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Career Story: Part Owner Of A Small Printing Business

Part Owner Of A Small Printing Business

Job Title: Small Business Owner

Type of Company: My family's company is a print shop that also embroiders and silk screens shirts, prints large banners and flags and sells flags from all over the world. We also install large flag poles.

Education: BS, Marketing and Management, University of Connecticut

Previous Experience: I have worked in printing and print sales since I got out of college. But I only came to work for the family business a couple of years ago.

Job Tasks: My daily responsibilities include:

1. Selling to new and existing businesses, making face-to-face sales calls and following up and following through. This often happens these days via e-mail. [50% of my time]

2. Overseeing our advertising and marketing (Yellow Pages, website design/updates and various forms of internet advertising, often through Google). I negotiate with the different vendors who help us "look good" and update and alter our websites. I'm also working on creating a new online ordering and proofing website since that is what many of our larger customers are asking for. I was told that we are either learn and change or go under. [25% of my time]

3. Learning about running the company, HR, payroll, insurance, working with our accountant, purchasing new and used equipment, searching for larger state contracts via RFPs that we can submit a proposal for. This is the most challenging aspect of the work since it is hard to get time with Mom and Dad during our very fast-paced weekday schedules. We try to meet weekly either after hours or before so we can discuss our short- and long-term goals. It is really important to come up with a plan and then work that plan [25% of my time]

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of the job: It is never the exact same challenge two days in a row. We do so many custom items that there is a constant learning curve going on. That makes it a lot of fun

The worst part is when certain employees don't follow through and I have to make a call to the customer. Also when we have to let employees go...that is never fun because it affects their whole family and also rips me up.

Job Tips:
1. Network as much as you can. Join the Chamber of Commerce, LinkedIn, your alumni association, BNI... as soon as you can and establish a name for yourself. It is amazing how many business agreements or partnerships are created this way.

2. Follow the Golden Rule: always treat others in the way you would like to be treated.

3. Start your own business. It is difficult but so rewarding at the same time.

Additional Thoughts: Be a person of your word

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