Google Alert: Schmitz-Horning Company

August 29, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

See some of the gorgeous wall mural art designs from my great-grandfather’s (Hugo Max Schmitz) wallpaper and art mural manufacturing company www.archive.org/details/San-kro-muraWallDecorations online at Internet Archive.

See my April 2011 post.

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Be Your Best in Business

August 26, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

Are you doing everything you can to grow a successful business? By being self-employed, doing some things could put you in a better position to get work, grow your business, and acquire and retain the right employees. Katherine Miracle of Miracle Resources gave an inspiring presentation tonight to CDPUG members at Virginia Marti College of Art & Design on Cleveland’s west side. Her best advice is to read the book, “The Successful Business Plan”, by Rhonda Abrams.

A few things covered were, that, as business owners, we need: money to start the business, a good networking source, self-confidence, and a role model/mentor. Also, we need an accountant and attorney to stay legal. When selling our company and services, we need to inform what sets us apart from the competition and state how the potential customer could benefit by using us. Do we have an operations plan for the business, in case we are away, so things can run as usual? What criteria do we have for hiring, and are we prepared to resolve internal employee-related problems, as well as client-related problems?

How much profit are we making on projects and are we tracking our income and expenses monthly? Do we have money set aside for a business emergency, and are we always asking for a deposit on projects, and/or receiving progress payments?

It may be a good idea to communicate regularly with your client to give them a project status, even if it is in a short email. Build alliances with other designers in the event of overflow work to subcontract out or accept in.

Review projects well to avoid mistakes and to keep costs in check.

Stay flexible with this economy and be prepared to reinvent yourself and your offerings to stay appealing and relevant. Get opinions and feedback.

Most importantly, be good to yourself and get what you need each day, and each week. This will help you to be the best you can.