Built Oregon has shone the spotlight on many of Oregon’s small consumer-product businesses (think: chocolate, kombucha, beer, coffee, hot sauce, jewelry and more) by offering an accelerator program and an annual festival. Another key promotional event is Little Boxes, a three-day, post-Thanksgiving shopping scavenger hunt where shoppers collect codes by visiting and purchasing from participating (small, of course) retailers. Then they enter the codes in the Little Boxes app for a chance to win prizes.
We spoke with Mitch Daugherty about why shopping local really matters and how he and Terry take an entrepreneurial approach to running their nonprofit: They learn what their target market wants and needs and then provide it.
At some point, small business owners will have to navigate a sticky customer service situation due to a missed delivery date, a broken item or some other shipping-related snafu. How you handle it can make or break your business reputation, especially during the high-pressure, high volume holiday shopping season.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). You may not be able to fend off technically savvy and extremely determined hackers, but you can certainly take small but meaningful steps to batten down all your cyber security hatches.
During the crazy holiday season, it’s easy to prioritize your business over well, everything. We’re here to remind you that losing sleep, eating poorly, staying Superglued to a screen or otherwise connected to your work 24/7 is not in your best interest. Remember, when your mental, physical and emotional health suffers, so, too, does your business.
What’s not to love about a national observance dedicated to making someone else feel good? It doesn’t take much to show your appreciation for another person, whether it’s a friend, a family member, a fellow entrepreneur or even a stranger.
In September we got inside your head! We explored how entrepreneurs, small business owners and freelance workers approach all things business, from creatively solving problems and staying motivated 24/7 to turning an epiphany into action and an idea into a product. Read on -- and be prepared to be impressed.
The leaves may be just starting to turn golden, but Halloween costumes, candy and decorations have been front and center on shelves and in storefronts for weeks now. It won’t be long before Thanksgiving décor is added to the seasonal display. With the holiday season racing our way, let’s find out how some entrepreneurs are prepping today for their busiest time of year.
Yep, National Get Organized Week really is a thing. If you’re feeling scattered, distracted or just tired of frantically juggling a million different tasks, maybe this is the perfect week to up your organizational game.
Sometimes we think we should rename QB Community “Epiphanies R Us!” As countless community members have told us, you just never know when an idea will pop into your head and BOOM! A seed of an idea grows and blossoms into a successful business. Of course, that flash of inspiration is just the first tiny step on any entrepreneurial journey – but without it, you might not be taking a journey at all.
We hear all the time in this community about the mindset that helps entrepreneurs succeed in business. One thing is clear: Working for yourself means thinking differently about every aspect of, well, “work” – what it means to you (everything), when you do it (always), when you put it aside (rarely). Below are some of the insights you’ve shared. Do you recognize yourself in any of these hard-working entrepreneurs? Of course, you do!
Technically speaking, doing research and development or R&D means officially allocating time and resources to a team of inventors or product manufacturers who think of and develop product ideas. This crack team will make prototypes and conduct formal trials with prospective customers to see if a product will fly. If this sounds like it’s well beyond the scope of your budget and resources (both financial and human), you might be right.
All small businesses have a couple of things in common. First, they’re run by a dedicated, determined, passionate entrepreneur. Second, each one of those inspiring self-employed folks had an idea for a product (or a service) and figured how to transform it into something they could sell. We know – and you do, too -- the process of turning an epiphany into a business is never easy. Here’s how some folks in QB Community have managed to do it.
Here’s a question you’ll get asked all the time as an entrepreneur: Why did you decide to start your own business? (Thankfully, the other part of the question – what made you crazy enough to think you could start your own business? – is usually just implied!) We’ll help you home in on your answer by sharing some of the top reasons folks in this awesome community have chosen to do their own business thing. Did we omit what motivates you to work for yourself? In the comments below, tell us what inspires you to take the entrepreneurial leap!
When Erica decided to sell the “clean,” healthful granola she regularly baked for family and friends, she wasn’t planning to turn her side-hustle into a full-fledged business. But three months after attending her first farmer’s market, Erica was selected as a food vendor for Google. Suddenly, she needed to make gr8nola on a whole new scale.
