Becoming A Tour Guide, Is it Right For You?

guided-toursYou are ready to branch out in the workforce and become your own boss. You are good with people, are quite familiar with the area you live in and your surroundings.  You love to meet new people, share experiences and the beauty of your state. Why not start a tour guide business? Maybe it sounds a bit intimidating but also a lot of fun and full of adventure at the same time! What all goes into starting your own tour business and could it be the right career path and change for you? Akima, owner and operator of Hawaii Real Nature Tours, based on the island of Oahu, Hawaii did just that.  She looked around at her beautiful surroundings filled with so many adventures to be had, culture to be shared, and sights to be seen and decided why not create her own company! Starting as a photographer that became familiar with many of the most popular sites and spots to be found on the beautiful Hawaiian island she decided she should share her love and passion for her surroundings with those visiting and in search of seeing Hawaii and it’s many special sites.  At first she didn’t know exactly how to go about getting her private tour business started but in the end perfected her strategies and now has a successful and BUSY tour guide business! What are her secrets and words of advice for those of you looking to do the same??

How To Start Your Own Tour Guide Business

  • Find Your Niche- meaning take a moment and think of the different things your state or city has to offer.  Maybe you have great historical architecture, incredible mountain terrain to be mountain biked or hiked through, delicious restaurants known for traditional and indigenous fare.  Whatever it may be you can virtually make a tour out of anything! Decide where your interest and expertise lies most and start planning!
  • Low Start Up Costs- A great aspect is this is one business that has a low start up cost.  You will definitely want to secure a business permit, license and business insurance, but other than that you can start out pretty small until you begin to grow your tours.  You will need tools such as a phone line, computer to book and schedule tours and a website to help promote your tours with pictures and packages. You may also need transportation for your guests should you be taking them to surrounding areas.
  • private-toursTake A Tour Yourself- That’s right, take a tour near you or a couple of them to see what the competition will be offering and to see what you like and don’t like about said tour.  This coupled with research will help you to design the best tour possible for your chosen niche. Brushing up on local history and culture doesn’t hurt either!
  • Promote Guest Experience- You want your guests to walk away from your tour feeling as if they got the most out of it for the money they spent.  You want to make the tour enjoyable but not too long or too short. Word of mouth, reviews and overall experience will speak volumes for your business and can help to make it or break it.
  • Marketing Tactics-  In order for people to use your tour guide services they must first know about you!   Take pictures of your tours and get permission from your guests to use photos of them and start your own social media sites. Have a website built and use a digital marketing company to help you to be found in search engines and by those looking for guided tours.

Starting any business or changing careers paths can be quite scary and a bit daunting inlocal-culture-tour-guide the beginning.  However, if you have passion, drive, and are ready to buckle down and put your plan into action those are the tools required to at least start.  Being a tour guide is full of adventure and you also get to share amazing, beautiful and down right great things about your state with those visiting! Maybe just maybe you following Akima’s advice and taking the leap into guided tours will be just the type of career path you have been waiting to go down!

 

Choosing The Right Business Entity

different-business-entities

Perhaps one of the more challenging decisions when starting your business is the task of choosing which business entity is best for the overall structure of your business.  With different entities to choose from such as sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC it can be hard to weigh the pros and cons of each and decide which will really fit your business the best.  One thing that really needs to be taken into consideration when choosing your business entity is your legal liability and tax status. These two factors can make or break your business!

The  Different Business Entities

  • business-start-upSole Proprietor-  This is a simple business entity to create & maintain, and it doesn’t really require any set up fee. The business and the owner are also legally viewed as the same entity which can be both a pro and a con. Why, being viewed as the same entity legally also makes you personally responsible for any liabilities & debts the business may acquire.  You must also pay personal taxes on all business profits which can be seen as a downfall as well.
  • General Partnership- Basically the same as a sole proprietorship, however, this business entity isn’t just a single owner, it is made of a partnership or 2 or more.  
  • Limited Partnership- This is probably one if not the most popular entity when it comes to partnerships.  Why? Limited partnerships attract a lot more investors because they have limited liability in the company and are generally only reliable for their own investment.  They also maintain limited liability in the entirety of the businesses debt, judgements,and other liabilities. A limited partner can also leave the partnership without dissolving the entire partnership.  The downfalls to choosing this entity is that most times a Limited Partnership is found among businesses such as real estate investors and can be a lot more spendy to set up.
  • Regular Corporation- The members of this type of corporation have limited liability, and can deduct some benefits from the business as a business expense.  Taxes can also be split among the different owners which helps reduce taxes and thus pay a lower amount. The cons of this entity is that it can be on the more expensive side to set up and the corporation as a whole can have separate taxes that are owned costing owners more money as well.
  • S Corp- This is a popular business entity because of its limited liability offerings, the sharing of business-growthnet profits that are shown on each individuals personal taxes as well as any losses incurred.  The downfall is although this entity is very similar to an LLC(we will get to that in a moment) the paperwork associated with an S corp can be a lot more complicated and setting up the entity can be expensive.
  • Professional Corporation- This is entity is pretty much geared toward one single profession.  Meaning ALL owners have to be of the same profession. A pro to this entity is that all owners are not personally responsible for the malpractice of another.  It can also be a bit more expensive to set up this type of entity.
  • LLC- This is by far probably the most popular business entity formed out there.  Owners have limited liability and also the ability choose whether they will be taxed as a partnership or as a corporation.  It can be on the more expensive side to establish like some of the other entities available.
  • Professional LLC- Basically all the same pros and cons of a traditional LLC with a couple of differences.  One all owners must be of the same profession and state licensed professionals.
  • Limited Liability Partnership(LLP)- This type of business entity is reserved for those in medicinal, law or accounting professions.  This allows for individual responsibility of malpractice with no consequences on the other owners.  Each partner also takes a personal loss or gain on all personal taxes.
    Now that you are a little more familiar with each business entity out there it maybe a little bit easier to narrow down what type is right for your business.  Remember there is no right or wrong generally speaking. Instead your entity choice should be based upon the needs of your individual business/partners. It is always good to consult a business attorney should you need further help. It’s better to be safe than sorry when first forming your business!

