“Hold yourself accountable with your sales goals and do something that will help grow the business every month…I try to tackle a monthly project that will make us better and stronger.”
Name: Rachel Carlson (she/her)
Business Name: The Traveling Spirit
Describe your business:
We are a mobile bartending company that offers you and your guests a one-of-a-kind bartending experience.
We serve weddings and special and corporate events with our vintage camper and custom-built Bubble Bars!
Tell us about your self-employment journey.
It has been a journey. That’s for sure! The first year we were new and I was still working full time. The second year, the pandemic happened.
We’ve really hit our stride in the third year. I’m starting to see the pattern and potential for the company. So I’m getting all of my ducks in a row as far as taxes, payroll, understanding my books, etc.
That’s really my main focus this year, so we can grow rapidly in 2022.
What area of your business are you most passionate about?
Customer service and hospitality!
We make great drinks. But people book us over and over again because of the way we make them feel. We go above and beyond from the first consultation to the last drink served.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned early in your career that has contributed to your success?
Guest relations is the MOST important thing. Every event is a marketing event for future events, because we come in contact with so many people.
Every interaction is an opportunity to book another client. And word of mouth is an enormous tool.
How are you pivoting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The event industry completely shut down during the pandemic. Since we opened back up, people have wanted to party! Because outdoor events are our bread and butter, we were in high demand!
We started seeing a significant increase early on, so I invested in four more bars to keep up with demand.
Are you part of any freelancer communities? Which ones and how do they support you?
I’m a member of Mobile Bev Pros, a community formed by Sarah Murphy and is focused on all things mobile bartending.
What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re really excited about?
We work with amazing people and companies all the time! I guess right now it’s the holiday season! It’s my favorite time to be a part of the event industry.
The parties are so joyful and all of the decorations! Oh, and we recently did a PRIDE shoot that was epic!
What advice would you give other self-employed people?
Growth doesn’t happen overnight. I thought that I would start my business and immediately be popular. It takes time to get the word out and I had to do a lot of free marketing events to make that possible.
Hold yourself accountable with your sales goals and do something that will help grow the business every month.
Whether that be signing up for an S Corp, training new staff, creating SOPs, purchasing a work van. I try to tackle a monthly project that will make us better and stronger.
How has forming an S Corp helped you level up your business?
We’ll see! But I’m hoping it saves me a lot in taxes!