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If you’ve at some point in your life experienced market losses, unemployment, illness, or another financial obstacle, you may have some hesitations about starting a small business of your own — especially if you’re still recovering financially. But with the following tips from the Clarksville Economic Development Office, you’ll learn how to overcome the financial challenges you’ve experienced and get one step closer to launching the small business of your dreams!
Build a Personal Cash Reserve
Before starting a business of your own, it’s important to have plenty of money saved in the event that your business fails to make a profit — as this will allow you to pay for essential expenses such as food, housing, utilities, and insurance. And if you don’t already have at least six to 12 months of savings, you’ll need to build a personal cash reserve before moving forward with your business plans. Marcus.com shares some tips for building your emergency fund and cutting back on discretionary expenses such as entertainment, specialty beverages, and hobbies or sports.
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In addition to building a personal cash reserve, you’ll need to overcome the financial limitations that may be holding you back from starting your business. If you don’t have enough cash saved to launch your own business, for instance, you’ll need to raise money through crowdfunding or angel investing — or apply for small business credit cards and personal loans. Since many small business loans require you to be in business for at least a year or two, credit cards are an excellent alternative when you are purchasing startup equipment and supplies.
Start Your Business From Home
Home-based businesses are less of a risk than those that require a purchased or leased office space, making it a great option if you’ve experienced past financial challenges. Instead of investing a lot of time and money into getting a business off the ground, home-based businesses can typically be started with nothing more than your skills and talents and a reliable internet connection and dedicated home office space.
Track Employee Time
Tracking employee time isn’t the easiest of tasks, but it’s incredibly important when it comes to improving the payroll process, boosting workplace productivity, and reducing business costs. And fortunately, Intuit products can be used to track time, projects, and much more — helping to simplify payroll processing, team management, and workplace scheduling.
The best payroll systems often include other features such as:
Whatever you need to manage your business finances, Intuit products include everything from time tracking and payroll processing to invoicing and inventory management. Be sure to choose the right payroll system for you when starting a small business.
Ask For Help
You may be surprised to learn that there is a huge network of local, regional, and state resources dedicated to new and existing businesses. From graphic design and marketing, to grant writing support and business plan development, there are professionals ready to help you take that next step. Throughout the process of initiating your business plan in Clarksville, be sure to keep the following offices on speed dial:
The Clarksville Economic Development Office is a local resource for businesses and entrepreneurs. Aside for being a business liaison for the city, it also provides the private sector with marketing materials, site selection services, business incentives, and community research to help you make informed decisions regarding your new venture.
The Clarksville Johnson County Chamber of Commerce specializes in helping new and existing businesses grow. They offer a wide range of expertise from market research, advertising and promotion, to setting up your new business to meet regulatory requirements. They also provide businesses with continuing education through seminars and training.
If you are dreaming of starting a business, don’t let past financial setbacks keep you from becoming an entrepreneur. Your goals of becoming a business owner are well within your reach!
Looking for more tips on starting a business in our area? Visit the City of Clarksville’s website to find business resources, local news, community information and more!
Throughout our lives, special moments pass in a blink of an eye. Be it a beautifully planned wedding, the excitement of a newborn baby, or a heart-warming family reunion: we want to remember those timeless occasions in exquisite detail. When looking to capture those memories, we often recruit the help of a professional photographer.
In the Clarksville/Johnson County area, one photographer has received local acclaim in the photography business. Let us introduce you to Samantha Welch Photography
Who is Samantha Welch?
Samantha has been a photographer and small business owner in Clarksville since 2018 and has grown tremendously in the last few years in both experience and popularity. She has served hundreds of clients and recorded dozens of weddings in the River Valley and beyond, developing an impressive portfolio along the way. What started as a hobby has since become her passion and life's work. As word has gotten out about her services, her business has tripled in just the last year!
She describes her style of photography as "timeless with a mix of documentary and posed." She can edit photos in a few ways too, and she is known for her ability to highlight "earthy tones and bright natural" scenes. She has a natural talent for identifying those perfect, fleeting moments of serendipity and freezing them in time.