 

Key Factors To Consider When Starting Your Own Business

small-business-start-upStarting your own small business seems like the perfect plan.  You want to become your own boss, make your own schedule and reap the benefits of hitting your business & financial goals. Although starting a business sounds great A LOT more goes into starting, establishing and growing your business than one might think. In fact, only ⅔ of small businesses make it 2 years.  With only 50% making it 5 years or more. Don’t let these findings discourage you, creating a plan and following these simple guidelines can help make your business dreams a reality and a successful one at that!

Steps To Successfully Starting Your Own Business

 

  • Business Idea & The Research-  First things first you are going to want to establish your business idea and decide if it is one that has what it takes to succeed.  Next you will need to do your research! Is your product/service something that the current market wants or needs? Does your service/product help solve a problem, fulfill a need, and who is your competition?  These are very real questions you need very real answers to.
  • Making a Plan- Ever heard of a business plan?  These plans are actually a very important business-planbeginning point of your business. Why?  Establishing a business plan from the beginning helps provide structure and an outline of what you are doing, needs to be done etc.  All the aspects of owning your own business can be a bit overwhelming especially in the first stages of bringing it to life. Having a plan and direction to follow can make all the difference.
  • Finances- Starting a business may not cost an excessive amount of money but it will require an initial investment on your part.  From there you will need to sit down and figure out a budget & costs required to start your business, and keep it running for at least a 12 month period.  You will need to factor in that you will not start making profits right away and need to account for additional money out of pocket or from your business account.  This is where you will be able to figure out if you will need a small business loan, financing from other sources etc. It helps you account for all of the fees and costs such as permits/licensing, marketing, branding, leases, and other overhead associated with your business.
  • Starting-a-businessWhat Type Of business Structure Is Right For You-  This is also a VERY important aspect of starting your own business.  You will need to decide whether an LLC(limited liability company, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation is right for you.  Again do your research on each and really look hard at what type of business you will form. This is very important for both the financial aspect and longevity of your business, as well as your personal asset protection.

In general these guidelines help you to decipher and account for the little parts of business that turn out to be pretty big parts.  They are often hidden below the service or behind the scenes, and knowing them will help you to create a structured, successful business from the very start!

Vinyl Wraps & Large Format Printing~

career-vehicle-vinyl-wrap

Although vehicle vinyl wrapping has been around for some time now, it’s safe to say that in just recent years it has gotten the exposure that it deserves.  Deemed the best advertising technique for your dollar per impression, it is changing the way businesses market their company and services and reaching a wider demographic at just a one time cost.  What about the skilled professionals that apply these vinyl wraps and do the large format printing? Sounds like it may be tough job skills to acquire? Perhaps it’ not that hard though after all, and could be a lucrative new career path for those looking to change directions and do something creative and exciting!  We have a few pointers on how to successfully acquire vinyl wrapping & large format printing skills from first hand experts in the field from discountwraps.com

What To Know To Achieve Top Vehicle Vinyl Wrapping Skills

 

