Nevada Small Business Development Center recently held an afternoon workshop at the Humboldt County Library with UNR College of Business' Clint Koble. He took a new class selfie every time someone joined the group, stating how pleased his boss would be. I, too, was surprised at the turnout; nearly two dozen folks braved the harsh winter elements to attend. Their interests ranged from in-home sales to marijuana sales and corporate start ups to bringing in well known coffee chains.
The nuts and bolts of starting a small business gave way to questions about research, resources and funding. Nearly 40,000 small businesses close nationwide each month according to Koble. With that statistic whirling, I felt participants sigh inwardly and a few audibly. That staggering figure probably wouldn't stop someone from pursuing their dream, but it would encourage them to do considerable RESEARCH in order to create an award winning Shark Tank-like Proposal!
My "elevator" spiel needs fine tuning. I'm a photographer that belongs to a successful Carson City gallery that is ran much like a co-op. It's quite exhilarating to be a part of a community of talented folks. This endeavor requires new work to feature every two months and the never ending challenge of travel. However, meeting customers and fellow artists is well worth the drive! Ultimately, I want to find large venues to display my photographs - veteran's hospitals, homeless shelters, and children's centers like Boys and Girls Clubs. This spring, I am planning to donate ten pieces to a dental office because the dentist is a great guy. He's a hard working guy, a decorated veteran that graciously provides pro-bono work to the needy. The series or theme would depend entirely on his vision - soothing images that would help put his patients at ease.
Perhaps the second part of my Shark Tank Tale is more trendy. It's certainly more risky! It's what I'm wearing! I create scarves from fabric printed with my photographs. Scarves for Sale! The line would include a spring and fall collection in one of two fabrics. I'm looking at a green element in packaging or staging. Branding is so important I"m saving that for another blog. I'm using resources from the SBA to discuss demographics and store location/foot traffic data even though I am considering local consignment opportunities for the first two years. These unique scarves would be affordable; perfect for everyday wear, gifts and souvenirs.