Meet black woman entrepreneur and Sistahbiz member Kalea Sanders-Wright, owner and CEO of social media management agency KSW Social Media Management. Kalea started her agency in 2018 but really found success during the pandemic. She made the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur in November 2020 and has since been able to scale her social media management agency to a six-figure business.
Let’s see how she’s made a success for herself and KSW Social Media Management.
What areas of business did you have the least experience in when you started?
When I started KSW Social Media Management, I didn’t know anything about business or business systems. Before starting my business, I was a Probation officer with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Corrections was not my passion, it was what I was always led to do…go to college and get a job. After experiencing burnout in my career, I started my agency in an attempt to monetize my hobby, but I had no idea what I was doing.
How did you handle the learning curve and ensure the business succeeded in that area?
My business has been entirely funded from personal funds and company revenues, so in the beginning, YouTube University and free downloads were my go-to. Eventually, I saved up enough money to feel comfortable with investing in business coaching because I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I knew I needed help.
Can you tell us about a great failure or disappointment that you learned or benefited greatly from in your business?
Building a loyal team is hard. Everyone has something to do and bills to pay, so it’s hard finding people who are willing to ride it out with you on the way up, especially when they deserve more pay than you can afford to provide. I have also had “team members” attempt to poach clients, and that burned me for a while but what I learned from building a team is that relationships are so important, and your word and social capital are essential to scaling a business.
How have relationships impacted your business most? What advice would you give entrepreneurs about how to manage business relationships in your industry?
Social capital is everything, and that’s what I love about being a Sistahbiz member. Beyond business coaching, having the ability to network with women who look like me, have had some of the same experiences that I have, and are in different stages of their business has been a literal blessing. It also feels good to have a network of women who mention your name when opportunities are present.
In business relationships, I think you should always give more than you receive and be teachable.
What is your morning routine, and how do you take care of you?
I sleep in whenever I can. It was my previous practice, to wake up very early in the morning and check emails and always be available to clients. I’m learning to set boundaries and stick to them. That’s important to me.
How did you come up with the concept for your brand?
I knew a lot of people who had side hustles or new businesses but complained about friends and family not supporting them and weren’t fans of social media, so they didn’t know how to network with the millions of people online. I’ve always loved social media, and I knew that I could help them and in helping them, I also realized that there were business owners who were so busy running their business that they didn’t have time to tell their stories, so they needed help. There was a need, and I had a solution.
If you could go back and prepare for your business journey again, what would you do differently?
If I had to do it all over again, I would dream bigger and ask for help sooner.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you have for black women starting new businesses?
You can’t do it all alone, and you won’t make it by yourself. Ask for help and find a mentor or a coach and outsource. Don’t waste time learning to do things that you don’t love.
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