I originally connected with Ginger Aarons on Twitter as she is a busy user of Social Media. Based in Portland, Oregon, Ginger runs Time Travel Tours creating specialised, luxury trips to Ireland and the UK. Running a successful business herself is a major achievement in itself and I just knew she would have some excellent advice for businesses thinking of starting up.
How long have you been running a business yourself?
I went into travel and worked with a company for about two years before I went into business for myself. That was in 1988 and I’ve had my own business ever since.
What is the business you are running now?
I run a tour company called Time Travel Tours that specializes in once in a lifetime, luxury trips for genealogy and garden themed tours in Ireland and the UK. Tours are limited to small groups of 6-12 persons traveling and we see the hidden and off the beaten path sites, meeting the locals and seeing the “real” Ireland and UK.
Have you ever been an employee? If so which do you prefer and why?
Yes, from an early age of 16 to the time I was 21, I was an employee. I much prefer owning my own business because I feel you make the same amount of money, it’s more rewarding and you are in control of your own destiny. It gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
Why do you think a company should be incorporated?
You should be incorporated or an LLC (Limited Liability Company) at the very least to protect your personal interests from your company interests as well as having Errors and Omissions Insurance. This is a must. Protect yourself, your family and your investment in your business by making sure you have all of your legalities taken care of and in place. This means city, county or state licensing as well as licensing for your chosen profession. Weigh in on all the different organizations you can belong to and try and decide which best suits YOUR business, not just the one everyone is going with. Peer pressure I think can be hard to decipher in business and you have to trust yourself to make the best decisions for yourself and your business.
What do you recommend to a company just starting in business?
A startup should have a good solid plan or business plan with vision and know that it will change throughout the chaos that is starting a business. Another must have is a good business coach or someone you can talk to besides your family members. If I could do this all over again, and realize the value from the get go, I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s a hard spend at the beginning especially when you think you might have it handled, but it is invaluable, not only for your on-going vision for your business, but in preserving your family ties and making that separation between business and homelife. A hard line to follow for an entrepreneur. If you started a business, you must believe in your vision to have started it, so when the going gets tough, and it will, just keep the faith and know there are millions of others feeling the same way.
Have you any future plans for new businesses?
I am in the process of expanding at the moment to offer an educational experience in travel as well as starting to import Irish goods to America.
Thank you Ginger for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with Time Travel Tours and your new plans.