Question: What is the name of your business?
Your Answer: Hale Associations
Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer: Hale Associations is located in Logan, West Virginia. We provide several different web development solutions, such as SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, Content Writing, Link Building and PR. Due to the fact that we provide all our services online, we have loyal customers from all around the world. It's so exciting to have the opportunity to meet business professionals from all over the world, certainly a highlight of my job.
Question: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your own business?
Your Answer: Hale Associations was founded in May 2013. I chose to start my business because I was tired of struggling. I imagine that this is one of the main reasons many choose to start their own business. I've always dreamed of starting my own business and I thank God for sending me on the right path. I'm blessed to be in the position I am, my whole life has certainly changed.
Question: Did you quit your "day job" to start your business? How did you initially fund your business?
Your Answer: I didn't have the luxury of quitting my job. I worked three jobs to fund my business. I was still working when I started my business. I just wanted to have security in case it didn't work out. I didn't know if I would make it or fail. After a few months when business finally picked up, I was able to finally work on my business full time.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: The biggest challenge in running your own company is daily operations. You want to make sure everything is running as you expect. In my case, as we've expanded, it has become more challenging. I work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, I have for nearly a year now. I want everything to be right. The first few years is so crucial, you either make it or you don't. I'll continue that effort because I don't want to ever lose my business or make the wrong choices. I'm responsible for everything. That is another challenge you have to deal with daily. All you can do is put in 110 percent and keep striving to be the best that you can be.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: I've learned that opportunity is always knocking. In my case, every new client we work with has the potential of being a long-term profitable relationship. This is what you look for in my case. Not only do we help our clients develop their business, we also reap the benefits by making their business profitable. It's a win-win situation. With every new client, we get a whole new realm of possibility. This makes work very exciting and I enjoy helping others become successful. That itself is worth everything to me.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: There's times that it still feels like a dream, it still feels that I shouldn't refer to myself as the boss. I'm very humbled in the position that I'm in and I never take it for granted. I'm blessed and I'm just a normal guy. I enjoy the responsibility, I love working hard and I like a good challenge. In the line of work we do, everyday is a new set of challenges and requirements we must meet. The competition is fierce online and we have to be the best. We can't take second place. If we do, we fight for that position.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: Learn your technology and software. Research what can make your job easier for you and your business more efficient. I've learned over the last few months, when you do a great job, that person is going to tell others about your service. Nearly all of our new clients are referred clients. You have to have software and technology in place. If you can make your business better, do it. Technology and software play a vital role in growth and development.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: Believe in yourself. It's that simple. Think about it, before you started your business, how many people believed in you? How many people said you will fail? If I listened to all of these people, I wouldn't be writing this today. I know I've only been a business owner for around a year, but I've learned a lot in that year. Follow your heart, I know this is a saying we've all heard, but stay true to yourself. If you have an idea, make it happen. Go with your gut. Don't question yourself. You'll never know if you don't try. I had to make some big decisions in my first year. Your first year is always tough. I followed my heart and we are growing larger then ever before. I never thought for a minute that I would own my business, it still sounds weird when I tell people. I follow my heart though and yes, I've been blessed. I'm snot cared to admit that fact. In closing, one crucial piece advice I can give you, always think of ways that can generate profit. This is especially true for those of you in your first year. This money can help you grow, invest back into your business. Think outside the box and be creative. This is how ideas are born.