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.
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.
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.
Bethany and Otto in his workshop in GuatemalaAfter returning home from a trip to Guatemala where she witnessed extreme poverty, Bethany Tran couldn’t get the great people she’d met out of her mind. So she dreamed up a business model that created jobs for skilled Guatemalan workers and textile weavers manufacturing super cute shoes for women.
When helping others is the inspiration for starting a business, the motivation to succeed is huge. Not only are these entrepreneurs in business for themselves, they're alsoIn It for Good.In this series we'll meet social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and global thinkers who are working to make the world a better place.
Book, check. Sunglasses, check. Whole uncut pineapple, what?!Here’s a roundup of all the great people we met and things we learned during June’s “outdoorsy” month. Check it out and then tell us: what are you doing outside this summer?
Chuck Homan started his career in construction back in the mid-1970’s working as a laborer for a homebuilder who rarely showed up to the jobsite. Chuck ended up running those jobs, so his father, a banker, suggested he might as well go out on his own. The two Homans, dad and son, started their business in 1978 with the financial backing ofChuck Seniorand the construction skills of Chuck Junior, then only 19 years old.
Today, 40 years later, Chuck is still remodeling and building homes in the Last Frontier -- a place where materials can be hard to come by and energy bills can go sky-high in the winter. We spoke with Chuck, aCertified Greenhome builder, about why building with sustainability is good for the planet and makes great financial sense, too.
Seattle-based entrepreneur Erin Williamson believes in supporting women workers, and she absolutely puts her money where her mouth is. As the owner of Pier Coffee, a cold-brew coffee company, she sources her beans from woman-owned or operated farms. And as the co-founder of a nonprofit called Engender International, Erin works to protect and promote women at every stage of the supply chain.
We spoke with Erin about both her businesses, operating a mission-driven company and why economic stability is so very important for single moms and women in developing countries.