small business owner http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10862/all en-US Who Cares if there's a Recession? I just started a business http://www.wisebread.com/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Photo 23.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>About four months ago my best friend thought she&rsquo;d run a crazy idea by me. Want to open a shop together?</p> <p>No.</p> <p>It&rsquo;ll be fun....</p> <p>No.</p> <p>Come on we can do it together.</p> <p>No. Okay. Let me think about it. </p> <p>The only person I know busier than I am is my friend Kristy. A year ago a woman with a salon and boutique who did nails asked if Kristy would come back and do hair at her salon. Kristy had a good reputation in town and had made a little home salon and was getting by that way. She&rsquo;d put herself through college doing hair and a few years back had decided that doing hair fit better with the mom schedule than anything else.The original salon owner was leaving and offered Kristy the business. She was buying but there was a whole second room in the shop that didn&rsquo;t have much in it. The rent for that room would be about $100.00 a month. Was I interested?</p> <p>I did what any friend does. I went home and ran it by the family.</p> <p>Here are some factors we considered:</p> <p>Cheap overhead?<br /> Concept of the store?<br /> Location of the shop?<br /> Time to devote to it?</p> <p> The more I thought about it, the more the idea sounded intriguing.</p> <p>The overhead is $100 a month plus $60 in Internet expenses. I&rsquo;d been wanting to have an office in town so that I could stop working from home all the time. The salon is located caddy corner to my kids&rsquo; school. One was getting out at noon and the other at two so I was frantically driving back and forth or having to hang around to go home. With the Internet, I could still grade papers and work in a new place. Kristy is busy and so am I. She cuts hair in the morning; I&rsquo;m online&nbsp; in the afternoon. We could have a shop open all day and just overlap by about thirty minutes each day.</p> <p>Then it dawned on me. A couple of years ago I&rsquo;d started up a site on etsy.com for a bunch of women around here that made things but weren&rsquo;t very Internet savvy so that they could promote their wares online. I called a few of the ones that were around. If I open an artisan consignment shop , are you up for it?</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve been up and running for two months. I&rsquo;ve got 15 local venders that&nbsp; make t-shirts, soap, lotions, bbq sauce, hot sauce, jewelry, bread mixes, rocking chairs, spin and dye their own yarn plus a few artists in the area that hang their photographs and paintings. In the corner of the shop I&rsquo;ve set up my desk with my wireless to grade papers and write. We put the waiting room for the salon in the room so that customers get an eye full of stuff to look at and browse through while they are waiting for hair cuts. We&rsquo;re the only place for Wi-fi on the way to three campgrounds. We have a huge porch out front for the kids to play on. We aren&rsquo;t making the big bucks but we don&rsquo;t owe anyone a dime either.&nbsp; We put together a small book exchange too.</p> <p>In a town with only 150 residents in a region with only 2000, having a place to hang out and to showcase local stuff for the tourists, having a little shop like this one can play a big role in the community. Once a month we have an &lsquo;event&rsquo; that helps us make rent---thus far we&rsquo;ve always cleared rent that one day for the whole month. Somedays we only make about $10 bucks. But I look at it this way---had I not moved my office into the shop , I&rsquo;d have been sitting there grading papers anyhow---now I&rsquo;ve got $10 extra.</p> <p>Local response has been great!&nbsp; Vendors are willing to &lsquo;babysit&rsquo; the store when I can&rsquo;t be there. There&rsquo;s nothing around here in the way of competition and people are happy to be supporting the local artisans before they go to other sources like the Internet or big box stores two hours away.</p> <p>The husbands helped us with building fixtures and set up. Kristy's given some free hair cuts in trade for banners for the store and advertising. Low and behold! Last week a restaurant opened across the street from us. What was a tiny deserted ghost of a town now has a full two blocks of commerce.</p> <p>So if you are sitting around working from home and you don&rsquo;t mind someone walking through every now and then walking through and buying a little one of a kind treasure, consider opening a little shop---you might just make yourself and your community smile.</p> <p>Long Live SierraMaid!<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-19"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom">9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too">31 Reasons Why I&#039;m in Love With Thrift Shopping (and You Should Be Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-flavor">Local Flavor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/march-roundup">March Roundup</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle Shopping Art and Leisure consignment shops Making Extra Cash small business owner Sat, 23 May 2009 03:51:21 +0000 Maggie Wells 3193 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find Freelance Clients - Part One http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2416885057_5fe37e7edc.jpg" alt="outdoor freelance office" title="outdoor freelance office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the number of people getting laid off increasing daily, it's no wonder why more people are looking at freelancing or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-become-self-employed">self employment</a> options to make ends meet.