Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mariam Demian, Founder of Caffeinated Media Solutions, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Caffeinated Media Solutions offers marketing and e-commerce support for businesses in need of platforms and tools to increase their sales and enhance their online presence. Most exciting is that we also now offer courses on how to open an online e-commerce web store in six weeks! The premise is to empower business owners who have fears or reservations about their abilities with the knowledge they need to really own the creation, building, and design of an online business in a friendly and jargon-free learning environment. Our clients thus far have varied from novice business owners to established business owners. In some cases, we've worked with people turning their side hustle into a tangible business, and others have found that their current websites need to move to a new platform with more capabilities to scale their business and support the growth of their sales.
Tell us about yourself
My interests in all my work have always centered around helping others acquire the knowledge they need in order to feel confident in their work and self-reliant when they need to be. I've also always loved the art of communicating a story and/or a message in an engaging manner. Through time and after years of working for agencies and brands in marketing teams, I observed a need for marketing and communications services to be accessible to new and established small business owners who feel priced out or confused by the digital platforms that they need in order to succeed - and a seed was thrown which became Caffeinated Media Solutions. There's a lot of jargon in this industry which spurred me to 'lift the veil' so to speak, and reach out to people who want to simplify and democratize the e-commerce industry to include those who don't know how to code and don't necessarily have the largest budgets to hire teams and developers to get them online and selling their products.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment at this point is celebrating three years in business through some tough times. Knowing that my clients have businesses that support their own dreams in which I can play a small part is also such a joy because each new client has their own story that I get to help them share with their audience. It's humbling for someone to say thank you for the work because I really do love the process, and to continue doing it while adapting when necessary is quite fulfilling.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing as a small business owner, and a sole proprietor at that, is the daily decision to keep at it and not give up. There are a lot of unsolicited questions and opinions about "getting a job" that every business owner faces when starting out, coming from well-meaning friends and family, that requires a conscious decision to drown them out and keep moving forward. This is why it is so important to return to 'the why' of starting a business in the first place.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure that what you are selling, be it a product or service, has a viable, marketable audience. This seems silly and implied; however, sometimes people get wrapped up in filtered, unlikely success stories that there isn't enough time spent thinking about the reality of how that story came to be, how long it took, and how much money was spent getting there.
- Have a short, medium, and long-term financial and budgetary outlook to help focus business expenses for development, maintenance, subscriptions, etc. This will stem the surprise expenses from causing too much overwhelm.
- Celebrate the small wins just as you would big ones! Every day as a small business owner can be more challenging than a traditional office job in that there are tons of uncertainties, so every good thing should be celebrated along the way!
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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