Job Title: President Of Small Business
Type of Company: We supply advertising and promotional products to corporations as well as custom clothing for the workplace and as sales incentives and gifts.
Education: BA sociology Catholic University of America
Previous Experience: screen printing and embroidery sales throughout college.
Job Tasks: My brother and I own and operate a promotional advertising company. Promotional advertising is considered to be all of the "hard goods" used for advertising - trade show, items, desk products, fundraising programs,"giveaway items, remembrances from an event or outing. This field also includes corporate clothing which is both for uniform use i.e. restaurants, utility workers, contractors and trade show staff as well as clothing for banks, golf tournaments, and other events.
We work with our customers to come up with the best products to suit their needs and then move on to design and pricing. The goods are purchased from a chosen vendor (we have thousands to choose from). From there either the vendor decorates the piece or we have it decorated locally and shipped off to our customer.
That is the top layer of what goes on - there is also invoicing to be done once the bills come from the vendors and hopefully we will not have to track them down in 30 days to check on payment.
Often times the customer does not know exactly what it is they are looking for so research needs to be done to fit their budget. There can often be a great deal of back and forth and samples sent out which can end up costing a good amount of money. Rush orders are also something we need to bend over backwards for but when you own your own business the sale and a satisfied customer becomes a lot more important. There can also be times where we have misprints or some other error which we need to correct even if it means losing money.
One of the first things I realized when I became a business owner was that the "problem" file was now only going to be emptied if I took care of it.
It has now been 15 years and although we have a strong customer base, owning your own business is still something that will forever keep you up at night - so it is important to enjoy what you do!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Owning your own business allows for flexibility in your family life. It also allows for more growth opportunity. Unfortunately, one also needs to create their own paycheck, and keep an office running no matter what the circumstances. Hiring, firing, payroll, healthcare, utilities, office furniture, phones, technology are all aspects of operating a small business that go beyond punching a clock.
1. Work as hard as you can when you can - time management is important. This way you can better enjoy your free time.
2. Network without being pushy - our best customers have come from referrals after a job well done.
3. Read - keep up to date with trends in your industry
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