WEEK 6: Word of the Week is Resilience!

Zoey C -

Hello everybody and welcome to week 6 of the senior project! This week I had 4 interviews to make up for last week and I had some really good discussions with the business owners! Before I go into this week’s interviews, I just want to talk about a common thread I am seeing among a lot of small business owners. Small businesses typically want to have a connection with their community and have a relationship with the customers. So, picking the right employees is vital to maintaining a friendly front for the business. I have noticed that when asked what characteristics an employee should have, a lot of small business owners talk about how you can teach skills, but it is a little harder to teach personality. When hiring employees, they focus on the personality and attitude of the employee, and are aiming to find a positive and talkative person who will also care about the customers and maintain friendships with them! Anyway, back to the interviews:

My first interview of the week was with Dr. Mangum over at Mangum Dental. Mangum Dental is an established dental office in Prescott, so they do not need to do much advertising. But, Dr. Mangum’s main form of advertising is very unique, in that he has a Hike of the Month blog on his website! Every month, he goes on a hike and writes a blog post about it, then advertises this blog post on his Facebook. This causes higher traffic for his website, so when people search for dental offices in Prescott, his is one of the top 10 websites shown on Google! Simple but effective, huh? You can check it out here if interested about going on any hikes: https://hikeofthemonth.mangumdental.com/! Dr. Mangum is also very insistent on doing the research before starting your business. If you have what the people need (or want), then the revenue will come! You just have to make sure there is a target and who that target audience is!

My next interview was with Cyndi Uelen Coaching. Cyndi is a life coach who focuses on helping train and help people improve in any aspect of their life! She believes that in order to be able to help others uplevel, she needs to also be improving as a person! Cyndi has her own coach and a big part of her budget is focused on professional development for herself. She is aware of her competition but believes there is enough for everybody to go around. Regardless, she thinks that the biggest differentiation between her and the competition is that she has a personal experience and lots of experience working in HR training. Cyndi’s word of the year is resilience, and her biggest learning experience has been to be resilient even during struggles, which is sooo important for starting a running a business!

I had the opportunity to talk to Shaunti at The Traveler’s Outlet, where she is a travel agent and helps plan people’s vacations to foreign countries, mainly to Europe and some of Mexico! Her business is named The Traveler’s Outlet, and the origin of this name is that her husband actually bought the domain a while ago, thinking he would start his own business. But he never did, and once Shaunti decided to start her own agency, she just took over her husband’s domain! When asked what skills a business owner needs to have to be successful, she answered saying that there isn’t anything that anybody HAS to have! Shaunti believes that as long as a person is willing to learn and willing to put the time in to learning, they can be a business owner! This was an interesting perspective, because I have heard long lists of qualities that worried me about whether I could do it! This was a refreshing, different view from what I have seen so far.

My last interview of the week was with Lucas at the Lucas Flood Agency. This is an insurance company that is partnered with Atlas Insurance Brokers, a group of insurance brokers that aid each other in being successful! I really liked when Lucas mentioned that his business plan is in progress and he is taking it step by step. A business plan should be constantly in progress with what is happening with your business and what you want in the future, which can and typically does change throughout the life of the business! He also talked about how the entire experience of running a business is a learning experience in and of itself. I love when people say this, because it is so true! Nobody knows exactly what to do when running a business, so it is definitely a learning experience from beginning to end. Lucas believes that there are no mistakes a business can make. They are instead learning experiences that someone can use to improve and move on from struggles!

I have also completed my customer survey! Anybody who wants to can fill it out (as long as you are in the Yavapai County) by going to this link here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScC-Wscua8kEQWs029mYl948bmFeZFfRvcFvAAMP3LNcGwQyA/viewform?usp=pp_url  .

I am hoping to get as many people to fill it out as possible, so send this to anybody you can! I am starting to send surveys to all businesses that I have talked to, and already have some responses! It is going to be really cool seeing who would go to my soda shop here in Prescott. For the first 5 weeks of my project, I was reading the small business bible, which basically walked through everything you need to know to start a business and keep it running! I found some books this week at the library that I am going to be reading for the remainder of the project! “Common Sense Business” focuses on the lifecycle of a business from start to finish and how to deal with all stages. I also got “Business Plans for Dummies” and “Managing a Business for Dummies!” These are just some easy reads that will help me with my business plan and make sure I am on the right track.

Here are the books I am starting to read for the rest of my project!

One of the most important things about starting a business is that you need to be resilient. There are many struggles and roadblocks when starting and running your own business, but you need to be able to keep pushing through all the problems! The word for this week is going to be resilience! That is all for this week, but I can’t wait to update you next week on any news! Have a great week and everybody be safe. Byeee!

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    Taylor Phelan
    Hey, Zoey, cool week! Dr. Mangum is a great dentist, haha, since he cleans my teeth every six months. I am wondering how many more interviews do you have planned? And, are you going to take all the data from your interviews to compare small business strategies or something like that?
    Ayee Taylor! Dr. Mangum was pretty awesome when I talked to him :) I have 6 interviews lined up with more pending! I am using all the data to see what has been most effective so that I can implement these techniques into my own business plan.
    Hi Zoey! Wow, I can’t believe you are able to conduct so many interviews, create a survey, and do book research all at the same time! On the note of business plans always being in progress, which aspects of business plans tend to change the most? Are there any aspects that tend to remain the same over time?
    Hi Zoey! Your week looked packed, but like a lot of fun! A funny fact, I also looked at some of the books you checked out!
    Hi Maddie! It is pretty normal for a mission statement/goal to change throughout the life of a business and the competition and market analysis changes as the market grows and competition comes and goes! From what I have seen, there is not really anything that stays constant except the startup costs when starting the business. A business plan should constantly be changing and adapting!
    Gianna, that is so cool! I will make sure to let you guys know how these books are!

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