She tells us that while she serves the greater River Valley and beyond, she is "really passionate about this [Clarksville] community," and loves to "serve in a few ministries in the area." Samantha is also a member of our Local Chamber of Commerce and helps wherever she can with a few community service projects in her free time.
What Services are Offered?
Samantha is pretty flexible and can meet most of your needs. She can shoot at a location of your choosing or at her fully-functioning studio just 15 minutes outside of Clarksville. She has eclectic props and other amenities on hand to meet the style and tastes of her clients. While she is highly-sought after for weddings, she also offers her talent for a number of other venues and occasions:
How Do I Book Her for a Session?
Demand for Samantha's service is rising exponentially. If you intend on booking her for a regular session, be sure to contact her well ahead of time of your preferred shoot date. She usually is booked up to two weeks out, but she will work hard to accommodate the last-minute needs of her clients. Wedding Season is her busiest time and interested parties should reach out six months ahead to make sure she is available for a wedding date. Her turnaround time is 1 to 2 weeks for a regular session and 2 to 3 weeks for a wedding or other large venue (including the video compilation).
If you are interested in booking Samantha Welch Photography for your next photoshoot or event, you can call (479) 280-5458 or visit her website at www.WelchPhotography.net
Be sure to check out more of her work on Facebook and Instagram too!
For the last few weeks, citizens have voted for their favorite yards that capture the spirit of Autumn. On October 19, polls closed and participants were awarded with gift cards, bird feeders, and plants from the program sponsors such as Clarksville feed & Supply, BP Nursery, Blossomberry Nursery, and Jackie Verweibe with Clarksville Parks & Rec.
This month saw some great decorating and crafting on behalf of contestants and it really paid off for their neighborhoods!
The "Best Business" Award was given to Georgia Poultry Equipment Co. on S. Rogers St. for their display of haybales, corn stalks, an assortment of fall-colored plants, and their very own homegrown pumpkins. Would you believe that their biggest pumpkin weighed over 75 pounds?!
If you are an avid gardener, farmer, rancher or homesteader, swing by their store in Clarksville to see what's on the shelves. They offer everything from farm equipment to building materials for agriculture projects of all sizes!
First Place Yard
Alesha and her family have created a picture-perfect Autumn scene at their cottage home located on East Poplar Street. With gourds, scarecrows, hay bales, and great landscaping adorned with a variety of plants, this property makes for a beautiful sight in their neighborhood!
Sharon's home on Thompson Drive has been converted to a fun & spooky graveyard filled with witches, ghosts, black cats, and pumpkins. All of the wood items were personally crafted by her, and is now the resting place for the likes of "Izzy Dead" and "Rattle M. Bones". Drive by after dark to really appreciate her lighting arrangements!
Linda & Danny dedicated a lot of time crafting, painting, and dressing the wooden people that now reside on their Sioux St. yard for Fall. With a display of pumpkins, burlap, hay bales, and blooming mums, their yard stands out, especially at night with great lighting to show off their hard work!
Get Ready for Christmas
While flower beds lay dormant for winter, we will still have one final Yard of the Month Award for the Christmas holiday season! We look forward to seeing homes decorated like a winter wonderland and we hope you consider entering! WE will release information about the Christmas Edition Yard of the Month Contest some time after Thanksgiving, so keep checking in on our Facebook Page, or visit www.clarksvillear.gov/yotm.
Throughout August, citizens of Clarksville (over 200 of them) voted in our inaugural Yard of the Month Contest. The purpose of the contest was intended to recognize the most attractive residential and commercial properties inside the city limits and to encourage others to take their landscaping to the next level. The winning yards were voted upon based on their originality, creativity, and beautification.
Of course, this contest would not be possible without the tremendous support of our City Landscaper, Jackie Verwiebe, Clarksville Code Enforcement, and our program sponsors at Clarksville Master Printing (Yard Signs), BP Nursery & Landscaping (Gift Card), Blossomberry Nursery (Gift Card), and Clarksville Feed & Supply (Bag of Fertilizer).
