This year was our biggest season by a huge margin! I started this business in 2012. I took what I could afford to risk (not much!) and started the business. I didn't know if it would work at all. It was terrifying. I had a fair amount of experience because I had worked for several years with my really good friend Jesse hanging christmas lights in Boulder, Co. https://www.facebook.com/pg/bouldermountainlights/about/
At that time I was guiding every summer in Aspen, Co and then working for Jesse in the winter. I would usually save enough money by Christmas to take a climbing trip to patagonia. It was great but I was always in a cycle of making money, spending it, and then being broke!
Eventually I moved here to the Roaring Fork Valley full time instead of just seasonally. I needed to do something so I decided to start the lighting business. I had the skills to install and wire the lights safely and effectively but the business side was a total unknown. I decided that even if I was a total neophyte in business I would just do my best. My attitude was just to be very very nice and very reliable to my clients. Nothing fancy. Just be cool to the folks willing to take a chance hiring me. I made sure that when I got to speak to a potential client I would try and get to know them. Instead of going strait into a "salesman" mode I would take my time and try and find something about them. Tell them something about me and try and find some common ground or connection. Sometimes I would find out that we both enjoyed skiing or that we were both from California (an inside joke for the name of the company).
I've kept this same attitude since 2012 and I think that is why we grow every year. Be honest. Be kind. Be reliable. Do good work. There's a million different angles and schemes to make it in small business. I don't know any of them. I just stick with what I've done and it's going just fine.