JTcarpentry asked:Hello, we are still a newer company but have been in business for 4 years, running as a sole proprietorship. Does anyone have some quick and simple advice as to why maybe an S corp would be beneficial to me?
"As a two-time cancer survivor, I knew all-too-well going through chemo can be grueling and scary and lead to all sorts of unpleasant side-effects like nausea and mouth sores. I wanted to help others as they go through chemo by sharing carefully curated gift boxes lovingly packed with helpful, purposeful products."
Meta Mesdag is a mom of three in Juneau, Alaska. Wanting to be available to her kids, Meta has opened two successful small businesses out of her home. Although both ventures have kept super busy, Meta decided earlier this year to start a family “mariculture” business -- an ocean farm where she, her husband and kids will grow (and then sell) oysters, clams, mussels and kelp.
Each and every day, the inspiring self-employed folks in our QuickBooks Community remind us that entrepreneurs find their calling in their own unique way. Some can’t imagine ditching the security of a day job, while others give it up in a flash. We’ve met moms who tailor their career to fit their family life, friends who join forces to bring a business idea to life and sons and daughters who are carrying on family business traditions.
If you recognize your own entrepreneurial personality among these eight, let us know. Are you a different type altogether? Tell us more!
Seven years ago, professional voice actor Sharon Coleman was diagnosed with colon cancer. Two years later, the cancer returned, and Sharon once again endured surgery, radiation and chemo. Thankfully, today Sharon is five years cancer-free. She’s also celebrating another significant milestone: This month, she launched an online business that’s directly inspired by her own harrowing experience with cancer. Sharon has founded Lemon and Honey Gifts which offers a carefully curated selection of gift boxes for men, women and kids going through chemo.
Sandra Zhao was running a bakery in Kenya when she met her future business partner Ashleigh Miller, a Persian rug dealer in New York City, at a wedding in Nairobi. Sandra was wearing a stunning dress she’d made from colorful handmade fabric. Her sartorial decision was fortuitous, to say the least: The dress became the inspiration behind Sandra and Ashleigh’s joint business venture, Zuri. Inspired by the bold and beautiful textile prints in western Africa, they set out to sell a single style of dress in an array of ever-changing patterns. The dresses are made at a sustainable, carbon-neutralfactoryin Kenya that supports wildlife conservation and provides jobs to the community. The dresses are exported to and sold in the U.S.
There are plenty of listicles floating around highlighting the traits successful entrepreneurs all seem to share. Based on what we’ve seen and heard from the intrepid small business owners and freelancers in our community, we’re sharing your spin on those all-important qualities – and we’re asking a burning question: Which of these qualities do you think help you the most when it comes to starting, running and growing a business?
Mind over matter, positive thinking, growth mindset, mental attitude -- these are all phrases we hear about as students, athletes and as business owners looking for a leg-up on the competition. What does having the right “mindset”trulymean for entrepreneurs and what does itactuallylook like in the real world? These 12 entrepreneurs tell us about the mindset that keeps them motivated and helps them muscle through the ups and downs of being self-employed.
You have questions about running a small business, and our QB Community members have answers! Everyone here knows the importance of building meaningful member-to-member relationships, and there’s no better way to learn, discover and get inspired as an entrepreneur. Best of all? When members share what they know, everyone benefits. Check out this recent QB Community conversation, and you’ll see what we mean!
In 2000, Roger was hired as a guide for Silver Lining Tours, one of only two storm chasing companies in existence at the time. He loved the work and decided he wanted to do it full-time. When he gave notice at the engineering firm, his boss said, “If you can make a living doing something you enjoy, by all means, do it!”
We spoke with QB Community member@CaronsBeach about how she attracts high-end customers at her coastal decor shop, competes with big box stores and why there’s no going back for her after going online with her business.
A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, any given day may findSekou Andrewskeynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing pieces for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Sekou is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable.
Here's Sekou inspiring the attendees at 2014 QB Connect to take their business to the Next Level!
Andrew Evans officially became an entrepreneur when he was 12 years old. That’s when he performed a magic show at his sister’s best friend’s birthday party. Afterward, the friend’s dad slipped Andrew $20. “I thought, whoa,” recalls Andrew, who went on to perform throughout middle school and high school at parties, picnics and festivals. “Getting paid to do what I love was a really big moment.”