Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rick Campbell, CEO of CMS Group, located in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a marketing, management, and entertainment company specializing in the casino and hospitality industries. We provide full-service marketing, including but not limited to graphic design, digital marketing, database marketing, loyalty marketing, media/advertising, and public relations.
Our team provides comprehensive management, including gaming operations, hotel operations, Food & Beverage Operations, IT, finance, human resources, security, regulatory and legal. Our entertainment division provides national and regional entertainment, special events, celebrity appearances, and event production of sound systems, lighting systems, staging, and special effects.
Tell us about yourself
I was working as a sound and lighting engineer for various musical artists and got tired of living out of tour buses and semis. I was asked by a casino to be their entertainment manager. It was a great opportunity because I could still do sound and lighting and manage the entertainment and be at home. Because of my education in marketing and entertainment being a part of the marketing department, I soon took on some of the marketing duties along with the entertainment. Since then, I have held senior-level executive positions with both Native American and commercial gaming organizations.
In 2011, there was a lot of movement in the casino and hotel industries with company takeovers and bankruptcies. A group of experienced casino, hotel, and food & beverage executives, including myself, from different fields, met and decided that we would use our skills and experience to assist casinos, hotels, and restaurant companies with growth and profitability. We formed CMS Group.
The casinos, hotels, and food & beverage industries are exciting industries to work in. Our motivation is watching the businesses we work with grow and succeed. When we work with a business, we become a partner. The other motivation for our business is working with the newest technologies in the industry and assisting the businesses with the understanding of the latest technology and information, and assisting them with the support to grow the business. We are also motivated to watch the people coming up in the industries, teach and coach them, and watch them move up in the industries.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
First and foremost is putting together a very diverse and experienced team. The team is very supportive of each other and works to motivate each other. Even though we have titles to our positions, our titles don’t matter when we are working together on a project. Everyone has equal input in a project.
Secondly, it is working with such great companies in the casino, hotel, and entertainment industries. It is overcoming the thought that we are there to tell the companies what they are doing wrong. Our priority when we are in the exploratory stage of working with a company or a project is to let them know we are there to assist and work together for a common goal. We have been able to do that with every company we have worked with and continue to work with.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Learning to say no to both potential clients and to vendors. Some potential clients ask for services outside of our scope, and we would like to assist, but we have to stay focused on what we do. We also have many vendors that come to us and ask for introductions to some of our clients or come to us with a product or service that does not really serve the industries we work within.
The other challenge is taking time to step away and rest. The casino, hotel, and entertainment industries are 24/7 businesses. At times even holidays are not recognized and are just another day of doing business. Must take time each day for yourself. Whether it is exercising, meditation, reading, or something mindless, taking your mind away from the business and taking time for yourself will keep you healthy and keep you from burning out.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research. Research the industry and the market you want to do business in. What are some of the companies already doing business in the industry that are similar to your business plan?
- Determine your customer. There is so much information out today on people and businesses that you can find and target your ideal customers for your business. Don’t get too broad on who your customer is. Target your revenue based on your target customer, and make sure you can take care of your customer.
- Have a strong mission. What are the goals of your business, and how are you going to reach those goals? Make sure the goals are obtainable, not overreaching. What is it that is going to make you stand out from the competition? The plan to reach those goals. With a strong mission comes the support of your staff, your customer, and any financial support you may need.
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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