“I need more hours in the day!” That’s the lament of every small business owner. We all have so much to do, there never seems to be enough time to complete it all. Small business owners value their time. Like Jeff & Joy Schranghamer, owners of Schranghamer Design Group (SDG) in Boston, Massachusetts.
I have been selected to be a MAXIFY Mentor in this year’s Canon MAXIFY contest campaign (#MAXIFYContest)—helping small business owners deal with their biggest startup challenges. You can enter to win a number of prizes and the grand prize winner will win a day in New York with Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran.
The Schranghamers were featured in Forbes in 2015 as part of Canon’s MAXIFY campaign, so I wanted to connect with them about some of their startup and productivity challenges.
In this blog, I’m going to look at how the Schranghamers strive to be more productive in their interior design and architectural firm and how their business has changed since they were featured by Canon in last year’s MAXIFY campaign:
Rhonda: What was the biggest surprise about starting and/or being in business—for good or for negative?
Joy Schranghamer: The freedom to be doing what you love and be able to pursue it in the ways you want is very liberating in big ways and small. Big—you can shift your business in new directions as you wish. Small—you don’t have to request vacation days from the boss!
Rhonda: But to be able to take that vacation, you need to be productive when you are at work. What are the things you do—daily or on an ongoing basis—to be more productive?
Joy Schranghamer: We meet and discuss what is going on each day both first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening so we are on the same page. We also try to split duties a bit. I take care of all the financials and bill paying while Jeff is more instrumental in bringing in new work. We are a small firm right now so we have not hired someone yet for the “housekeeping” but someone has to do it.
Rhonda: Are there aspects of your business that you struggle with, especially in terms of productivity? What takes up more of your time than you would like?
Joy: One thing we are working on trying to be more productive at is writing up new proposals and getting invoices out. That takes a lot of our time and we are still experimenting with different ways to make that more streamlined. We want to spend as much time designing as possible, creating beautiful work and making clients happy.
Rhonda: As you know, Canon is currently running the #MAXIFYContest for small business owners to share their biggest startup challenge. What was your biggest startup challenge?
Joy: About 18 months after SDG was started, the recession hit which had a dramatic impact in so many ways… Clients were much more cautious. They wanted designs that were less customized and had more mass appeal.
Rhonda: As an interior designer and architectural planner, how do printed materials enter into your business life?
Joy: Printed materials are so important both for presentations and for our personal use when working on a project. Clients like to have something tactile to touch and feel. Also, presentations that we print out are easier to manipulate and move around, create different groupings, and make eliminations. We have really enjoyed using our Canon MAXIFY printer. It is easy to use which is great for less tech savvy people like me, but still has all of the fun bells and whistles.
Rhonda: Thank you Joy, and please thank Jeff. I know that you have found Canon MAXIFY printers to be a valuable part of your business, offering you, as small business owners, a reliable solution to enhance your productivity. Good luck with your business!
Enter to win!
Now is the time to enter the Canon MAXIFY contest (#MAXIFYContest). One lucky winner will spend a day in New York with Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. And seven other winners (plus the Grand Prize winner) will win a prize package which includes a Canon MAXIFY printer. I’m a Canon “MAXIFY Mentor” and am eager to engage with you on social media about your biggest business challenges.
Here’s what you need to know to enter (and hopefully win!) the Canon MAXIFY contest:
How to Enter the Contest:
- You need an active Facebook or Twitter Account to participate
- To enter: post a particularly difficult challenge you face as a small business owner using the hashtags #MAXIFYContest and tag me – @RhondaAbrams on Twitter or www.Facebook.com/RhondaAbramsSmallBusiness on Facebook
- Posts may include photos that illustrate the challenge being described
- Multiple entries are permitted however only one (1) Contest Entry per person will be eligible to become a Finalist
- You must be a small business owner, 21 or older
- Your business must have started within the last five years
- Your business must have 1-9 employees
- You must reside within the 48 contiguous states
- Contest begins on July 15, 2015 and concludes on August 31, 2015