Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: East coast cable solutions is located in the beautiful state of Maryland. Specifically, in the historic city of Frederick, approximately 1 hour north of our nation’s capital, Washington DC. We distribute products to our ever growing number of loyal customers, who require great customer service and unique solutions regarding all things cable rail.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I was schooled on the streets of “Shangri-La” and proudly display my “Master’s degree” righteously earned from the “school of hard knocks”. My major accomplishment to date, is that after helping to raise three beautiful children and staying happily married for the last 40 years, I am able to keep a full head of hair.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: I have always believed in myself, even from a young age. Whenever anyone wants to start anything new, not just a business, it helps to have one good employee who believes in the cause. Usually, that employee is you… but that passion rubs off on good people who hopefully gravitate towards your confidence. I am inspired to be creative in my own way and receive great satisfaction from helping others learn and grow in business.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Most business ideas sprout from problems needing to be fixed, but the customer’s problems are only the beginning. Next, you have to fix all your financial, procedural and logistical problems that stand in the way of fixing your customer’s problems. If you don’t mind fixing problems all day and then fixing half of those same problems again the next day, and then a few every night before you go to sleep, then by all means, you should be in business. That is what I am inspired to do, help people fix problems.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: The ability to work well with others, which I can confidently say I have yet to master. Deep pockets, or friends with deep pockets, also not mastered; and lastly, the ability to smell “BS” before you step in it. I have thankfully managed to keep my boots squeaky clean and fingers crossed they stay that way.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: On average, I work about 9- 10 hours at my desk.
To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Good Employees. Sometimes you just get lucky, sometimes you will need to work very hard at this.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: I am terrible at marketing, everything I think will work well, turns out not to be not so effective. I’m getting to the point that when I have decided what to do… I should just do the opposite. But, with the help of professionals and accepting new ideas, I’ve found social media to be an effective marketing tool.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: I have self-funded from the start, and only expanded or grew when there was a clear need and I had the money.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: I have been in business now for 11 years, I don’t think that qualifies me to answer for anything long term, but in spite of sounding cliché, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: I’m not sure where I see myself in 5-10 years, I’m not really the retiring type. I’ll probably be hanging around solving problems for as long as I can, in one way or another. The business on the other hand, I see us settled into our new facility, currently being renovated; hopefully employing more hard working and dedicated individuals.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: I admire most, the business that balances time spent at work, at play and with the family. Give back to others who need it, and are thankful that God gave them time on this earth to do it.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Incredibly. As I had said, I attribute most of my success to the employees who believed in and trusted me.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: Try, try again. Ideas are constantly evolving, my initial thought and end result are often vastly different.
Q. What motivates you?
Ans: My family.
Q. What are your ideals?
Ans: God. Family. Fairness.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: I have carried a notebook with me for years, when I come across a problem, I write out ideas for a solution. Some are useless, others stick.
Q. How do you define success?
Ans: When your accomplishments can help others find their own success, you’ve officially contributed to your community.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Keeping the ones who took a chance on you to begin with! When I started this company, I filled every position. Now that I have employees filling those roles, I aim to have each employee treat our customers as if we’re still trying to earn their business.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Having the freedom to think outside of the box.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The day my daughter joined my team. Seeing her earn her way to management and getting to collaborate ideas with her has been incredibly rewarding.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Most people work for one person, entrepreneurs work for everyone.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: As a family man, I have encouraged a close knit work environment for our staff. We often cook out on Fridays, and all employees typically exchange personal phone numbers. I find a relaxed work environment makes for relaxed and focused employees.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
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