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.
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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