Entrepreneuers Share What Makes Their Business Unique – July 21st
In the current generation of business being unique is a top priority to getting noticed. Each day some new story comes out about some creative marketing plan that takes the cake and drives huge traffic to a business. The Taco Liberty Bell April Fool’s joke or Verizon’s real life ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ promo can only be described as unique. If a business is to survive and thrive making an effort to be unique is a must. Whether you pull of unique marketing stunts, have products which need no introduction or style yourself as an innovative CEO, having a defining quality is what customers will notice.
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Fast, fresh Indian food
My brother (Neal Idnani) and I (Samir Idnani) have opened a fast casual restaurant specializing in Indian food, called NaanStop. At NaanStop, we want to make homestyle Indian food accessible for everyone. All of our recipes have been passed down from our grandmother to our mom and now to us. We spent months in the kitchen with them learning, watching, and translating recipes from “a little of this and a little of that so we could bring authentic Indian home cooking to you. We put our own twist on the recipes when we came up with the Naanwich – we wrap classic Indian spiced meats and veggies in a fresh naan with sautéed onions and peppers, fresh spinach leaves and made-from-scratch chutneys. NaanStop began years ago as we wondered why no one had yet brought Indian food to a mass market. At the time, East Asian and Mexican food were the only ethnic cuisines that had achieved mass popularity. We realized that people found Indian cuisine intimidating – from the décor to the foreign menu and non- English speaking wait staff. NaanStop is the solution to this problem. The combination of a fast-casual environment, a focus on fresh, premium ingredients, and a simple 3 step ordering process has made NaanStop a success. Novices feel comfortable trying a new cuisine and veterans love the convenience of fast, fresh, Indian flavors.
Thanks to Samir Idnani, NaanStop
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It’s a beautiful company
What makes the Sky Factory unique is that it’s a beautiful company. As an artist and serial entrepreneur, I realized that both paintings and building companies start with a blank canvas. In a painting you create beauty with each brush stroke. In a company you create it with every new, talented and engaged member. I thought about how satisfying it would be to create a community where the work would be as elevating to the people involved as our virtual skylights are to our clients. I am an optimist and an idealist. In shaping The Sky Factory, I started with the assumption that people are naturally curious and creative. I wanted to craft an environment in which they would act like entrepreneurs. My first decision was to give people the opportunity to purchase discounted ownership, and 100 percent of employees have participated. The responsibility for revenue and profit belongs to everyone. From that foundation, I derived five principles. First, we operate under an open book management where information is shared with everyone. Second, we give everyone equal footing, we’re all managers. Third, we make decisions as a group and we’re accountable for our performance. Fourth, we strive for great service for our clients and community. And fifth, we share the rewards. The Sky Factory has been creating beautiful imagery of the sky and the endless diversity of nature since 2002. Our biophilic illusions of nature trigger a well-documented relaxation response that relieves stress and fatigue in enclosed interiors.
Thanks to Bill Witherspoon, Sky Factory
I’m not a typical Accountant
In high school I started working part time. When it was time to file my income tax return, I did it myself. This was the early 90s, and the Internet wasn’t really big yet. So, I had to read those tax books to learn how to complete the return. When I mentioned to people that I prepared my own return, they started asking me to prepare theirs. I was a math nerd, so I loved numbers anyway. When I went to college, I majored in civil engineering but changed my major to math. I found myself being surrounded by accounting and finance in some way, even though I wasn’t interested in being an Accountant. Fast forward to 2010. I started my accounting practice while I was working as a Senior Auditor with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). We audited companies that have Government contracts. In working with the companies, particularly the newer contractors, I saw how they struggled with things like understanding the acquisition regulations, what they needed to do be have a compliant accounting system and internal controls, and how to maintain the contracts after winning them. I decided to leave my federal job and go full time into my business. I then added Government contract consulting as one of my services. Many business owners don’t realize how important it is to have compliant systems in place, specifically accounting systems. They don’t understand how much trouble they can get into doing something they they’re not knowledgeable about. What makes my business unique is that I’m not the typical Accountant. I specialize in helping businesses develop compliance and maintain it surrounding the accounting and financial management of their companies. This can include accounting systems, taxes, business/strategic planning, budgeting, payroll tax reporting, financial statement reviews/compilations, business formation, and much more. I am an Accountant, Business Coach/Consultant/Trainer, and Speaker. I am able to educate clients and also help them develop strategies and processes to remove their headaches, whether it’s one-on-one or groups.
