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Why Did You Start Your Business? Week of May 13th

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For individuals that constantly view financial statements or business plans each business looks eerily the similar. Even sometimes the brands, logos and names make consumers scream for the days of uniqueness. Peeling back the skin of business, it is often the entrepreneur and business owner that makes a business unique. Each and every business has an entrepreneur and unique story for launching his or her business, and it is that story which make each business special.

Because of Growth in the Hispanic Population

Courtesy Listen Up Espanol

We co-founded the leading Spanish language call center for the U.S. Hispanic market, Listen Up Español. We strongly believed since 2007: the Hispanic population within the U.S is growing exponentially and so is their purchasing power. As a call center that caters to the U.S. Hispanic population, Listen Up Español understood that although the economy was on a downfall, the Hispanic population was not and neither was their need to purchase reputable products. Not only did we understand the significance of the growing population we also saw agent retention as a must for call center success. In an effort to maintain low turnover rates, Listen Up Español created a culture that thrived off of the idea of striving to deliver awesomeness every day.

Thanks to Craig Handley and Tony Ricciardi, CEO and President of Listen Up Espanol!

Courtesy HERO|Farm

Because I Couldn’t Find A Job, So I Made One

In short, our industry felt the recession far sooner than anyone else and my business partner and I, along with many other people, were let go. Essentially, we did what this article on us is titled: If you can’t find a job, make one. There’s nothing quite like having your industry collapse around you to make you evaluate the future. The advertising world is usually a good prognosticator to the health of the economy. And having worked in this industry for several years with HERO|farm’s soon to be co-founder, Reid Stone, it had dawned on us more than once that a great shift was on the horizon. To work in a typical advertising agency during a recession, it’s like you’re sitting in a waiting room waiting for a doctor to stroll in and give you the news that you have a terminal illness. You’ve known it before you ever even walked into his office. You felt it coming. Things weren’t going right. It’s not personal. Hell, you’ve been healthy and productive. But circumstances outside of your control have made you the walking dead. And there’s several other people just like yourself in that same room. Your choice at that point is to accept the inevitable news and begin the scratching and clawing that is interviewing at the few, still profitable agencies, or you can create opportunity. When the market tripped and the ax fell in 2008 due to scared clients and shrinking budgets, our “what ifs” turned into “what nows?” Thankfully, we had pondered the idea of a new breed of advertising agency and, at this point, just had to find a way to make it a reality. I’d be a great politician if I could say with a straight face that we were 100% sure that our idea would pan out, but alas, the presidency is not in my future. We first began working out of my business partner’s house and used our connections to strengthen our new, fledgling business. We have never taken out a loan and used maybe a couple hundred dollars for simple things to get going. Otherwise, we’ve just built up from scratch and became the 2011 Business of the Year, selected by the International Association of Business Communicators – New Orleans.

Thanks to Shaun Walker, Creative Director of HERO|farm!

I Did It for My Local Market

Courtesy Social Boost

For 12 years I have been, and continue to, develop my social media skills, and after working for other companies for 5 of those 12 years to build their online presence, I realized that my local market, and most other markets across the country, were struggling with social media because they just didn’t get it or they didn’t know who to turn to. There are a lot of marketing agency’s out there, but out of all of them, who’s willing to give personal advice on a day-to-day basis? I saw a hole in the market and that’s what I offer to everyone I meet; I want to truly help and assist in understanding social media so they can take their business to new heights. I’m passionate about social media and hope to instill that same passion into everyone I meet.

Thanks to Morgan Barnhart, CEO of Sociable Boost!

Because Employedpreneurs Needed It

I am the co-founder and Editor in Chief of LaunchWhileWorking.com, the official online resource for Employedpreneurs – ambitious professionals who launch a part-time business while keeping their current full-time job. I started LaunchWhileWorking.com because I, myself, am a Employedpreneur who works for a Fortune 500 company by day and runs a social media and online publishing business by night. I realized that there are many people out there like myself, who refuse to give up on their entrepreneurial dreams simply because they need the income and benefits of a full-time job. Frustrated by the lack of resources for this ambitious and growing population of employedpreneurs, I created LaunchWhileWorking, an online community and resource center that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to build their business acumen, network, and profit.

Thanks to Tai Goodwin, Co-founder of Launch While Working!

Because I Couldn’t Find Sufficient Support for Pregnancy

Courtesy Bed Rest Concierge

Bed Rest Concierge is a company that offers personalized maternity and baby planning services to expectant mother’s experiencing bed rest during their pregnancy. Our company services an untapped, market that is in desperate need of support. 1 in 5 women are placed on bed rest at some point during their pregnancy, that is roughly 800,000 women annually who need support. I founded my company after spending 26 weeks on bed rest and not being able to find sufficient mobile services that would come to the hospital or my home. I take care of everything pregnancy related in preparation of the baby while the mother is off her feet. We also handle house management to keep their family lives organized and thriving my Mommy is trying to stay pregnant. My service is proving to be a valuable resource as well, for products, and services for both pre and post delivery needs. When I started this company it was just an idea. I had no idea that one year later, I would be a successful Mompreneur running a viable, thriving, business. I’ve been welcomed into the pregnancy community 100 fold and it has been truly amazing. My grandmother told me that when you help others more than you help yourself you will be fulfilled beyond belief, and I truly believe that was an understatement!

Thanks to Stephanie Johnson, Owner of Bed Rest Concierge!

 

 

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of Gresham Harkless Jr.
Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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