March '20

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24 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 B efore opening your shop, you no doubt did a lot of research. You may have sought help from busi- ness advisors or even other shop owners. Some of the information you relied upon might have come from books, trade magazines like THE SHOP, or an economic development organization such as the Washington State Small Business Devel- opment Center (a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other institutions of higher education) or something similar in your state that might be funded in part through co-op agreements with the U.S. Small Busi- ness Administration. The point is, you invested plenty of time, money and sweat equity to get your busi- ness off the ground. So, now what? For those who have survived the startup phase and built a successful shop, you may be wondering how to take that next step and grow your business beyond its cur- rent state. There are numerous possibilities, and choosing what works for you depends largely on the resources you have avail- able, the type of clientele you cater to and, once again, how much time, money and sweat equity you're willing to invest to make it happen. There are plenty of examples of shops that did things the right way, including one in the burgeoning overlanding space— Washington-based MULE Expedition Out- fitters. Welcome to OVERLANDING The Northwest's MULE Expedition Outfitters wants to get everyone outside. Story & Photos by Jason R. Sakurai Banners welcomed everyone to MULE's Grand Opening in Oregon. This handcrafted sign greets customers, and defines what MULE is all about.

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