During National Small Business Month, Entrepreneurs Offer Tricks of the Trade (KTVA.com Exclusive)
Not only did it afford Bland more time with her children, the job itself was a family affair. Bland joined her mother and aunt as a co-owner of the store, and said the close ties were a professional plus for the company.
While her mother handles the store’s finances, Bland said her aunt often works with customers and staff and enjoys the human side of the business. Bland said she herself handles inventory and organization. It was a reliable division of labor that has sustained the company for years.
“I think what works for us is that all three of us have something that we’re strong at,” Bland said. “That’s where we have an advantage.”
Keep Track of the Money
Built off a multi-million dollar economic staple, it took less than $100 to jumpstart the Alaska TourSaver travel company nearly two decades ago.
Scott McMurren, one of the company’s founders, partners with dozens of tour companies across the state to offer deals and travel incentives to the thousands of visitors who visit the Last Frontier every year. Despite its humble beginnings, the TourSaver has now expanded to Seattle and offers more than $24,000 in discounts at other businesses around Alaska.
McMurren said the enterprise’s success in one of the state’s most scenic industries boiled down to simple dollars and financial sense.
“Sometimes, as small business people, we get very focused on the creative side of our business that our attention lapses with respect to the actual ‘business’ part of the enterprise,” he said. “You just have to be mindful of both sides of the coin.”
For a list of Alaska small business resources, click here.