Jamie Teasdale grew up with business on her mind. Her parents were entrepreneurs who started several successful businesses and inspired her to become a business professional. Now, Jamie shares her skill set with business owners of all types to help them reach their goals.
Been in business for years? That doesn’t matter; Propel Businessworks has clients that are just starting out and those who have been in the game for the long haul.
Jamie is passionate about growing businesses and helping business owners realize their full potential. She shared with us some of the ways Propel Businessworks helps individuals achieve these goals in the interview below.
Propel Businessworks helps individuals reach their business goals. How does the team at Propel Businessworks achieve this?
Propel is a small business growth strategy company. We help small business owners develop their brand, establish online presence through websites and social media presences, and develop content marketing plans that we can also execute.
We help small businesses grow!
What kind of businesses can PropelBusinessWorks.com help?
We work with solopreneurs and startups, small businesses with teams of up to 20, as well as online businesses or those with store fronts. Whether they are just getting started or have been in business for 15 years, we can help them get to the next level.
What are some of the biggest challenges to running a business from start to finish?
Wearing all the hats! As a business owner, we could be great at doing the work, coming up with the ideas, selling or promoting the business, or manage the admin side or team members, but it’s rare that any one person excels at all of those tasks at once.
As the owner, we’re forced to wear all the hats until we find reliable help and make the decision to build our team. We can work smarter, not harder by letting experts handle the areas that we aren’t as strong in.
Your blog mentions the pitfalls of using DIY marketing to help grow business. What are some of the biggest pitfalls business owners come across?
One of the primary, if not the biggest pitfall I have found is believing one person can handle all of the work that goes into running and building a successful business. Wearing all the hats, as I already mentioned, often translates to a very real shortage of time, juggling and attempts to multi-task, and all of this leads to poor consistency and a lot of stress.
Consistency is really the key to marketing success. If a business owner begins finding themselves lagging or missing marketing plan deadlines, it means they’re busy, which hopefully means they’re selling or producing more. Once those orders are complete, you have to start the marketing efforts up again. This causes a rollercoaster effect in their sales.
I always encourage discovery of strengths so the owner can focus on the areas they are great at – and they enjoy! Then let the experts come in and manage the marketing planning and consistency piece.
Talk to us about how Propel Businessworks got started and what makes the team behind it qualified to offer great business tips and advice.
Propel is the result of my growing up in an entrepreneuring family. My parents have had multiple businesses over the years, and I’ve watched them start, build, grow and learn along the way. I have worked in every aspect of their businesses since 1990 and have seen the struggles, successes, stress and freedom that being an owner of a small business brings. My heart is for them and my passion is helping them develop, grow, to be better – to prosper.
My team is the direct result of my demand for the best. Over the years I have worked with some amazing people, and have also experienced business and professional standards that make me shutter. Albeit unfortunate, I can’t do a lot about the lack of skill, knowledge or principles that other businesses operate with. But I can hand-pick the experts that I work with, and they’ve all been in their fields doing the craft they love for years.
My team works on Propel projects first, and then we begin integrating them into the client work. That is important to me because it allows me to see their level of experience and skill, as well as their communication and organization style before we ever place them with client projects. That’s my quality check.
I’ve definitely learned about interviewing, hiring and working with team members, and after all is said and done, it takes practice and time to find perfect fits. My team members have worked with me on multiple projects in different ways and have been vetted for their business practices, communication and people skills, not to mention their skill and expertise.
Share a story of one instance where Propel Businessworks was able to significantly help a business reach the next level of success.
We’ve been able to do this for quite a few companies over the years, but most recently we have seen incredible success with a new layer of support that we added to a bed and breakfast in Central Oregon earlier this year. Almost overnight, that business filled their books and they’ve maintained that throughout the last seven months.
When we started with them over two years ago, the company had come to us wounded. Another marketing firm had taken advantage of them and fed them advice that would benefit the marketing company more than it would the B&B.
Needless to say, we were facing an uphill battle, and over the course of these two years, we’ve engaged a communication marketing plan and assisted them in implementing it, built a new website which increased their web presence and SEO strategy by almost 300% and have begun managing key pieces of marketing plan. Ultimately, we have assisted them in generating more bookings, developing processes for and training team members who are involved with sales and customer interaction, and engaged their loyal community of guests and referral partners.
That is a great feeling and one story I’m very proud of today!
As a business yourself, what are some of the challenges that you face, and how do you address those challenges?
One of my greatest challenges is whether to hire employees or contract with other businesses. I’ve lived on both sides of that coin and working with contractors has won, time and again, and for a number of reasons. While some businesses need employees on site, my business affords me the choice of working with anyone, no matter of distance – and I work with businesses all over the country and throughout the world. But there are pros and cons to both.
It doesn’t matter what the challenge is really, all business owners deal with them. It could be hiring or managing a team, accounting, payroll and taxes, sales or marketing, or the general pile of admin work. As I always say, business ownership is not for the faint of heart.
How you deal with challenges is another thing. I tend to be very honest and open about what I’m learning, and that has allowed me conversations that have shaped some of the best growth ideas I’ve had. There’s usually a silver lining somewhere, if you’re willing to look for it.
What are some ways that businesses keep themselves from prospering? How does Propel Businessworks help those businesses overcome whatever it is that holds them back?
Truthfully, two things come to mind:
1. Believing they can’t find quality marketing expertise that is affordable with a goal to pay for itself. When it comes to marketing, so many owners feel they can do it themselves, and it only has so much immediate ROI. What they may not realize is where the best use of their time is and that focusing on that area of their business will strengthen the business foundation while a marketing team works simultaneously on their behalf.
Plain and simple, hiring quality help doesn’t have to be expensive, but you never want to go “cheap.” Trust me. Many a business owner has struggled their way through a few years of getting help from their sister-in-law’s cousin. Spending money is a means to an end. Marketing management firms like Propel should be focused on generating business that pays for their services. That’s the formula we believe in.
2. Not being confident in or wiling to trust their decision-making skills. The first time you meet someone, you get a brief impression of who they are. After a 10-minute conversation, you’ve been able to identify their communication and personality style and see a brief insight to how they think. By then, you’ve made a decision on whether you relate, like or can get along with them.
Once an owner has met with a company and has their quote, it’s about personality, skill and knowledge, and finally – money. Considering those elements all together for the first time, you will get a gut feeling about whether you want to work with them, or you don’t. Go with your gut – it’s usually right.
After an hour conversation with a business owner, I know a lot about them, what they’re like, what they need and if we’d be a good fit for their company. And I offer as much information, recommendations and direction as I can, which allows them to get to know me, my knowledge and ability and whether they could work with me.
If a company isn’t right for us, I will help them find the company that is.
Please share anything else you would like people to know about your business.
I think you know a lot about me now, but in case you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on these things, content marketing, and business ownership on a regular basis, feel free to check out my blog, sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, and find us on a social site. I love conversations, sharing and educating. Come learn.
Follow Teasdale to learn more about reaching business goals on Facebook and Twitter.