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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Altomonte

Starting a Business: What We Learned in Our First Year at Firecracker

Firecracker's Founders celebrate the business's one year anniversary with a beautiful cake and sparkling cider.
Alyssa & Alyssa Celebrate 1 Year!

Starting a business is like creating a recipe from scratch, with no cookbook to guide you—every ingredient and every step is a leap of faith, and the outcome could be a culinary masterpiece or a total flop. Firecracker just reached its first year, and every moment has been full of excitement and growth.

We've learned a ton—and realize there’s still a lot more to discover. Here are some of the key lessons we’ve picked up along the way:

1. Stay Organized, or Chaos Will Find You

No matter how organized you start, without a conscious effort to maintain it, chaos can sneak up on you. Simple tasks can easily get lost in the shuffle of running a business and juggling a full-time job. I wish I could say I had a perfect system or schedule, but I don’t. What I do have are lists. They help me keep track of what needs to get done, even if not on a strict calendar schedule. Instead of rigid deadlines, I prioritize and tackle tasks as I can.

2. Connections Really Do Matter

As an introvert, I dreaded the networking emphasis in business school. I wondered, why can't my work just speak for itself? But after a year, it’s clear: connections are crucial. Most of our clients have come through referrals or shared networks. While I didn’t know every client personally, there was always some common ground. So, to my college self’s dismay, I now fully embrace the power of connections. This year, one of our goals is to meet more people and expand our network. Connections bring clients, and clients bring referrals, and referrals are gold for a small, service-based business—a potential client is more likely to trust a friend’s recommendation than your own pitch.

3. Social Media: Quality Over Quantity

Contrary to what many social media gurus preach, it's okay if you don’t post every day. While consistency is important, you’re not a failure if you can only manage a few posts a week—or even just one. We’ve often been so focused on our clients' social media that we’ve struggled to keep up with our own. This year, our aim is to be more consistent, but without the pressure to post daily. Instead, we’re focusing on delivering engaging, high-quality content when we can.

4. Adaptability is Key

Running a business often means navigating unexpected challenges. We’ve had to pivot our strategies multiple times due to market changes, client feedback, or unforeseen obstacles. Being adaptable has allowed us to find creative solutions and keep moving forward, even when things didn’t go as planned.

5. Celebrate Small Wins

In the hustle of growing a business, it’s easy to overlook small achievements. We’ve made it a point to celebrate even the minor victories—whether it’s landing a new client, completing a challenging project, or just hitting a monthly goal. These moments of recognition keep us motivated and remind us of our progress.

The list of things we’ve learned is endless, and what we still need to learn stretches even further. Happy Birthday to Firecracker Creative, and here’s to another year of growth and discovery!


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