Have you ever wanted to start a business but were afraid to take the leap? If you answered yes, you are not alone. In fact, there are 1.7 million articles on the topic of taking the leap and fears you need to conquer in order to do just that.
Sometimes people take the leap into entrepreneurship slowly, others do it with both feet. And some are pushed into it without any warning. This month's featured #rockstar, Sarah Rubino, has experienced all three scenarios.
Sarah's passion, excitement, and genuine interest in her craft is refreshing. It's also what makes her great at what she does. We hope you enjoy getting to know Sarah as much as we have. And if you'd like to connect with her on the regular, you may want to consider joining the Rock It! Community.
Name: Sarah Rubino
Business: Bronze Beauty Spray Tanning
Job title: Owner
For those that may not know you or what you do, can you tell us what Bronze Beauty Spray Tanning is and how you got into the industry?
Bronze Beauty Spray Tanning is a mobile spray tanning business serving the Greater Pittsburgh area. We bring the spray tan right into our clients home! We also just opened a location in August of this year.
When we go to clients homes, we bring our pop up tent with us so nothing gets in the house. We are in and out in less than 20 minutes! It's perfect for someone who is busy or with kids and can't get out of the house.
Right after college, I got a job as a Manager at a local tanning salon. The owners taught me everything I needed to know about the tanning industry and I was hooked! I loved learning about the skin, how the tan reacts to the skin and the best feeling was seeing how happy the clients were when they left the salon. After working there for a couple of years, I knew this is what I wanted to do.
What made you decide to be a MOBILE business? Can you share some of the upsides (and even a few struggles) of being location independent?
When I was working at the salon, I wanted to start my own tanning salon. After doing research, I realized it wasn't for me and being right out of college, I didn't have the money. So I decided to hold off for a few years on pursuing my dream. When I finally decided to look into it again, Mobile Spray Tanning kept popping up. I had never heard of it, so I did more research and realized this was the best option for me.
There wasn't much in terms of start-up costs, so if it didn't end up working out, I was OK with the fact that I didn't spend TONS of money starting the business. It was a nice "starter" business that I would hope would grow into something bigger.
Some of the upsides of a mobile business are that I can meet my clients where they are. Clients loved that they didn't have to leave to get sprayed, especially when it was raining. It's also more comfortable for the client to be "naked" so-to-speak in their own home rather than at a salon.
A lot of my clients have kids, so for them to pack up everyone up, drive them somewhere and then come back home, it took a lot. Instead of spending 1-2 hours at the appointment, I was in and out of their house in less than 20 min. So they were able to get back to what they were doing quickly.
One of the biggest struggles of having a mobile business is the exposure. There isn't a store front that people would drive past and see. When people would look me up online, they would get confused that I didn't have an address listed for my business. So I spent a lot of time explaining to them how my business worked and that I didn't have a location.
Another struggle was the fact that I came into people's homes. Most people loved the idea, but were concerned about the logistics. Would I get spray everywhere, will my house smell after, what if I drop solution on the carpet?
You recently made the jump into full-time entrepreneurship. How has that transition been for you?
Exciting and hard!
When I wake up each morning, I do have a slight stressful feeling about things. Now everything is on ME. I can no longer depend on a steady paycheck, and that's scary! But at the same time, having more time for my business has allowed me to take on more clients and I am more flexible on time for them. Before I was trying to squeeze all my clients in after work and that made things very difficult because I did have to turn some clients away.
What does this next chapter of your life and business hold for you?
The next chapter in my life is growing my business at our new location. Right now we are in a small office space and I hope to eventually move into a bigger space and maybe even have multiple locations. It's always been my dream to have a location, so now that the time has come, I want to make sure I do it right!
What has been the biggest blessing about owning your own business?
I have been able to meet so many amazing people that I don't think I ever would have if I didn't have my business.
What has been the biggest struggle (or a current one)?
Wearing the many hats that I wear being a business owner. I do the service, talk to the clients, take appointments, do the social media/marketing, do the paperwork, etc. There is a lot to it and I don't think people realize what all goes into it (unless you have your own business). Having your own business takes up a lot of time, there are many things that I have missed because of it. I am trying to balance my work and social life, but it's hard.
Famous last words... What advice would you give to women as they contemplate taking a leap of their own?
Do it! You never know how it will turn out unless you do it. Yeah it's scary, yeah you will be stressed, but it's all worth it.