NASE in the News

Stay tuned! Check out our latest videos, television appearances and podcasts.

Developing Self-Employment

Nicole VanHaaren is the owner of Vanhaaren Designs located in Olivet, Michigan. Vanhaaren Designs provides web and graphic designs for personal and professional use. When Nicole is not busy raising her two children, she can be found creating websites from the ground up or editing images and color schemes. Providing superior customer service is her main focus when working with clients.

When and why did you join the NASE?
I joined the NASE three years ago. I joined to better understand what it means to be self-employed and learn more about managing business and researching the best possible tools to help further my business.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
What inspired me to enter the field I am in is my love of customer service and computer programming. I love being able to work with clients one on one to achieve what they are looking for to represent their own business on the internet.

When and why did you start your business?
I started my business five years ago. Why I started my business was to be able to be more available for my children. My oldest son has several disabilities that have made it hard to try and work full time. With having my own business it makes it easier to be there for my son and still do what I love for my career.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
The challenges I have faced are other businesses doing web site designing and the budget to put money into advertising. I have overcome my first obstacle by offering word of mouth discounts, and working with clients budges to beat the higher priced competition.

How do you market your business?
I pay for advertisements through local business in my area. I pass out cards, ask clients to recommend me to other people. I will also attend networking meetings and exchange information with other self-employed professionals.

Do you have any employees?
Not at this time I do not. If and when my business becomes too much for me to handle on my own I will look into hiring.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
Setting my own hours and working around my schedule for school and my children.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
That I communicate in a way that makes the person feel valued and appreciated.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
A typical day for me is looking at my calendar, seeing what work I need to get done for my clients and of course what is going on with my children’s schooling and my school schedule as well. After setting my business priorities for the day, I get my work done and then head into my part time job as an Education Assistant.

Any other information you would like to share?
It takes dedication and hard work to build a business. Always research your clients, how you will target your audience (marketing campaigns), and learning how to use social media to promote your business.

The Latest News from the NASE

Our RSS feed service allows you to retrieve instant updates from the NASE website. est articles, news, and other helpful information, all delivered directly to you!

Courtesy of