Thanks to JeFreda R. Brown, Brown Accounting Solutions, LLC
We simplify India for foreign businesses
As journalists based in India for many years, my partner and I often found that the country was difficult to penetrate for international businesses that wanted to explore the opportunity this huge market brings but simply couldn’t get past the bottlenecks and challenges that the country presented. We finally decided to put all those years of sipping roadside tea, yelling at auto mechanics, and hugging our luggage on crusty trains to good use. Through Translating India, we work with senior management, corporate communications teams, advertising and PR departments to help international brands succeed in the Indian market. We help the world reach India and Indians.
Thanks to Mridu Khullar Relph, Translating India
It continues to unfold
In the world of professional outplacement–where companies hire outside services to support their laid off people to retool for landing their next job–it’s pretty much a mass cattle call. The larger outplacement organizations have to move hundreds of people in and through their system in a short amount of time. The turnaround of getting people through their program lacks a more personal and intimate touch, and also doesn’t get into the whole idea or process of personal branding which is critical for professionals today. The big outfits just don’t have time for it. What makes my executive and career coaching business unique is that I am boutique: I work personally with each client so as to discover their unique interests, talents and “brand” so as to help them pro-actively find the perfect work environment for them…rather than simply throw out a lot of standard resumes hoping to get snatched up by some organization with only their goals in mind…not yours. Through www.CareerGuy.com, I help people move from lost to landed, and now through my show www.DreamJobLife.com, I help people move from ruts to rejuvenation. What makes my business unique continues to unfold.
Thanks to Darrell Gurney, CareerGuy
A truly niche profession
I’m lucky to be involved in a truly “niche” profession through my work as a sculptor and stone carver. In the US there are only about 50 professional stone carvers left and among these only a handful are classically trained. When you have a business as rare as this, the clients look for you. Stone carving is so specialized that my skills will always be in demand. There are only so many professional sculptors and few attempt stone and marble. Most of the sculptors who do carve stone are self-taught. Without classical training, these sculptors often find themselves limited to creating abstract forms because they rely heavily on saws, grinders, and machines. When you are trained in the time-tested methods and tools of the Old Masters, you learn how to create lifelike figures in stone. Fortunately for me, people who appreciate craftsmanship recognize this skill and seek it out. To master a “niche” trade such as stone carving means a lifetime of fascinating experiences that can take you all over the globe. As a former IT consultant and software developer – who fell out of love with the runaway bullet train that is Information Technology – finding an alternative “Old World” career was both a blessing and a dream come true.
Thanks to Kevin Williams, Original Handmade Sculpture by Kevin Williams
Bridging dreams that serve
Using imagination tools has been my backbone for excitement in the workplace. After working for others for 25 years in the architecture design industry I forgot to use my imagination to steer into my own entrepreneurship mission. There is freedom being self employed as it is wide open and best most honest as expression and imagination run hand-in-hand. In this power I fine tunes this signature of self and who I am for others that married my dreams with services into a solid descriptive package. I packaging myself into a tranquil ZEN world through many media of arts and services. I have used music, art, architecture, including health instructor of eastern energy medicine. My most recent endeavor focused on our Human Nature as a direct link of care which shows clearly through my book “TAO Art Of Flow” which uses new innovations from ancient ways to inspiring human awareness. In this award winning book, I tap into the conscious evolution using the Chi working life force of energy through people and surroundings in ways of prospering our well being and health. To have influence or simply influencing with “CHI” is everything through the phenomena occurring around us. My specialty is stirring new paradigms with health, social innovations through many mediums is taking health as more on a cutting edge of attitudinal healing or a “New way of being” rather than doing the right things and methods to gain informative health. When we go and dive into the flow and explore the fluid intelligence of streaming wisdom, we can find all possibilities of life itself. Whether your a wisdom seekers, social innovator, visionary, coach, CEO, transformational leader, facilitator, teacher, mediator, or any who wish to explore their inner nature of energy streams has idling already potential waiting to be released.
Thanks to John Salat
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My business is people
When my clients choose to work with me, we create a game plan together. In this way, we can best realize their dreams. I feel that both client and agent are a team and this perspective has allowed me to successfully accomplish their desired results for the past eight years. I take seriously the confidence my clients are placing upon me and will do everything I can to get the job done when other real estate agents fail. It is not only my business philosophy, but also my commitment to work tirelessly to achieve results beyond their expectations. I give my clients reliable information and solid advice so they can make informed decisions. Helping them achieve their goals is my main concern. I am not in the business of real estate; I’m in the business of helping people.
