Young professionals weigh in: My experience starting a business in Tahoe
February 1, 2013
I was born and raised in this beautiful place and I am so lucky to call it home. My family has been doing business here for more than 100 years and, just recently, I was able to start a business of my own with the help of my family and the open arms of the community. I never really thought that I would start my own business – it was the last thing I saw myself doing.
My decision to launch Tahoe Production House was driven by the realization that Lake Tahoe was lacking in a full-service production facility, which is a staple in big cities. Since opening its doors, TPH has worked on numerous video, photography and sound projects as well as marketing services for a range of clients. Opening a business here in Tahoe has had its challenges, but also has brought me tons of opportunity.
I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing when I started my business. I didn’t even know the process of getting my business license. Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have learned so much just by doing and experimenting, getting advice and help from my family and friends. What is working, what isn’t? Those are daily questions for me. I encourage anyone who has a dream of starting something to just go for it. It’s scary, fun, hard and the best thing you will ever do. I am only in my second year of business and, if I fail, at least I can say I tried. My biggest piece of advice is to talk to people in the same business, write a business plan, ask hard questions, and don’t be afraid to try something new and different. Business is an ever-evolving and changing thing. Your business plan will never be done, and the business you thought you started will be different in five years.
A major contributor to the success my business has seen can be attributed to my involvement in the community through the Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club, and the nonprofit organization Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. All of these organizations provide tools for local business owners and are a great source of creating network connections. I have received many new clients through my involvement with these organizations and would recommend community involvement to all business owners, especially start-up business owners. Tahoe needs fresh ideas and fresh businesses if we are going to evolve into the next generation of Tahoe enthusiasts.
All of this has been the best time of my life. I love being here in Tahoe, I love being a business owner, and I love being involved in the community. I can only wish the same level of enthusiasm for all young people who have a dream of investing in the Tahoe community.
– Brandianne Ledbetter Brown is a member of Tahoe Regional Young Professionals.