Starting your first entrepreneurial endeavor can be an overwhelming and downright scary experience. That is why there are critical steps to take as you launch into your new business that will keep risks at a minimum. Many individuals start companies because they have a good idea or have gained enough experience to achieve a unique expertise.However, there are variables that reveal themselves as you ramp up the business operations fundamentals, pipeline strategies, and the juggling of doing the actual work. This is where new business owners must think outside of their business discipline and get some basic support, partners, and processes in place to allow the business deliverables to happen smoothly and for the revenue to start flowing. In this issue of The Office Link we explore this concept a little deeper with newbie entrepreneur Dawn Pelon, Managing Partner of Think3 Marketing.
Dawn left a 20-year corporate career in January of 2016 to begin a new career as a marketing firm owner. She is currently one of three managing partners of a full-service marketing firm called Think3 Marketing. Currently, the firm focuses on building out the business with clients in Agriculture, Professional Services, and Building Materials. Think3 Marketing provides brand marketing strategy, operations, and performance analytics for a growing client base.
How not to stumble over the
unanticipated risks of starting
a new business…
1) Keep an open mind to your weaknesses
2) Be flexible in finding solutions to address your business challenges
3) Focus on your strengths and form partnerships that can fill your gaps
4) Consider alternate approaches or business models
Dawn originally started her own firm, Point2 Performance, as a sole entity and quickly established a solid client base. “Point2 Performance was designed to be a professional development company for creative and marketing agencies in regards to managing client business,” said Dawn. “I quickly realized providing marketing services was an easier way to generate revenue. At the same time, I concluded the limited capacity of a one-employee firm was not going to provide me the income that I needed.” This led to putting the professional development side of Point2 Performance on hold in order to expand more into marketing services. Realizing that there were client opportunities beyond her current business capabilities, Dawn decided to form a partnership with a new firm, Think3 Marketing.
Understanding the Business Operations Fundamentals
Dawn talks about the three areas of daily business owner’s focus: Back-end Operations, Building a Pipeline, and Producing the Output. Balancing these on a regular basis can stretch your attention and impact your performance. “I quickly learned where my strengths were and where there were going to be gaps,” said Dawn. “If you do not keep an open mind to where you may need assistance, you risk the overall performance of the company. Business operations was my weak point. I understood what needed to be done in this area; however I lacked the focus, interest, and discipline to properly manage simple business operating fundamentals.”
Dawn struggled with the business operating basics such as invoicing, tracking expenses, insurance coverages, website maintenance, mileage tracking, and all the other office details that are core to a running a business. She found that a strong focus on building her pipeline and producing the deliverables was where she could make the most impact on the business. That prompted her to search for business partners that could round out the strengths of the business, and find office space where she could focus on work, rather than attend to much of the minutia that running an office requires. “At Executive Office Link, all I have to do is bring my laptop, and get to work.” Dawn has also utilized the support services several times, and has had success networking with other tenants.
Building the Pipeline
Not only was the burden of back-end operations restricting the performance that Dawn was expecting, limited scalability soon became a glaring realization as well. “I felt my time became a juggling act and that I wasn’t able to enjoy the work nor was I able to deliver the level of quality I wanted,” said Dawn. “Finding my partners, Lauren and Jacquie, enabled us all to balance our strengths and availability while working on pipeline business and delivering quality work. We all shared the same needs in our individual businesses so we are a good match. Which led us to launch Think3 Marketing in late 2016 with a vision to be the marketing firm that everyone wished existed.”
Delivering Quality Performance
By quickly realizing your weaknesses and addressing them, business owners can focus more on delivering the quality of work and building the client relationships that drive the business forward.“I have learned that you uncover things you never anticipated when you start your own business, so you need to stay open-minded to changing your approach or business model to survive. I plan to keep Point2 Performance on the launch pad for when it is ready, but in the meantime I am going to enjoy my new partnership and focus on building Think3 Marketing to what we envision it can be,” says Dawn.
To contact Think3 Marketing, call (610) 585-7901 or email Dpelon@Think3marketing.com