Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gene Armstrong, founder of Big Apple Media, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a web developer and the founder of Big Apple Media. It's a small digital design agency I've been running for the past 20 years, specializing in building custom websites for small business owners and healthcare professionals. In addition to web development, I also offer SEO and digital marketing services, as well as website support for a variety of clients.
Tell us about yourself
I've been designing and building sites for a long time. Before I switched to running my own shop, I worked for a number of agencies in New York, where I started. I've always been creative, and when I realized I wouldn't be able to support myself painting, the natural step was for me to go into the web and apply some of my creativity there. I started with graphics and eventually moved to web design. Designing and building something beautiful and functional is what drives me and gives me inspiration. I like to take ideas and turn them into something people can use to help them build and grow their businesses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment is just being helpful and providing the best service I possibly can. I get five-star reviews from all my clients because I try to go the extra mile to make sure everyone I work with has an amazing experience. Being small and agile make gives me the ability to get to know the people I work with and better understand their needs and goals.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Managing all aspects of running a business. There are too many things to do every day. Running your own agency requires you to look for clients, write proposals, follow up with clients, and do the paperwork. All this, in addition to doing the actual work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research. Web design and development are getting extremely competitive. With so many tech layoffs and people looking to switch to online work, finding clients is getting harder. This is especially true for someone new. Reach out to others and seek their advice. There are many Facebook and LinkedIn groups where you can connect and ask questions on how to get started.
- Figure out who you want to help. Before starting your business, it's important to determine who you want to serve, what problems they have, and how you plan to solve them. Approach them with your solution and show them how you can help them and what benefits they will receive by working with you.
- Never stop learning. A growth mindset is one of the most important things you can have. Even after 20 years, I'm still learning something every day. With technology changing so quickly, you have to keep up with all the latest trends and development. Otherwise, you'll be left behind. Always be learning and growing.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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