PDF Portrait of a CEO: A guide to starting and growing a small business

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But with patience and an attitude of openness, you will eventually find your sweet spot. Keep Your Day Job, For Now It was true for many artists, including me: we held on to our day jobs as long as we could until we were ready to strike out on our own. Day jobs may take up time, but they also provide financial security which can support your transition into a career making art and a solid routine. Over time, as your art business begins to grow, slowly try to transition out of your work schedule.

It seems obvious to say, but when you work full-time at your day job, you have only evenings and weekends to make art.

That can make sense when you're not yet making much money selling artwork or booking freelance jobs. But once you gain some market traction and bring in regular sales or gigs, you may want to consider going part-time at your job or finding part-time work. Eventually, you'll recognize you have enough--or close to enough--money coming in to work full-time on growing your art business. It feels like a leap of faith to leave a steady paycheck you have become accustomed to, but it is a leap that is worth taking!

Branding Your Business As an artist, you may assume that you don't need to think about the brand, or personality, of your business. Sure, the look and feel of your art helps establish the basis of your brand, but the personality of your business extends to many other aspects, from the design of your website to how you interact with buyers.

Here are things to consider to effectively deliver your message:.

Choose Your Ideal Client

Integrate your core aesthetic into your brand. Describe the core aesthetic of the work you make. In most states in the U. Most states require that you pass an exam and a background check. It costs very little to become a notary and your income from notary work is negligible. A justice of the peace typically performs wedding ceremonies.

States have varying rules and procedures for becoming a JP and performing services. And it is not a big moneymaking venture! Many states set the fees you can charge for JP services. JPs can add additional fees, and often do, including travel and hourly rates for additional meetings such as rehearsals, other prep time and any special requests. This business is for someone who is supremely efficient and has the ability to make things happen. People who hire you will expect things when they want them and you need to be able to come through with not only what they want, but with a personal touch and a smile on your face.

The most likely clients for a personal concierge service are top executives who find themselves at the office by 7 a. Advertise your services in places where everyone goes, like restaurants and grocery stores. Having a website is a good idea--people want some privacy in their decision-making when it comes to getting fit. They can go to your website and determine if your approach to personal training is an approach that would work for them. It is important to emphasize the safety aspect of using a personal trainer. You can help clients get fit and avoid injury. Your job, in the case of rental units, will be to make sure the property is running smoothly.

For seasonal properties, you will most likely spend your management time making sure the property is ready for seasonal visits and well-maintained when no one is around.

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If the owners go away for six weeks in the winter, the property manager makes regular checks on the property. You will be the contact number if the security system operator needs to contact someone about a breach in security. Most community colleges offer some level of engine-repair courses.

Another way to learn would be to take a part-time position at a repair shop or a rental facility where you could learn on the job, although you will want to be open about your plans. You should be prepared to work on push-behind lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers, generators, garden tools such as rototillers and edgers, chainsaws, wood chippers and snowblowers. You need to decide whether you'll want to take on bigger jobs, such as tractors, snowmobiles and ATVs; space may be your decision-maker.

As a solar consultant, you can basically conduct a home inspection and give clients a report on their solar options for their particular home and site. This can range from full-fledged general solar installations that generate electricity to simple solar walkway lighting. You might want to start by working in a solar products company to become knowledgeable in the solar energy field. However, to be a consultant, it is often best not to be affiliated with any one company or product and be able to recommend products and options across the field of solar energy.

Most tax preparation franchises offer courses, seminars, and training to get you ready to work for them. You will learn a lot about tax preparation while working for them before going out on your own.

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There is a lot of educational support out there to learn tax preparation and all its complexities. And there are lots of individuals and businesses willing to spend a few hundred dollars a year to have someone else prepare their taxes and keep watch for tax breaks or tax burdens on their behalf. To get started, try to connect with local music schools for part-time gigs, which will allow you to see if you really like it, and also help you build a reputation with clients. If you have a knack for sewing, upholstery repair might be a perfect business for you.

Managing director

One of the best ways to learn how to upholster is to get some discarded upholstered furniture and start tearing it apart. Many books and some videos are available to help you learn this trade. Often furniture ready for upholstering will also need repairs. Have a list available of furniture repair people you can recommend to your customers.

Connecting the world to wellness

Or you can take the piece in, have repair people you work with do this work for you, and add it to the overall cost. You can also learn to do this work, especially minor repairs, yourself. Almost everyone has a few boxes of books stashed away in the house somewhere. Why not make a business out of them?

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  • In order to gain customers--especially repeat customers--you will need to have some regular shop hours. Maps, illustrations, postcards, greeting cards and magazines are good sidelines to include in your shop. You will need to be up-to-date on wedding trends and fads, dress styles, color trends--almost everything under the sun!

    Offer your customers an ala carte menu of services, from helping pick flowers, the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses to picking the venue and hiring the caterer. Before you open your business, shop at all the wedding shops, and even pretend you are a bride-to-be to see what kinds of services the wedding gown shop provides and how they treat potential customers. You need to know every detail of the business to give the accurate impression that you are the go-to person for anyone planning a wedding.

    Every household has a number of appliances, large and small. You can work on your own or on contract with appliance stores to cover their warranty service calls--or, best of all, you can do some of each. Plan to start slow and build your customer base on recommendations and referrals based on work well done. Consider developing relationships with contractors to be the go-to person to install appliances in newly constructed houses.

    If you are proficient in both Macintosh and PC, you should offer training in both types of computers. You could probably make a living helping seniors learn how to use the internet and e-mail to keep in touch with their loved ones, who are now commonly spread around the country. Err on the side of caution in this business. People do not want to know all the details about what makes a computer work.