Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You Deserve the Best- Free Small Business Resource

      Ladies, I’m excited to introduce to you this next feature.  I know that’s probably sounding redundant- I’m always excited, but what can I say.  I’ve tried to think of some new words to replace the word excited, but the only word I’d say in real life would be excited.  We are stuck with it.  When I first started this blog, I sat down with my husband and two preteen kiddos, and told them what I was planning on doing.  They read my first ten or so posts before they were posted.  I had decided that if they were not in favor, I wouldn’t do it.  They needed to be on board. After all, we live in a rural community population somewhere around 800 where news spreads like wildfire during a burn ban.   Blogging not being in the top 100 things people do in small towns, I didn’t want to embarrass them. When you become the crazy lady in a small town, it’s usually for life. The advice from my 13 year old was to not say anything I wouldn’t normally say.  Pretty good advice, so I’m using it.

Did I say I was excited?  This next feature is offering a wonderful rural business resource to anyone who owns or is looking to open a business.  Very worthwhile and free. I don’t know about you, but this rings my bell. (I really would say that- jokingly)  I’d probably even finish by singing the song- Ring my Be-e-eel, Ring My Bell- perhaps some shoulder movement.   No one is awake to proof read tonight.  Enjoy!  ~Kasse D.

Meet Julie blogging from: Sassy Spirit

A few weeks ago I was introduced to Kasse’s blog and loved the concept. I reached out to let her know that the Small Business Development Centers are here, not only for Oklahoman's but that we are part of a nationwide group that offers FREE business advising/coaching for small business. You can find your local office here. Kasse invited me to do a guest post to increase traffic to my blog which I thought was super funny because my blog is read by about three people but I was up for the challenge. I’m wife to a dairy farmer, mom to three, a former small business owner (family photographer), and a woman who is starting all over again as a Small Business Development Specialist . Below is my “speech” about what we can do for you.

Small Business Development Centers are funded by the Small Business Administration, each State’s Department of Commerce and a partner university. Our official task is to help small businesses start up, grow and succeed. We are very well known for how we can help start ups. We help them focus their ideas, guide them with paperwork and sometimes ask them NOT to go into business. Opening a business is a romantic notion and we all do it for our own reasons; being with our kids, being our own boss, being able to support our hobby or being able to buy supplies wholesale. When I opened my studio, I never ran the numbers… after all why should I? My rent was only $100 (since I shared it with a children’s boutique), my husband’s income was sufficient to pay all our bills, and I wasn’t looking to get rich. Does any of this sound familiar? In the fifth year of my business I went to a photography studio management seminar that cost me a week away from my family and about $2000. I closed six months later. The numbers just weren’t there. Sure I could have added weddings (blech), worked more, traveled more (I lived 2 hours outside a major city). The truth was I didn’t want to.

What I want you to know is there is someone out there who cares about your business and you more than any “industry expert” ever could. We are in your own backyard, we can help from the very beginning (revenue and expense projections are easy for people who do them everyday), and we are FREE. I know some photographers, machine embroiders and cupcake makers who are more than giving away their product. I don’t care if you love the work, it supports your hobby or you only work during the hours the kids are in school; you still deserve a fair wage because you Rock.
A huge thanks to Kasse for letting me share my story and the story of the SBDC. Yes, I'm wondering where the pretty pictures are too, apparently after three moves... some are missing.

Thank you Julie!


  1. Hi Julie! I am so thankful to read your post. Believe it or not, I actually used the Arkansas Small Business and Development Center this past year. See, I have been on a search for a while for the perfect business to start. HA!

    My husband and I have five kids all together and I am currently a teacher 50 minutes away from our home. I was trying to find something to do where my hours would be flexible and I would be able to be more available for the kids.

    I have rolled over the notion of starting an insulation business for poultry houses, photography, a t-shirt business, and selling processed beef...and finally came to the conclusion that my prime job right now is to take care of my family and help my husband on our farm. We decided I am staying home once this school year is over. Even though my pride was a little hurt once I realized my first amazing business idea (or so I thought) wouldn't be giving me more time with my family, but taking it away, I was thankful that I didn't just jump right in and hope for the best. After the Lord closed the door a few more times, it got easier. HA!

    The service you are providing is extremely important and beneficial to others that are thinking about starting a business. Just creating a business plan forces you to think about ALL aspects that are involved.

    Great post Julie, people just can't go wrong with using this FREE service. It truly is a blessing!

  2. This is such a valuable post!! Awesome to see that there are resources out there for women who want to change it up! Love it!

  3. This is so good to know about. I will be contacting your service, perhaps you could help me sort a few things out.

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