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Why Did You Start Your Business? Week of December 16th

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Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each entrepreneurship and brand.

To Help Businesses With Internet Marketing
In one sentence: I started my company to help businesses understand, integrate, and execute internet marketing campaigns that result in concrete revenue increases rather than fancy charts and reports. I founded Pro-Motions Marketing after several years of independently consulting clients on Digital Marketing Strategy. I have previously worked with businesses in many niches such as the medical field, the legal field, the food services industry, E-Commerce retailers, Brick and Mortar Businesses, advertising and media buying firms and more. I quickly learned that in order to successfully strategize and implement a Digital Marketing Campaign, a consultant must first understand the business and its revenue model, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, competitive advantages, and potential improvements that can be implemented in order to maximize the return on investment that businesses have to see in order to justify their spending.

Thanks to Phillip Alexeev, Pro-Motions Marketing Inc.

To Fulfill A Dream
I started my business to be in control of my destiny and to fulfill a lifelong dream.  I still remember when I was in high school, one of the nuns there asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I told her a “business woman”. She was troubled and inquired if I wouldn’t prefer a “female-friendly” career such as a teacher or nurse. I replied “no – I want to run a company!” After University I had dabbled into side businesses, but after the dot com crash in 2003, I decided to start taking the steps necessary to build a real business. Being in business can be quite challenging, but the rewards are huge because there is no better vehicle to really find out who you are as a person.

Thanks to Krizia, Miss Krizia

To Keep Cherished Life Experiences In One Place
We started GrapeVibe because we believe there are a ton of amazing things happening around us every day, but because we have no way to hear about them all we end up missing out. We solve that problem to help people find new and interesting things happening near them. At the same time, plenty of people go to an event only to find out after the fact that someone they knew was also there and they could have met up beforehand. We make it easier for them to organize with their friends before events take place. Finally, there is no tool for people to use to reminisce about the great things they’ve done. Some people keep concert stubs, some have photo albums, but keeping track of all that and who was there gets lost over time. We created a central place for all of your cherished life experiences so you can relive the good times.

Thanks to Matt Rutter, GrapeVibe

To Offer Fashionable Goods To The Elderly
The inability to locate fashionable, reasonably priced items for seniors was the impetus for starting my own business (Granny Jo Products) six years ago. In those six years we have seen an ever increasing demand for our items and we continue to work to fill the void that exists in non-medical Senior Products. The biggest issue we face is where does someone go to  purchase these things…hospital supply (no one thinks to browse there), pharmacy,  and brick and mortar retail outlets have not embraced the ever increasing demand for accessories for seniors.

Thanks to Jo-Ann Tilghman, Granny Jo Products

To Help VP’s In Their New Roles
What started as an in-house training program to help newly promoted vice presidents learn more about the legal aspects of their expanded leadership role evolved into an MBA level course taught at two top tier MBA programs and finally into a book. In the process I learned that it was more satisfying for me to empower highly motivated executives, managers, and entrepreneurs with the strategies and skills necessary to independently manage legal risks on their own than to wear my lawyer hat and fix a problem after the sauce has already hit the fan. To thrive in the new economy I also knew that businesses couldn’t continue to treat lawsuits and other legal issues as a “cost of doing business.” It’s simply too expensive. They need to get ahead of the liability curve. As a result, Business M.O. LLC and the Legal Leverage® Academy were born. One thing simply led to another. It was a natural progression. I now help businesses create and implement strategies to contain their legal risks and accelerate the development of high performance and high integrity business cultures.

Thanks to Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, No Nonsense Lawyer

Photo Credit: Allissa Abdelwahed

Photo Credit: Allissa Abdelwahed

Because I Was Being Tailgated
Before my sophomore year at Sweet Briar College, I was learning to drive in Houston. Others would honk and tailgate my car, making me even more stressed about being on the road. A student driver magnet became a necessity and a desire, but I wanted one that was appealing and effective. There wasn’t one on the market so I partnered with another student and we created one. Thanks to professors, we had academic support from Graphic and Web Design to Marketing and Finance. At age 19, I am an entrepreneur and Co-founder of a business called Sweet Drivers. Today, we have filled a gap in the market and we are providing future drivers with a magnet that has a cool design and cautions others on the road.

