Often we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to learn something new – we can just ask experts in the field who can draw on their experience to enlighten us. Below, we’ve shared insights insiders from various industries have shared with us.

Mindy Freed | Owner & operator

As far as the food truck industry goes, people may think that its easy to just set up your food truck anywhere you want. When, in fact it is truly very difficult to find places to park your truck. Most towns or cities require their very own business license for operation or an additional fire inspection for your truck. This can get pricey to get started. Some even require fingerprint clearance cards, and you have to get it for that particular city and cannot use a previous fingerprint clearance card! It is not as easy as it seems. We started out by doing our own footwork. We drove around and scouted possible locations, made a list, and called the property managers. We signed up with a few food truck booking companies, which was good and bad. The good was that the booking companies had a lot of spots to park. Read more>>

Tawny Carlson | Owner of The Animal Pro, LLC

Many people don’t see professional pet sitting as a “real” business. The Animal Pro, LLC is my full time job. I am the service provider, office manager, scheduler, payroll clerk, marketing manager, HR director, CEO & CFO. I carry insurance for my business, have a contract for service and professional backup providers if I am unable to provide contracted service for my clients. Often the general public thinks that getting someone to look after their pets and home is like using a teenage babysitter to watch the kids while they grab dinner. When you really think about it, you are leaving your home and pets in my care for days or weeks (not just a few hours) Knowing I am insured and bonded. trained in pet CPR, and you have a legal contract with me to provide you with a designated level of care, gives you peace of mind and legal rights. Professional pet sitters should conduct themselves with integrity! Read more>>

Tara Gamel | Professional Artist

I remember when I was young and had dreams of being an artist when I grew up. I envisioned me painting in a large studio surrounded by windows, attending gallery events, and spending my days leisurely creating work that sold before the paint was dry. Boy was I in for a rude awakening! Being an artist is a business. I realized quickly that I needed to know how to keep expenses down without compromising my product, I needed to know how to market myself, and most importantly I needed to be disciplined with my time! It is a full time job and if you don’t put in the work, you won’t see good results! Read more>>

Ann Morton | Artist, Educator and Social Practitioner

When someone identifies as “an artist”, many people then assume that your work is “fun”, “easy”, “not serious”, maybe even a “hobby”. I’ve worked in a more traditional circumstance – albeit my own design firm, but still, there was a structure. There was an office, people worked there, we had bookkeepers, clients, others to brainstorm with about the next creative deadline – and a regular paycheck. Being an artist is often a lonely pursuit, full of self doubt and second guessing. The income is sporadic, if at all – often times supplemented by other jobs that may or may not be related to your artistic practice. But most of all, what people don’t realize is that artists MUST do what they do. They are compelled by their own inner motivation to think about the things they do and make work that reflects those thoughts and intentions in ways only they can. Read more>>

Kathleen Dreier | Documentary portrait and event Photographer

There are many aspects of photography that most are unaware of beyond the “point and shoot” of a camera to the craft of being a photographer. Just a handful of those aspects include: 1. Hours of training and practice to learn the particular functions and capabilities of one’s camera and lens. Not every camera operates the same way. Then, there is constant re-learning as the technology is always changing. 2. The amount of time spent in a darken room in front of one’s computer adjusting images for best presentation. It is not unusual for me to spend up to 3 hours in processing/adjusting the images for each hour of actual photography. 3. The enormous investment it takes to run a photography business including the cost of equipment, computers, required camera accessories, insurance, back up systems to protect one’s work, licensing, professional memberships, web site costs, print costs, etc. Read more>>

Renee Privett | Owner of The Art of Cake Az

There is an incredible amount of time, thought and organization that goes into creating custom cakes. Cake bakers spend endless HOURS creating the perfect cake for that special occasion. Every design pours heart and soul into it. A single cake can take 8-15 hours total time to create from start to finish… then you have dishes to do!! (worst part about baking) So the price you pay for your custom cakes is a reflection of the complexity of your cake order and the time it takes to create it. So when a customer inquires about pricing, there are many factors that go into that cake quote. Another thing many are unaware of is order timing. Asking for a custom cake the same week of your event is a difficult order to fulfill. Many bakers are already booked; or their isn’t enough time to get it done. Many bakers stage their cake making days and rarely, if at all, do they bake and decorate on the same day. Customers should place orders at least 3-6 weeks ahead of time. Read more>>

Ken Liljegren | Business Owner and Producer

There is a perception that the audio visual industry is easier than it looks with all of the new technology. But there is a reason there are still professional sound engineers and streaming and lighting technicians. A sound engineer with a good mixer is a necessity. This helps eliminate feedback loops. Using compressors and parametric equalizers keeps consistent sound levels. Streaming technicians are also important with so many platforms to master – Zoom, Skype, Webex, Facebook and YouTube. Understanding the difference between virtual meeting, webinars and live streams is complicated without a pro.. Skilled lighting technicians and camera operators make a difference. Dark or poorly lighted scenes are unfortunate. I’ve seen on-camera talent blending into the background and disappearing with a bad green screen key. Read more>>

Steffan Stewart | Creative Director & Brand Strategist

Branding is so much more than just a logo, fonts, and colors. It’s the lasting impression your business leaves behind – the experience it provides your clients, good or bad. It’s what they think of when they hear your name, when they read your content, or when they interact with anything that appeals to their senses. Branding, when done right, can do so much more than a good logo. It creates culture. It drives conversation. It inspires employees and clients alike. It differentiates you. It helps with all these things and more. When we take on any branding project, these elements are at the front of our minds. Effective branding has the power to change the world. Read more>>