&nbsp; Once you hang your &ldquo;open for business&rdquo; sign, the hard part begins! Finding clients to pay you for your products or services can be the most challenging aspect of starting and running a business. After all, without clients buying what you have to offer, you certainly can't remain in business for long.</p> <p>Getting your first client will accomplish a few things for you, business-wise. First, you'll of course have a client who is paying you, which is necessary for earning a profit and is the life blood of all businesses. Second, that first client can very well open the door to many other clients, through referrals and word of mouth; and can even turn into long term, consistent work &ndash; even if you thought it was a one-time project. Once you're ready to start your freelance business, what steps do you need to take to find your first client &ndash; and then every client after that?</p> <p>Regardless of the type of freelancing you do, the process of getting your first client is similar across all industries, and will require <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/focus-focus-fowhat-was-i-saying">focus</a> and discipline on your part to make it happen!</p> <p><strong>Prepare to Prove Yourself</strong>: As a new freelancer, hanging your &ldquo;open for business&rdquo; sign isn't enough to prove you are capable of providing high quality work. Prospective clients are weary of new business owners, and many will prefer to work with experienced freelancers in your industry. How do you prove your abilities if you've just started out?</p> <p><strong>Previous Work Experience</strong>: Before you decided to go-it-alone, chances are you were employed by another business at some point in time. Perhaps you are still employed, and are looking to freelance on a moonlighting basis until your business takes off and profits. Either way, think back to any work you have done for your employer which is an example of your abilities. If you are looking for <a href="http://www.makemoneyfromwriting.com">freelance writing</a> clients, you can probably dig up a letter or manual that you worked on for your employer. As long as it isn't confidential information, you can probably use this type of writing as initial samples for prospective clients. If you are a freelance graphic design or web developer, anything related to your line of work that was completed for an employer may very well be sufficient to prove your abilities in the field.</p> <p><strong>Do Some Volunteer Work:</strong> If you don't have anything suitable to use as samples to show your ability to do the work, consider volunteering to help a nonprofit organization. Create a website, develop logos or graphics, or write marketing materials at no charge; in exchange for using the item(s) you create as samples of your work.</p> <p><strong>Build a Portfolio</strong>: Many new freelancers, particularly those in the creative industries, feel trapped in a catch 22 when it comes to building a portfolio! <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4482212_portfolio-before-have-writing-clients.html">How can you have a portfolio if you haven't had any client</a>s, yet? On the other hand, who is going to hire a writer, artist, or web designer without seeing a portfolio of your best work? The solution is to get to work creating a portfolio that shows off what you can do &ndash; and keep adding to your portfolio as you develop more samples. For individuals who haven't had any clients yet, it's an opportunity to come up with your own creative pieces to include. For example, you will need business cards, a web site, and other items for your business &ndash; you may as well start your portfolio out with the creative pieces you'll need to start and run your own business. Whatever your area of expertise is, do the work and include in the portfolio. Proving your ability is essential for clients to trust in your services and have confidence to hire you. As a new freelancer, you won't have testimonials of happy clients to back up your own claims of expertise, so your best option is to have samples of work you've completed ready to show off whenever you have the opportunity to communicate with a prospective client.</p> <p>Once you have samples and/or a portfolio ready to go &ndash; where do you start finding prospective clients?&nbsp; We'll discuss this in &quot;How to Find Freelance Clients:&nbsp;Part Two&quot;.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer">So You Wanna Be a Travel Writer?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers">16 Time and Money Saving Apps for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-take-a-second-job">Should you take a second job?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building entrepreneurship finding clients freelance jobs freelancing Making Extra Cash small business owner Tue, 12 May 2009 11:31:58 +0000 Debbie Dragon 3151 at http://www.wisebread.com