This year Happy Tonics is proud to sponsor the Chicago small business exposition. Our main goal is to bring the best guide to those looking to start up or grow their small business. We believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet thousands of successful small business start ups. You will be able to meet personal from restaurants all the way to local tattoo parlors that were able to make a splash throughout the recent years.

6 tips for starting your own business / Anick Akbar, Start Up Academy

Chicago Limousine Start Up


Starting a business in Chicago is hard enough. With the amount of competition for limousine companies in Chicago, starting a limo company in the area is even harder. You really have to make sure you have everything in line to ensure success. That’s why we’ve brought Serdar, who is currently operating one of the top limousine services in Chicago to help business owners get ahead of the curve. Serdar currently operates DeluxeChicagoLimo.com – Chicago Limo Company.

Starting a limousine business can be simple if you have the right resources and information in place. Remaining relevant in limo business, however, can also be fairly challenging if you’re not well prepared. A successful limo business entails much more than just-driving-around town. It entails exceptional punctuality, service and immense attention to detail, since any mistake can mean derailing and devastating someone’s special event. Let’s look at the tips and information you need to run a successful limousine business.

Below, Serdar has gone over some essentials.

Limousines: Obviously, your limousine business requires limos. Still, before you buy a fleet, you’ve got to know how your business will run. If your intention is to subcontract your firm to another limousine company that has limos in place, then the purchase of limos is not required. However, if you have the funds to afford your own limos for you business, you should carefully take into consideration maintenance fees and upkeep. Quality limos are expected to-be-new and in good condition.

Select a Good Name: Make sure that it’s easy to remember & not similar to any other limo companies in your area. Research on what is required for registering and licensing your company and name.

Understand your Tax Obligation: Discuss this with a tax expert or your accountant. You can research the tax requirements online. You should know what paperwork to keep (if you were to deduct your business expenses).

Insurance: Business insurance is vital for your limo company, regardless of how you operate it. For a full protection_ you should choose a general company insurance policy and a for hire livery insurance policy. The general business policy covers your company in business contracts, business interruptions, workers compensation and liquor liabilities. The insurance offers specialized cover for your limousines.

Marketing and Business Cards: Often there are seasonal-fluctuations, with the highest-sales occurring during the wedding and prom seasons. For you to maintain a successful limousine business, your business must always have steady, year round customer. Keep in mind that a majority of customers will be searching for limo services online. We highly recommend hiring an SEO agency to help you improve your ranking. Be sure to check out Chicagoranking.com – Chicago SEO Consulting for prices on this. It’s imperative that you’ve marketing materials right in place to market and promote your business.

Legal: Your limo business will need a tax identification number that is issued by the revenue service. This identification number is required when completing your end of year tax filing. If you also intend on securing financing and establishing credit for your business, you’ll also need a DUNS number that’s used by institutions and lenders to report your payment history and credit activity.

Banking: You will need a banking account for your business to process operation expenses and client payments. We recommend checking out Chase Business for this.

Condition: The appearance of your limos is an important aspect of the limo business. The success of your business is dependent of the well-being of your limo’s condition. The limo should be spacious enough without any scratches or dent. It should also be put where there is protection from the weather damage.

Final Thoughts: You will have many considerations that come along with the success of the limo business. Important items should be the business tax, specific state legal requirements and also you should have the exemplary customer care services.


Re-post: How to Properly Run A Tattoo Shop


Running a successful tattoo shop can be a very difficult task. There are a number of things that you have to make sure you do correctly, starting with having different artists to accommodate all styles of tattoos. You also want to make sure the tattoo shop is as clean as possible. Keeping a sanitary parlor should be one of your top priorities. As an owner, the last thing you would want to have is a customer getting infections. Thus, keeping a shop clean is just as important as having the best tattoo artists in the area.

Once you’ve been able to establish a reputation of having a clean shop with artists that are able to draw any tattoo, you need to make sure that your prices are competitive. Keep in mind, there are a lot of shops in the Chicago area, and one thing you need to do is monitor the prices. Find out what other parlors are charging and set your prices in that range. There are some that charge for the time that it takes to complete a tattoo. Others have set fees, for example, they may price certain tattoos at certain pricing. At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you. I personally believe in hourly rates as it’s the most fair. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re pricing is competitive.

Now that you have your reputation and you have your price set, you need to make sure that you can showcase some of your best work. The easiest way to do this is to take photographs of every single tattoo that you have been doing over the years. You can create a portfolio, or do what some other artists do and that’s place it around the wall in the shop. Again, the decision is up to you; however, I personally recommend to do both. Having your work in a portfolio is great because you allow customers look through easier than looking through a wall of artwork. Additionally, post your work to social media! The power of the internet is huge, and sharing your work online can bring in big business. You can check out what I did with my Twitter and Facebook as well.

So we’ve covered pricing, sharing your artwork, and maintaining a clean shop. Only a few more things to follow, and you’re on the way kick starting your own tattoo shop. One of those few things is have a website. Too many people are living in the old-age and forget the power of the internet. I recommend to create a website and share some information about yourself on that website. Feel free to take a look at mine: http://www.goodkindtattoo.com. This will give you a good base on where to start. Finally, you want to be professional, and stick to what you do best.  I see a lot of tattoo shops these days venture off into other things that they shouldn’t have. They forget what their original goal was. The key is to stick to being a professional, and stick to doing what you do best. Make sure that you stay in your lane. If you’re doing something and it successful there’s no reason things that will hinder your business.

Update: Recent Downtime

We are deeply sorry for the recent downtime of the website. We were having some issues with our hosting provider. It came to a point where anytime we made a post, it was getting a 404 error. The solution was to finally switch to a new host, which took some time for the name servers to propagate. Thank you for your patience.

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