Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer
One of the greatest attractions Oregon has to offer is its large variety of unique, locally owned, creative businesses. These include businesses like food trucks, soap companies, haunted tours, bake shops, handmade items like clothes, jewelry and so much more. With a little bit of incentive and a lot of determination, one can turn their biggest passions into a career. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss?
One of the benefits of starting one’s own business is having full creative freedom and connecting with the community through that creativity. In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for those who have a passion for arts and handmade crafts.
Though one may not have their own store or permanent location to sell their products, there are numerous options to put oneself out there. Oregon has many seasonal/holiday markets, sporting events, local events and festivals that are open to local artists that allow them to get a chance to sell their wares.
Getting a business on its feet can be a daunting task and renting out a spot in these types of events may not be accessible to all; don’t worry, there are ways to get one’s business out there without worrying about the starting costs. For example, the Oregon State Fair offers various types of competitions that do not require an entry fee and can provide an opportunity to get one’s name out there. Competitions like these create an opportunity for the public to learn how businesses are made and how they work — it can even give one an opportunity to sell their products to locals.
Arts and crafts are not the only self-made business that is popular right now. Food trucks have also been increasingly popular throughout the years. It’s not necessary to go to culinary school or train under a star chef to be an amazing cook with creative ideas.
Again, with a little initiative and determination one can take their favorite cuisine to the next level in their own food cart. As someone who personally works for an artisan grilled cheese truck, believe me when I say it is possible to do anything one loves to do.
Regardless of what business one would like to pursue, there are many opportunities and benefits that come with all of them. Being one’s own boss means having the ability to create a schedule that is flexible and caters to one’s needs. If additional funds are needed, one can book more events; if one needs a break, they can give themselves a grace period that won’t affect any fiscal earnings. Overall, running a local business has so many positives for the owner and those working for the business, as well as the people in the community.
Don’t just take it from me— hear some insight from the real self-made business owner of SoCheesy food truck, Gary Cooper.
Cooper created his food truck business, So Cheesy, in 2016 and it has done nothing but grow since then. The best part, Cooper says, is “…putting a smile on customers’ faces – with the abundance of negativity in today’s society being able to provide a moment of comfort, peace and joy is rewarding.”
Cooper gave the Howl some valuable tips to share with those wanting to start their own business. He admits it can be scary and, “You never know what tomorrow will bring (so) move forward with courage.”
Cooper also recommends that it’s helpful to maintain a traditional job to cover financial needs — a young business has financial pressures so having another source of income in the beginning will be beneficial in the long run. His final tip was a simple but important one:
“Constant reinvestment is a key to growing your business.”
The longer one has a business the more changes will come related to trends, increasing demand, increased opportunities as well as learning what customers preferences are. Reinvestment to cater to changes like these will guarantee your business to grow.
Cooper encourages students to pursue their own businesses after college and says it’s a “…wonderful opportunity to exercise your potential.”
The ability to create a career of one’s own, based on individual creativity and passions, is something most desire in life, and it may not be as impossible as one may think.
Figuring out what to do after college is extremely intimidating and many students have an innate fear that they’ll be stuck in a job they hate for the rest of their lives. Starting a self-owned business has many responsibilities but the benefits are all worth it. Doing something that’s easy to love every day, creating connections with others, and having the freedom to make all the decisions sounds pretty awesome to me.
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