Tess Wicks started in finance, as an actuary. That means she measured then managed, risk and uncertainty. She also realized that her generation lacked the financial literacy to really move ahead. So, she assessed the risk of leaving her job, weighed her options, took a deep breath, and did it anyway. Using her background in content marketing and podcasting, Tess founded Creative Profit Co. to help small business owners become more profitable and use financial strategies instead of guesswork and hope. She also teaches in-person classes at Next Door® Chicago, helping others learn how to tell great stories using digital content. Get tips from Tess on using content to tell your business’ story and drive customer action on the State Farm® Next Door® Simple Insights® page.read more
Eric Watson is a commercial pilot who, as a kid, loved Indiana Jones and his famous fedora. Eventually, Eric quit flying and bought some 1800s-era millinery equipment to make high end, custom hats. It may sound like a crazy path to entrepreneurship, but Eric knew exactly what he wanted to do. Now, he uses age-old techniques to make the finest vintage hats in Arizona and has clients out the door. Watch Eric's story and see how he relies on The UPS Store® to deliver his hats around the world.read more
From one business to another, here’s a bit of advice: Above all, keep your customers safe. Winter is almost here and snow and ice can be a problem. Stairs, steps, and ramps tend to be the most dangerous and need immediate attention when ice and snow are present. Consider adding nonslip strips on outside stairs and make sure any handrails are stable and secure. Since you’re busy running your business, one option is to leave the snow and ice removal to the professionals. Many lawn maintenance services offer snow removal as well, so check with your existing service provider. For those surprise snowfalls, keep a shovel and a bag of salt handy. A little extra caution in the winter months can ensure safe and happy customers (and help avoid lawsuits).read more
Friends Skye Durrant and Brandon Bertrang started a small business in high school cutting lawns over the summer, and that entrepreneurial mindset and experience stuck with them long after graduation. They met back up after college and started a tech company that has become the "Uber" of on-demand lawn service, earning millions of dollars for service providers and changing the landscape of how Americans approach lawn care.read more
Ioana Qureshi had a dream (no, not an idea - a literal dream). She dreamt that she and her friend, Jennifer Beyers, had started a business named after Jennifer’s old salon. Well, when your inspiration comes like that, you just run with it. The two created Rare Bird Beauties, and they provide hair and makeup services for brides, fashion shoots, and special events. They used Next Door Chicago’s coaching and classes to help get their business off the ground. Watch and learn how this duo are changing the face (and hair) of beauty services.
As for Jennifer, she’s learned along the way that to ground your business dream into reality, you’ve got to get your hands dirty with the details by planning your work and working your plan.
To read more about the Jen’s lessons learned along her and Ioana’s entrepreneur journey, check out The Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: Ground Business Dreams in Reality on the State Farm® Next Door® Simple Insights® pageread more