This April, Crummy Media Solutions is celebrating it’s 3rd Anniversary in business. I would like to take the time to thank those that have been a great support and a contributor to this success. I would also like to highlight a few things I have learned along the way.
The Start of a Business
The First year in 2012 was a great year of learning. The kick-off to my business was thanks to the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) of Lanark County. After much debate, much, much debate, the business name of Crummy Media Solutions was chosen. My husband, Sean, who does not have the same last name as myself, said that I have to use my Crummy name. Although, I got a few negative comments about using Crummy, I felt it suited my personally and was quirky for a business name. Sean has a lot of sales experience and taught me a lot about how to close a sale and how to do follow up.
Roy van der Mull from VDMA Consulting, who facilitated the OSEB program, was a great support to me in the first year. I am very grateful to him and the OSEB program. The major component of the work done during the OSEB program is the Business Plan. It was a lot of work, but the backbone to a successful business. The fist year, I also met Mike Cimilyan from Paradime Design and IT Solutions. We decided at that time to work together on a few website projects and have been collaborating on projects ever since. He has really helped expand my web geek mind.
To expand my business mind, I have been an active member of a Mastermind group. The group both supports and holds me accountable to reach my goals. Crummy Media Solutions joined all 3 Chamber of Commerces in the location area, including, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place. I have found my memberships have been a great asset to my business. I have told many business people, especially those that are just starting out how important it is to network. Networking is the great connector in business. Social Media Networking is a great start, but it has to be taken off-line to grow the business relationship and build trust.
I starting teaching Social Media Workshops and presenting seminars or the Small Business Advisory Centre and speaking at networking events at the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce. I was also hired to present workshops for private businesses and one-on-one training. Last year, I was asked by Karen Wilson of Wellman Wilson Consulting to be on the organizing committee for the Social Capital Conference in Ottawa. This was a great event and I loved being a part of it. I was also a speaker at the conference.
In 2014, I started writing a regular column in the Small Falls HomeTown News on Digital and Social Media Marketing. This has really helped me hone my writing skills. In this next year in business I have a few ideas to step things up. I love collaborating on projects and I see more of that happening.
Being a Part of the Local Community
I know many business owners are very involved in their community. I felt this same need when I started my business, to really connect with people in my area and to get know them on a deeper level. I also really wanted to understand the struggles of small businesses in Lanark County. I joined the Board of Directors for the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce last year and have really enjoyed the learning and work involved. I am also on the Selection Committee and Alumni Committee for the OSEB Program of Lanark County. I love seeing the new businesses starting out and sharing my experiences with the program and starting a business with the class.
The Learning Never Ends
The life of an entrepreneur is one of great challenges and great personal growth. Many thanks to everyone for being a part of this adventure and I look forward to another year of new experiences and new connections.
What tips would you give to someone just starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur?