(Editor: Throughout the month of February, across our Blog and Social Media platforms, we will celebrate Geauga small businesses while highlighting GCPL resources for small businesses. We reached out to Geauga County small business owners and asked them for the story behind their businesses as well as any advice they have to offer other small business owners and those looking to start their own small businesses. The following is an interview with Mattcrobat from Jasmine Dragons.)
GCPL: When was Jasmine Dragons founded?
Mattcrobat: April 2009
GCPL: What is the story behind your business? How did it begin? What challenges did you face in getting started & how did you overcome them? What challenges do you face in your day-to-day operations, and how do you overcome them? What is your favorite part of owning a business?
Mattcrobat: I opened Jasmine Dragons with my 5-year-old son. His ideas were just as important. We are a new type of business, not a franchised thing. Although, if we were to franchise Jasmine Dragons, we have offers as far as Dubai nowadays.
Early on, people did not understand what we were trying to do. We literally had people in town letting us know that it was a bad idea and that they did not like it. We thought we would be able to rent the city-owned Geauga theater every few months for shows. We were greatly wrong on that.
Some of the day-to-day challenges are showing consistency and slowly building our reputation. My favorite part of owning a business is being able to work personal hours doing what I would be doing anyways and having passion in my daily work life.
GCPL: Why did you decide to start your business? What inspired it?
Mattcrobat: My son. 100%.
GCPL: What kinds of training and education did starting your business require (College, trade shows, seminars/conferences, etc.)? Have you ever used the library to help with this?
Mattcrobat: Life-long traveling the world skills. Bringing back all the things I have learned from different places and cultures. Balance and dance does not care about verbal communication.
GCPL: What resources did/do you find most useful in helping you to start, grow, and maintain your business (Books, software, training materials, databases, etc.)?
Mattcrobat: Quickbooks for accounting and tracking works well. I have taught it to many teens. It helps show, to the penny, all the startup, daily bills, yearly bills. You can run reports to see where you can save and where you are overspending easily.
GCPL: What advice do you have for people who want to start a business?
Mattcrobat: Save and track your receipts and time before business actually begins. Have a big loss already in your books of all you have done just to get it off the ground.
Be ready to do everything or understand everything that is involved or you will be taken advantage of and overspend.
A business can grow; you do not need to spend extra on fancy things at first.