Tanna Parker is the owner of Imagine That Signs and Graphics. Tanna entered the male-dominated sign industry in 2010, when she started her own woman-owned business.
Tanna earned a business degree and has gained industry experience by managing a signage and marketing materials company. Based on this experience, she decided to start her own business, so she could use her ideas to develop her own signage and other products.
Tanna needed help meeting the challenges of starting a new business. She learned about the pros and cons of different legal structures, and decided that being a sole proprietor was right for her. She also needed to know the cost per square foot for lease space and choosing the best location. Fortunately, her parents, a real estate broker and an appraiser, were available to help her with these business decisions. Next, she purchased the equipment, including the software and media to run the very large printing and screening machinery. Financing a start-up business can be a challenge, but in April, 2010 Tanna received an SBA loan through the Bank of Buffalo. She was in business!
Tanna knows the importance of learning the methods and technologies of her industry. She opened her business in 2010, and went to wrapping school the following year. The training taught her the technology used to apply wraps to cars and positioning signs and logos. She learned about the school through a friend that was into NASCAR racing. Tanna experiments with the designs she sells and has taught herself many skills necessary to run her business.
Tanna also received assistance through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Casper, Wyoming. Leonard Holler at the SBDC prepared a business valuation for Tanna, which can be useful when a business owner is considering applying for a loan, selling the business or making other business decisions. Her parents also continue to mentor her as needed, and she has learned the importance of researching an issue and making business decisions. She says: “I will make no rash or fast responses without thoroughly thinking it through.” This focus and determination have helped her start and grow her business.
When starting and growing a business it is important for a new business to do as Tanna did, and seek the help advice and training from the SBA, the SBDC, and family, friends or other available resources.
The SBA does not endorse the opinions, products or services of any private individual or business entity.