We’re thrilled to speak with Shawna Brinson, founder of Brinson Advancement Services. Learn about the challenges of helping non-profits and small businesses.
Tell us about your business. What does a typical day look like for you?
Brinson Advancement Services is my sole proprietorship. I help nonprofits, start-ups and small businesses to complete high-quality grant applications, proposals, award nominations and other communications projects.
My main talents are research, writing, editing and formatting that is extremely well organized and thoughtful. A typical day is split between working on my laptop, talking with clients and meeting people at networking and learning opportunities.
How many miles do you drive in a typical week? Where do you drive as part of your job?
I drive 60-70 miles a week, generally within the St. Louis metro area.
What’s changed since you started using MileIQ?
I’m now tracking my miles for Brinson Advancement Services with proof and purpose. Before MileIQ, I did not have a tool that allowed me to do this so clearly or easily. I also like that its dashboard shows all of the other driving that I’m doing. This helps me to think about streamlining trips and be aware of how much I’m on the road overall. As someone trying to reduce my carbon footprint, this is great!
What other apps do you recommend to other small business owners? What’s the biggest challenge you face running your business, and how do you address it?
I recommend apps for DocuSign, FreshBooks and a wireless printer/scanner. For me, the biggest challenge is having the self-discipline to manage the financial aspects of my business just as carefully as I oversee project details for clients. That’s why intuitive and automated tracking tools are so essential.
What do you enjoy the most about the kind of work you do?
I’ve often cheerily exclaimed, “Just give me a hoop and I’ll jump through it!” And it’s true: I genuinely enjoy following guidelines, integrating data and narratives together and creating a persuasive case on behalf of a good organization or company. I especially relish projects with an international, environmental or community development focus, since they tend to call on my graduate education and ongoing interest in geography.
What tip would you share with other business owners?
Establish and stick to a truly appropriate value for your time. The sooner, the better.
Where can people learn more about your business?
Visit my LinkedIn Profile.
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