  • large-format-printingSize Up The Vehicle First- It is important that you first take head on pictures from all sides of the vehicle without doing so at an angle.  Your goal is to get the exact impression of the auto as to incorporate curves, door handles, grooves etc. You must also take measurements of the actual vehicle.  Next you will use your chosen graphic design software to scale the image and according to the measurements taken. It is also very important to follow these steps so that you can account for any vehicle upgrades such as custom bumpers, grills etc. that will change the dimensions of just a standard digital image.
  • Communication & A Plan Of Action-  Have a sit down with your client and really go over graphic-design-skillswants, needs, and things not desired.  Understanding their vision of their design & wrap will help you better create the design accurately from the beginning.  Outlining your plan of action will also keep everyone on the same page from the get go so as not to waste time, money or materials on small setbacks or mis communications.
  • Bold & Simple-  When designing vehicle wraps less is more, and bold colors create awareness.  Your goal is to make the design stand out and catch the eye. Designs that are too busy and have a lot going on will lessen the awareness of the message at hand and the advertisement will get lost in the sea of cars passing buy.
  • Attention & Final Plan-  It is important that your design and image print catch people attention.  You have a short amount in time to get the consumer to engage and you want to leave a memorable imprint.  That being said it is important to get the final ok from the said client and make sure everything is looked over and approved before printing.  Once you print there is no turning back and the last thing you want is to have to start over. Large format printing isn’t exactly cheap and the ,materials used are valuable and should be wasted as little as possible.
  • vinyl-wrap-printingPractice, Practice, Practice!!!-  Large format and graphic design printing may come naturally to some of you and may perhaps be your “authentic” career path.  However, it is safe to say that practice makes perfect goes for everybody. The more you practice the better you become up sacli g designs and getting the print on target from the beginning.  Start with small models, golf carts, large metal scraps. Getting a feel for dimensions and aligning things correctly will go a long way!

 

 

Graphic Design and Vehicle Wraps may be a more challenging job skill to achieve, however if you are truly interested and can see it turning into a new career path why not give it a try.  Make it a hobby or something to do in your down time. Carl, from Discount Wraps, started as a server in a restaurant that enjoyed drawing in his free time.. He started out teaching himself and eventually took some classes in graphic design.  Nowadays he is a full time vinyl wrapper and a great one at that. He loves his job and is so glad he decided to explore a different career path. You can do anything you put your mind to, coupled with hard work and determination you have the tools to succeed!

Becoming a Notary Public

notary-publicMaybe you aren’t exactly looking to change jobs or embark on a new career journey.  Instead you are looking to acquire a set of new skills that can aid in securing a side job that will help supplement your income. There are many new skill sets you might learn when it comes to a “second” job, however what exactly will fit into your schedule as far as time dedicated to both learning these skills and performing said job once the skills are learned? We did our research and found that becoming a Notary Public is a great skill set to learn and can definitely be worked into most people’s busy schedules.  In fact one of the great things about becoming a Notary Public is not only do you make your own hours, you can also provide mobile services and the learning curve and time dedicated is pretty much based on your own level of commitment and pace! E have all the info for you so keep reading and find out the steps to becoming a Notary yourself!

Everything you Need To Know About Becoming A Notary Public

  • State Qualifications- Each state differs as far as specific qualifications needed and the amount of the state filing fee one must pay in order to become certified/qualified
  • General Criteria- In general most states require that the applicant is 18 years or older, is a legal resident and the person has no criminal record.
  • Background Checks- Some states require a background check of the individual or may choose to run on on the applicant if there is any record of a misdemeanor or past felony.
  • Supplies Needed-  All Notary Public must have certificates, seal for stamping certificates and a journal for recording notarizationsnotary-supplies.
  • Notary Training- States such as Colorado, California, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon & Pennsylvania require formal training.
  • Where To Aquire Training- You can contact the Secretary Of State’s office in your state to find a Notary Regulating Agency. Training is also usually offered at Local Community Colleges & the National Notary Association
  • Duration Of Training Course- Most courses are on average anywhere from 3-6 hours. If an exam must be taken(again depending on the state) the exam usually takes about an hour to complete.
  • All Criteria Met, How Long Does It Take To Become A Notary?- With training, exams, state filing fee/paperwork and time allotted for application approval, it generally is all said in done in about 7-9 weeks.
  • notary-sealBonded & Insured?- Once you have been established a s a Notary you will need to bond and insure yourself. Generally the type of bond you will need is called a Surety Bond.
  • How Long Does Your Notary Certification Last?- Once you have been approved by your state Notary commissions last for up to 4 years.

 

Becoming a Notary is not for everyone, however it is a simple and somewhat easy skill set to learn and become certified in.  Just make sure to stay organized, follow the guidelines set by your state, and record EVERYTHING!

 

Hello & Welcome!

new-job-skills

Greetings to all and WELCOME to our blog.  We have created this blog with the idea of a jack of all trades kind of feel.  Whether you are looking to change jobs, perhaps explore a new area of expertise, or simply see what kinds of different skill sets or jobs bring in on average, this blog is for you! WE hope to provide valuable content to all of our readers as well as offer insight and knowledge into the many different jobs and the criteria that must be met for each.  Get ready, you may just find a new direction in the workforce that better suits your needs both personally and financially. Our first post will be coming soon, so stay tuned! Cheers!