Business completes 10 successful years in basin
STATELINE, Nev. – As country music plays, Gail Taylor points at a 10-year-old photo of her and her cockatiel, Montana, upon the opening of her business.
“The good news is, the bird’s still around,” she said.
Even better, her one-woman company, Minding Your Business, is too.
Taylor’s agency provides all types of business management services to businesses and professionals in the Basin. Taylor said she’s lived near Lake Tahoe for 34 years and thought she saw a need for bookkeeping, organization, financial and planning services.
“My husband and I thought, ‘Why not roll the dice and see if we could make it work?'” she said.
By focusing on relationships she’d formed through civic organizations in the area, Taylor began to grow her business through referrals, and she said she thinks she’s found a few keys to success.
“I think hard work, the willingness to cater my business to the needs of my clients,” she said. “I really believe it’s about relationships.”
Through the Internet, she even has clients who’ve stayed with her when they’ve moved, she said. One customer now lives in San Diego but still uses Taylor’s services.
“It’s been amazing and I feel blessed,” she said.
Lake Tahoe’s business climate is different from other areas, Taylor said, with pay scales being quite different from city markets, but she’s been local for so long that she’s adjusted to the area.
Tahoe has faced the same economic ups-and-downs as other areas, but Taylor said she’s been able to stay afloat by being flexible to her clients’ changing needs. Being her only employee helps, she said, but she always makes sure that services customers receive never change.
“You cut back like you need to cut back, you do the things that you needed to do, just like everyone else,” she said.
It’s not easy for Taylor to escape her work for a vacation with her husband, she said, because if she doesn’t complete a task, it won’t get done. Weeks before and after vacations can become overcrowded or more stressful, she said, but it’s a burden she’ll accept.
“Having my own business gives me the freedom to really manage my own time – but you give some stuff up too,” she said.
Jennifer Patterson of the Uppaway homeowner’s association has worked with Taylor for nine years. Patterson said Taylor goes above and beyond what’s asked and always produces quality work.
“I think she’s spectacularly great at administrating our different needs,” Patterson said. “She takes it to the next step, which I really appreciate.”
Taylor encourages potential entrepreneurs to use the community and its professional and social organizations to build a base of contacts as she did. And the most important part is pleasing clients, she said.
“They seem to be happy,” she said, “and that’s the best part for me.”
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