Best Business Award
Get Ready for Fall!
We will be bringing it back for a Fall Edition given the success of our August contest.
If you know anyone who goes all-out on fall decorating, be sure to have them enter our Yard of the Month Contest for October. Visit www.Clarksvillear.gov/yotm for contest entry and details in the coming weeks!
It Takes a Village
A huge component of our local economy depends on small businesses and the hardworking men and women behind them, like Oscar & Lucy. It is their familiar faces and expectation of quality service which builds trust and fosters a sense community. Our local businesses accomplish this on a daily basis with every customer transaction they make.
"I have some customers who travel all the way from Fort Smith to get what they need at my shop." Oscar explains, "I am all about supporting this community because it's important to my family that we contribute in some way."
Rightfully so. Oscar is not only a business owner, but a father of two young children (3 if you include his shop dog "Huera"), and a loving husband. Raising his kids in a safe and familiar community is a priority of his, and something he strives to support every day.
His wife Lucy is equally essential to the business, keeping the books, handling customer transactions, and being a full-time mom, too. As we interviewed, she was tied up answering calls and fulfilling orders as Oscar told his story.
Passing the Torch
With gained experience from his childhood, Huero's father passed on part of the business of ASAP's Tires & Towing to his son. For the last year or so, Oscar Jr. has run the business on W Main Street with relative success.
Next time you visit a local small business, be sure to thank them for their service. There is no telling how many years of work, risk, and commitment were invested in patching your tire.
With the care and attention that is paid to this small park currently, having a dead tree in the middle of it steals from the overall aesthetic of the park itself.
"When I was a kid, we spent a lot of time in the woods. When we came across old stumps like this one, we would decorate it with reindeer moss and berries and other things."
After doing some research online she discovered that she was not the only one who had an affinity for decorating stumps. People from across the country have done similar works in their gardens or public parks. (To be honest, ours is comparatively cooler than most others.)
With the heavy lifting done by a few good city employees, the old stump was prepared for a makeover. The entire project was built at little cost. Most of the materials seen adorning the old stump were extra materials from around town. Even wood from a nearby old picket fence was repurposed to fashion a roof.
"The guys made most of it," Jackie says with a smile. "such as the little door, windows, and Brit Yount used wire baskets from the old swimming pool dating back to the 1980s and made small window boxes. Even the dirt is composted grass from 3 years ago and is very rich in nutrients for the plants."
Jackie turned to our local businesses for help when she ran out of materials and plants to use.
"Since it is so late in the season, most of the plants are from businesses around town. Blossomberry Nursery and BP Nursery & Landscape supplied most of the plants we needed" She said. "Jackie also mentioned De'ja Vu on Sherwood Plaza had some trinkets that were a perfect fit for this new garden.
Now that it is complete, it would be a great place to read a book during a break, take a new profile picture for Facebook, or just enjoy the small slice of heaven that Jackie has created exclusively for us residents of Clarksville.
HOW'S THE FOOD?
Ted and Connie have been up and running since last week with a steady flow of customers as word spreads around town. His menu is as simple as its name - Bolander's Simply Breakfast - Delicious breakfast-to-go with large serving sizes at surprisingly agreeable prices.
That means eggs loaded with sausage, cheese, ham, and complemented with a side of the best home fries I think I have ever had. They were slightly salty/smokey to taste and had a perfect cooked-through texture.
His menu also includes breakfast bowls, loaded English muffins, biscuits & gravy, and even a veggie omelet option. All is good, but one item stands out among the rest.
His Big Breakfast Burrito is, in my mind, Ted's pièce de résistance. This massive wrap of hearty breakfast will not leave you wanting. I believe Bolander's success is going to come mainly from this on-the-go feast of a burrito.
The best part? Many of his Goliath servings on his menu are roughly $6 (or less), including the Big Burrito.
They are open Monday-Saturday 7AM-1PM (Closed Sunday), so pay them a visit!
And hey, after you place your order, check out their flea market at the same location while you wait.