So first, what do you call yourself or your position? You could say:
- Small business owner
- sole proprietor
- online business owner
- independent business owner
- independent artisan
- self-supporting artist
- owner/artist: (name of business)
- business name: position
Once you have decided on a job title/position, you can also include the name of your business, and how long you've been at it.
Think about the position you are applying for. How relevant is your indie business to this position? Applying for a desk job? You could mention your customer service skills or your computer skills. Applying to teach a craft workshop or local art class? Mention your screenprinting know-how, photography skills, or your knitting. Applying for a bookkeeping job? You could mention how you were in charge of bookkeeping and budgeting in your successful small business, and which software you used or are efficient at.
What are some other skills or responsibilities a small, indie, or online business owner possesses?
- product design
- product photographer
- photo editor
- customer service
- public relations
- web design
- mailing shipments
- quality control
- manufacturing of products
- your own trade skills
- online sales
- regional/local/international sales
- time management
- typing skills
- software proficiency
So when you go to describe these skills and proficiencies on your resume, you have two options. You could include a small, short, and sweet descriptive paragraph, or a bullet point list. Some people prefer to describe their skills, but many employers prefer a list of accomplishments, which you couldn't have achieved without your skills that would in effect be unnecessary to name.
What are some possible achievements?
- Your sales numbers
- the percentage of which you increased sales over a period of time
- your turnaround time
- your positive feedback percentage
- your return/exchange rate
- how many product lines you created
- how many wholesale accounts you have
- any other accomplishment you feel is relevant
Designer/Small Business Owner (October 2007 - present): Founded and managed an independent design business, which saw a growth of 150% between 2008 and 2009; <1% return/exchange rate; 100% positive feedback based on product quality, shipping speed, and customer service. Responsibilities include product design; bookkeeping; budget planning; marketing; packing and shipping products; writing product descriptions.
The bottom line is that being a small, indie business owner shows that you are self-motivated, driven, show initiative, are hard-working, organized, a planner, and a problem solver. When you decide to include your business on your resume, you should highlight your skills through your accomplishments, and most importantly, be confident!
Any employers out there want to chime in? Any experienced artisans or small business owners have tips they want to include?