Being a young entrepreneur can sometimes be difficult but for Lais Pontes, the 25-year old owner of The Pontes Group, a branding, public relations and marketing agency based out of South Florida has been able to be successful. The agency represents clients across various categories including fashion (Headbands of Hope), consumer-packaged goods (Energems), nonprofit (Glam-A-THON) and large-scale events (Clearwater Beach Uncorked).
Hearpreneur had the opportunity to speak with Pontes about her business, the future of public relation and being a woman business owner.
1. Why did you start your business?
I was inspired to launch my business out of passion. I wanted to promote new brands and help them reach goals they never imagined. I knew if I only worked with clients I respected and brands I loved; I would never work a day in my life.
2. What are your thoughts on being a woman small business owner?
I believe woman business owners still face a lot of challenges and obstacles. We need to work harder, be tougher all while wearing power heels! But if anyone is up for the challenge it is this amazing group of unique women who are innovative, risk takers and not afraid to make their dreams come true. Many of us are motivated by emotion and we can harness that to develop a passion that will make any business succeed.
3. What are your thoughts on being a young business owner? What things do have you overcome?
As a young business owner it puts you on a different path than other young professionals who work 9 to 5. For a business to succeed you have to eat and breathe what you do, which doesn’t leave too much time for socializing. I have struggled with finding a work life balance in the past, which led me to volunteering with amazing organizations like Glam-A-THON, a breast cancer nonprofit. Volunteering provides for a fun outlet with amazing people, while doing good in the community.
4. What are some future trends in the PR industry?
I believe social media will make a shift from being just part of a business to a necessity. Both large and small businesses that may have gone a more traditional PR route are realizing the value in social media through the ability to generate leads, disseminate information and achieve measurable sales.
5. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners?
The best thing you can do is always follow your gut. The clients and potential partnerships that make you weary from the get-go are the ones that will cause you the most problems in the long run. Only work with people you respect and clients you are passionate about; usually your first instinct is the right one.