Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Smith, Founder of Smith Visualizations, located in Wallace, WV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Smith Visualizations is a consulting and coaching business that works with educators all around the world. The company helps teachers, counselors, administrators, and anyone else that works in schools or educational institutions make sense of their data. I offer services around creating data visualizations and dashboards. I also provide consultation, training, workshops, and coaching sessions for individuals, district departments, and whole schools.
Tell us about yourself
As an educator for more than 20 years, helping and teaching people has always been a passion. I was a classroom teacher for 17 years. During that time, I was often asked to help others prepare their assessment data for reporting to parents and administrators. As I switched roles and moved into a more technology-heavy role in schools, I was called on to do even more with data and systems creation for educators. As I developed my own skills in data analysis and data visualization, I realized that the things I was applying to my work would be beneficial for others to know as well. I originally started my website and company as a way of documenting the work I was doing. It was more of a personal thing. As other people became aware of my work more and more, I was getting requests to meet with people and offer advice. My schedule began to fill up with weekly and sometimes daily Zoom conversations. That's when I knew it was time to shift into something bigger than just offering advice.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is seeing other people have success and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Usually, people reach out to me because they are struggling or can't make sense of a problem. Teaching them and empowering them with the knowledge and skills to solve their own problems is why I do what I do.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me, personally, about being a business owner is staying on top of all of the things outside of teaching and working with people. I know that marketing, email lists, and social media connections are important to do correctly and consistently. Finding the time and energy to do this while also creating content and coaching my clients is a real challenge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Figure out what will make you stand out from others doing the same thing.
- Get feedback from people you trust. From their perspective, they will tell you things about your products and services that will make it better.
- Give yourself a deadline to have a product completed. It doesn't have to be perfect; it just needs to be good enough. You'll always make things better.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.