, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Creative Visual Solutions is a Coaching and Consulting company that shows independent retail and fashion brands how to grow and scale using proven marketing, sales, and visual merchandising strategies.

Tell us about yourself

I have been in the retail industry for over 35 years. I love retail and how visual merchandising can really drive sales and the customer experience in a store. I saw that there were a lot of people starting their own retail businesses out of a passion but not necessarily with an understanding of how the retail industry works. So I started my company to help these brands be successful and sustain continual growth.

I am motivated each day, knowing that I get to help my clients (and potential ones through my content) reach a goal and grow in their businesses. I also look forward to connecting and networking with new leaders in my industry.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being the leading force behind helping a fashion brand owner open her very first brick-and-mortar store. I was there and was an integral part of each stage of her opening her new store. I coached her on her inventory selection and pricing and her marketing, and I was the sole designer, creator, and visual merchandiser for her store. The store turned out amazing, and I was happy to be there for my client and proud of what I had accomplished.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I think one of the hardest things is knowing and understanding what to prioritize to focus on and when. There are so many things that must get done and that need to get done, but which ones to focus on first? Understanding what really needs your attention is the challenge.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Really know your "Why." Why did you start your business, and what do you really want? This will keep you going when times get difficult, and you want to give up.
  2. When you can, get help. Whether it's a person on a contract, a PT employee, or a friend that has the skill, get some help in an area that you are not strong in. This will make a huge difference in your success.
  3. You have to change your mentality. Being a business owner takes a different mindset and use of your skill than working for someone else. It doesn't matter what you did in your past profession or how successful you were; running a business is a whole different animal. Your skills will transfer; however, how you use them will be different. Give yourself the grace to learn and master this, and you will save yourself a lot of stress and frustration.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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