Thanks to Allissa Abdelwahed, Sweet Drivers

To Create The Perfect Workplace
I started my agency because I wanted to create what I consider to be the perfect work environment. A place that you don’t dread driving to every morning. A business that celebrates creativity. A culture that empowers and trusts its people. A management philosophy that the path to profitability is having fun and treating people well.

Thanks to David Eichler, David and Sam PR

To Find The Missing Piece
In 2008, I felt like something was missing in my professional life. At the time, I finally decided that the missing piece, or at least the link to the missing piece started with my unfinished college education. Unfortunately, as a single mother, leaving my secure job as a medical practice administrator to pursue school full time (I was anxious to fast track this process) did not seem like the smartest move. As I pondered how to make my professional goals fit into my personal life, my mother suggested to me that I open my own consulting business. I laughed and told her, “If it’s that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?” Well, after some back and forth, I decided to take the challenge and open my own consulting practice. Supported with just enough seed money to get me by for 3 months, I knew I had to make it work fast. Bootstrapping at its finest, I created my own brochures (which I thought were really fancy) and business cards and decided to make a go of it. My effort was a success but more importantly, I realized that the education wasn’t the missing piece for me. What I was really experiencing was the entrepreneurial “itch”-one that I’m definitely glad I scratched!

Thanks to Holly J. Kile, HJK Digital Solutions

Photo Credit: Michele Velazquez

Photo Credit: Michele Velazquez

To Create The Perfect Proposal
I started The Heart Bandits, a Marriage Proposal Planning Company, when my boyfriend proposed to me in 2010. I didn’t particularly like the way he proposed to me and later he confessed that he wanted to propose to me in a much more creative way but he didn’t know how. That is when I started doing research and I realized that while proposing to a woman is one of the most nerve wracking days in a man’s life, there were no resources out there to help him get through it. We started our business to help men come up with creative proposal ideas and plan them. Now, we have helped hundreds of men plan unique proposals all over the world and our proposals have been featured in NY Times, Globe and Mail, NBC, and more.

Thanks to Michele Velazquez, The Heart Bandits

To Turn My Hobby Into A Full-Time Job
For 15 years I worked in marketing and business development for large companies and NGOs. I traveled regularly and often worked way too much. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized no matter what happened each week or how much my day job seemed to demand, I always had time to use those same marketing skills to help friends and entrepreneurs with their projects. Five to fifteen hours a week on top of a heavy workload can be incredibly tough, but it felt like the most rewarding time investment of all. Then I realized… Why not setup my own company focused on entrepreneurs? If I was willing to do it for free and sacrifice my personal time, why not set it up to help more people and focus on my passion? Working with a particular type of client, the passionate entrepreneurs I choose, generates more personal and professional reward for me.

Thanks to Andres Riggioni, GIZN

Photo Credit: Chantelle Fraser

Photo Credit: Chantelle Fraser

To Fill A Missing Link In The Modeling World
I noticed a missing link in the modeling world – models were in demand for high paying event-based jobs and promotions, but this line of work was considered by agencies as a bad move for modeling careers. Having worked at a model casting agency in the past, I knew models were taking modeling gigs for editorial shoots that paid next to nothing, and were also working side jobs to stay afloat. I decided to start Flawless, an agency specifically tailored for staffing brand promotional events and private parties, in order to take the pressure off both models and agents. My new breed of agency was not there to manage the models, but provide them with extra income and exposure since the events I staffed were always upscale, with people in prestigious industries who could, in turn, further the models’ careers. Six years later, my business is thriving and I have expanded from just casting models to now working with DJs, aerial dancers and henna tattoo artists, to name a few, for any and every type of event, with needs that range from tracking down 200 Archie and Veronica comic book lookalikes for nationwide store events to sourcing Mongolian-speaking models to serve drinks for an ambassador from Mongolia at a private event. I staff between 50 – 100 events a month, so we are always staying busy!

Thanks to Chantelle Fraser, Flawless NYC

About 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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