In 2020, EntryPoint had great conversations with 40+ thought leaders across the country on The Cackle and we all want more!  So in 2021, we are continuing the conversation with those guests to dig a little deeper into topics that matter. Like tips for starting a business in Detroit. 

Keep Cackling with Amy Peterson from Rebel Nell

I chatted about my entrepreneurial journey in Detroit with Emily on an episode of The Cackle, but let’s dig deeper into some of the details about starting a business in Detroit.

Here are a few things that have helped me grow Rebel Nell and other small businesses across the city…

Connect with other Business Owners in Detroit

If you’re thinking about starting a business in Detroit, get ready for a whole lot of networking! One of the best traits of the Detroit small business community is that every business owner is open and honest with their knowledge of running a business. Get comfortable reaching out to fellow entrepreneurs with a similar business model, those whom you admire and those with knowledge and skill-sets that you could learn from; ask them to share their stories! There’s no one better to ask than those who have been where you are. It’s important to nurture the connections you make and, equally as important, is preparing yourself for the many challenges you will inevitably face running your business.

Leverage Detroit’s Amazing Community

Detroit strongly empowers entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers by providing advisory services and funding. Build Institute and TechTown are just a couple of the organizations that can guide you as you turn your idea into a fully-fledged business. The ideas and goals you have for your business may be great ones, but, in order for your business to be successful, it’s important to beta test your product. Investing significant time and resources before you get the feedback of your target consumers is an easy mistake to make. In our early days, Rebel Nell tested our products in front of consumers at Dally in the Alley and Eastern Market; both events that have a low cost of entry and put us in front of a large and diverse group of people.

Today, even with COVID-19 limitations, there are opportunities to participate in the small business community and to succeed at growing your small business. Before deciding what avenue is best for you, research what your target market is spending their time on and find a local vendor you serves the same demographic and is interested in showcasing your products.

Consumers are committed to shopping small and local, more so now than ever. Businesses who recognize and talk about the impact they’re having on the community are seeing the support provided to them grow and, as a result, have a fanbase that will carry them beyond these challenging times. The most important ways that you can support your favorite small businesses are by making the extra effort to spend your dollars with them and by following them on social media and sharing their content frequently (word of mouth is the best type of marketing for small businesses with limited resources).

The Power of Small Businesses

Collectively, small businesses provide a significant amount of jobs in our economy and contribute to vibrant and growing communities. In Detroit, small businesses are the key to our neighborhoods and our neighbors’ success. It’s imperative that we come together to ensure the survival of our small businesses and to inspire others to start their own businesses.

Co-Founders of Rebel Nell: Diana Roginson, COO (left) and Amy Peterson, CEO
Co-Founders of Rebel Nell: Diana Roginson, COO (left) and Amy Peterson, CEO

To me, being a small business owner in Detroit means that it’s quite literally my job to ensure the success of my business so that it can ensure the success of the women we employ as they work to build a better future for themselves and their own communities. I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of women owned businesses in Detroit. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Rebel Nell has curated a promotional book in support of female founders of Detroit. Beginning o March 1st, some of your favorite women-owned businesses will be selling this promo book for $35 and providing those who’ve purchased it with some juicy discounts…over $500 in value! On March 8th, International Women’s Day, Rebel Nell is also hosting a virtual event to empower women and challenge gender inequality.

While there’s clearly a lot to do and a lot to learn running your own business, if you’re up for the challenge, you will find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. The people you meet, the team members you empower and the skills that you gain will always provide you with innumerable things to be grateful for. If you’re ready to join the small business community, we’d love to have you!

About Amy Peterson & Rebel Nell

Amy Peterson is the founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. Rebel Nell began in 2013 with the mission to provide employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. By repurposing meaningful materials into wearable art, they mark life’s important moments and connect them to your personal journey. They seek to embolden women, to embrace their infinite strength, and to define their own future. Our jewelry serves as a reminder that there is power in being ONE OF NO OTHER KIND.

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