Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jillian Losik, Founder of eMarketplace Management LLC., located in Park City, UT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
eMarketplace Management (eMM) is a boutique female-founded full-service Amazon agency. Our specialty is launching and scaling CPG brands on Amazon. We offer the following solutions: Full A-Z management of your Amazon selling account, brand consulting, self-management training, omni-channel brand/product launch strategizing, and customizable projects. We work with start-ups through publicly traded companies, with a primary focus on socially responsible brands and VC-backed founder-led start-ups.
Tell us about yourself
Prior to founding eMM in 2016, I worked in finance and analytics, creating commission structures and budgets for corporate healthcare staffing. I then brought my analytical and reporting skills to one of the first and largest Amazon accelerators before going in-house for a midsize consumer electronic start-up.
I started eMM because I believed I could provide a better service to brand owners. I didn't want to support products or enterprises; I wanted to support socially responsible brands with a truly inspiring founder-led story and purpose to do and be better.
What I enjoyed most and still do is helping founders reach and exceed their goals. They launched their brands because they have a purpose, i.e., a WHY that they are actively pursuing while helping others and/or the planet, and I enjoy helping them get there.
eMM is purposefully a nibble team; I actively work with every founder we partner with. This one-on-one experience allows me to obsess over my brands and their analytics and streamline efficiencies to help them scale. The success I've seen in the socially responsible (i.e., sustainable), small to mid-sized start-ups is what drives me to keep helping more and more brands.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
On the business side, my biggest accomplishment has been helping brands successfully become acquired so the founders can go on to pursue their next brilliant ideas. On a personal level, as a business owner, running a lean business for 7+ years with sustained 40%+ year-over-year growth as a female in a male-dominated industry has been one of my biggest accomplishments.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Time management! When I started eMM, it was just a couple of clients and me. We've since added a few wise minds to the team and have worked with over 200 brands. Managing the eMM team, personally interacting with every partnered brands team on a weekly basis, and now having a family, I'd say organizing my time efficiently is an ongoing challenge. I'm leaning more toward my team with management tools to delegate tasks. I'm never truly offline, but I do try my best to separate work time from family and personal time so I can be my best self and a present mother, wife, and friend.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a defining feature, skillset, etc., that sets you apart, and be able to articulate it. I work with 50+ new start-ups each year, and oftentimes brand owners describe one aspect of their product as being the uniquely defining characteristic. This is often true, but more often than not, the unique aspect of the brand is what the founder(s) themselves bring to the business – a unique skill set, inspiring story, or a passion that keeps them motivated (i.e., their WHY).
- Understand your business model. This would include financials, marketing, logistics, etc. I can't tell you how many brand owners don't know their true numbers. This is what gets brands into trouble.
- Think in the long term, especially with budgeting. What you learn in 6-months with a start-up is similar to 10 years in an enterprise-level business. Think forward, plan ahead, and don't expect immediate success or same-day results. With budgeting, you need enough equity or cash flow to sustain the next 6-months of your business at any time. You don't need to be VC-backed to succeed; you just need to budget wisely.
- Oops, 4th tip that I can't help but include here. GO FOR IT! So many people have great ideas, but few take the leap to start a business. I've never met anyone who regretted starting a business, even ones that failed, because you learn so much and are better prepared for the next venture.
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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