Thanks to Keith Scott Brown, Results Realty East Bay
Helping pregnant women on bed rest
Today there isn’t anything unique about a Concierge, but a Bed Rest Concierge that serves 1 in 5 women placed on bed rest during pregnancy (approx 800,000 annually) now that’s something that people have taken notice of. After my personal experience of being on bed rest for 26 week, I knew that I had to make the bed rest experience better for future Resting Mommies. Armed with passion, a small loan and a relentless determination to succeed 2 years later, I am a national speaker, an awarded entrepreneur, I have appeared on my girl crush Bethenny Frankel’s Talk Show as an Inspiring Entrepreneur, and I am a self made woman. When people call my business Brilliant, I accept the compliment and correct them, as an entrepreneur I have found the genius in something very simple. Bed Rest Concierge is simple and necessary in the daily lives of expectant parents, we are unique in our purpose and concept.
Thanks to Stephanie D. Johnson, Bed Rest Concierge
Our purpose, perspective, process and principles
Fundamentally there are four simple things that make Telocity unique; our purpose, our perspective, our process and our principles. Starting with our purpose, we are single mindedly focused on what we call ‘Brand Evolution’. We use our holistic strategic and innovation capabilities to evolve the footprint, territory and meaning of a brand in the market and inspire growth. In regard to our perspective, we look at a brand in the context of its entire branded community, not just the consumer, and we provide our clients with the ‘A’ team for every engagement. We believe that our Brand Evolution process provides our clients with smarter, more growth oriented ideas due to evolutionary strategy and innovation tools such as DNA Mapping and our 12 Pathways to Innovation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are our principles. We believe that long-term relationships are more important than short-term financial gain, so everything we do is about building trust and mutual respect with our clients. We involve our clients in our thinking at every step of the journey, we are flexible and adaptive based on their individual needs and we make our thinking price accessible. If a client doesn’t feel like they have what they were looking for at the end of the process, we will keep working until they do.
Thanks to Paul Leroue, The Telocity Group
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Our collaborative approach with our clients
What makes our business unique is our collaborative approach with our clients. My company sells promotional flash drives in primarily a B2B format. Initially, (like most online businesses in our industry) we really had very little client-to-seller interaction. This was fine when we relied heavily on SEO, Google Adwords and other passive online marketing, but as time progressed we needed to expand our business reach. In order to do that we need to connect with our clients and we discovered that co-collaboration was the best way to go about it. We noticed that we had a lot of small business owners (photographers, graphic designers, etc.) that designed some pretty cool custom flash drives when they ordered from us. We simply asked to feature them in a story on our site and professional photograph their final product for us to feature it as well. In return, we provided them with some exposure to our own audience. The results were amazing. In little to no time at all we had new orders coming in from social media sites, photography and design blogs, forums and other interactive websites.
Thanks to Vincent H. Clarke, USB Memory Direct
We put people ahead of profits
Decibel Blue is unique because it puts its people ahead of profits. We treat people as adults, not “human capital.” We pay for 100% health benefits. Unlimited sick and vacation policy. There are unstructured hours. People come and go as they please. They don’t need to ask permission to go to the dentist. We’re not a sweatshop. We work hard and over deliver for our clients, but not in a boiler room kind of culture. There’s no such thing as “face time” at Decibel Blue. What matters is who you are as a person; how you treat others and the results you deliver.
Thanks to David Eichler, Decibel Blue
In the business of doing well by doing good
At Odyssey Teams we are in the business of doing well while doing good. At Odyssey Teams we lead many programs that emphasis charity. At a Helping Hands program employees use tools to assemble springs and parts dumped from a bag on the table. Or one day we could lead employees in a Life Cycles program where they crank on gears to perfectly assemble a bicycle. All this may sound like day in a kids paradise, but all of these actions are ones that many national and international companies have found help them build their teams. Now you may be wondering how this builds a team. During our sessions employees develop a deep emotional connection to their product resulting in a renewed sense of the why of their work. I feel so lucky every day that I am in the business of inspiring.
Thanks to Lain Hensley, Odyssey Teams
A business that grew from a struggle in my childhood
Leading a business that grew from a struggle I experienced in my own childhood is very unique. I was bullied as a child for being overweight and since then have always wanted to inspire children to be their own biggest advocate. The idea has taken off as our martial arts franchise now has more than 100 locations; some open and some in the process of opening. We provide our dojo owners with the tools necessary to succeed without needing to be constantly involved. Many of our owners are retired or have other full time jobs, but share in our vision of protecting children by empowering them through positive mantras, knowledge as well as martial arts skills. My background is not in business, but in karate and martial arts. At our studios the instruction and training has always come first and will always come first. I ran my own successful studio for 18 years before I entered the world of franchising because I wanted to know how to make it work not only for my community, but communities nationwide.
Thanks to Ed Samane, PRO Martial Arts
The same level of service at an office with ease of shopping online
Our business is unique because we offer the same level of service and expertise you would get at a regular eye doctor’s office, but with the ease and convenience of shopping online. We are also in a niche market (sports specific eyewear). When you go to a regular doctor’s office, they specialize in regular eye glasses and may have a limited selection of sports eyewear and virtually no knowledge of what lenses increase performance for different sports. If you go to a sporting goods store, you might find a wider selection of sports glasses and some more knowledge about what “equipment” you need for the given sport, but they can’t help you in regards to prescriptions. Since sports eyewear is all we do, we can give you the expertise you aren’t getting at the doctor’s office with the selection you’d expect to see at a sporting goods store.
Thanks to Shannen Knight, A Sight for Sport Eyes
I have medical treatment most women don’t know is available to them
My business is unique in that I have a medical treatment most women don’t know is available to them. When patients are told “your eggs are too old” or “you will never have a baby” that is when I am most successful. I take the impossible and bring it to life. One of my patients (photo attached) was gruesomely told by her ill informed doctor she had less than 1% chance of getting pregnant. Her FSH (follicle stimulating hormone levels at 56) he said she had entered menopause and her only options were egg donor or embryo adoption. Instead, she sought out my expertise and is now 36 weeks pregnant and 44 years old. My patients fondly refer to me as the “Baby Whisperer”, creating life where there was no hope of a family.
Thanks to Kristen N. Burris, Eagle Acupuncture
Distributing products to buyers through strong PR and Marketing forces
What makes my business so unique is the fact that I have been able to launch a new generation of distributing products to buyers through strong PR and Marketing forces at low prices but with high value with my partner Tracy Keyser through our company VIIVIIVII “21.” VIIVIIVII utilizes social media by interacting and reaching consumers through using twitter and instagram, as well as using celebrity gifting to promote our clients’ products. With this firm, we are marking our success by guaranteeing our clients to get them places every month. Plus, through our skills of reaching the consumers that we’re aiming at, we are able to introduce relationships to buyers.
Thanks to Michelle Khabbaz, VIIVIIVII “21″
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We ‘unplug’ kids
We “unplugs” kids by providing them with a computer game without the computers. We run story-based educational adventures and summer camps where the decision of the child or teen determines what happens next in the story. Our “heroes” as we call them fight monsters with foam swords, win treasure for showing compassion and courage, and solve mysteries based in literature, history, and mythology. Our summer camps have kids from all over the world who gather to do battle against evil forces while learning academic lessons and life skills. Our staff are teachers and M. Ed. students. Our objective is make learning a life long and exciting endeavor. Not to mention saving the world from zombies.
Thanks to Meghan Gardner, Guard Up Inc.
The notion of having a business serve its employees
As a woman-owned company, we have found many innovative ways to support the needs of families and honor the individual as we continually inspire growth in our business by serving our clients. Regardless of the challenges experienced in the difficult situations encountered in business life, we actively manage our thoughts, feelings and actions to attract what we want and what our clients need. At cSubs, we continually recreate our business from an intention of serving. Our strategies used in sales and marketing feel right because we under promise and over deliver. Wanting more from life, working less, finding deep satisfaction, making more money and having fun while accomplishing our goals is our way of life. All of us here are rewarded for listening to our inner voice and feeling you’re part of something bigger than yourself. This notion of having a business serve its employees and its customers with ethics that live in our actions not on our mission statement, has become the foundation of my company’s mission and the reason for its success.
Thanks to Julie Sue Auslander, cSubs
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Made in the USA
Rhoades Car International manufactures a Certified Made in the USA product — a four wheel bicycle that drives like a car with one, two or four seat capacity with multiple speeds and an optional motor that provides sustainable transportation for families and industry, helps fight obesity, and provides a way for disabled people to exercise safely either alone, depending on their condition, or with loved ones or attendants/caregivers. Our business is unique because we are expanding biking to the masses. We can also brand them to companies for wellness programs. Between the obesity crisis, the high cost of gas, the sustainability movement and the popularity of Made in America products (we are!), there is a huge market for four-wheel bikes…after all, that’s how Henry Ford got started!
Thanks to Phyllis Shelton, Rhoades Car
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