Q 1. 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: Dkspecialties sells advertising specialty items to medical facilities, radio stations, schools, colleges, gyms, banks, and local businesses to name a few be it for trade shows, events, launches or in-house giveaways. We are located in Agoura Hills, CA.
Q 2. 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 educated in London England worked at an advertising agency, have been a radio news broadcaster, traffic broadcaster and actress.
Q 3. 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 was inspired to start dkspecialties while working at a radio station as a newscaster. At that time I noticed the station giving away a lot of promotional giveaways; they were fairly inexpensive items but the station was paying a high price. After doing my own investigation I found I could do this and offer quality items at prices that people would want to pay and thus dkspecialties was born. Call it luck or perseverance but after a year of sitting on the phone and cold calling I landed a huge account and it was that account that put dkspecialties on the map and we have never looked back.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Never take NO for an answer, hard work and long hours.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Listen – Never interrupt – Make the client feel that they are your # 1 priority no matter what size the business.
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: Between 8 – 12 hours a day.
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Know how to handle people, money and problems.
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: Keep dkspecialties name in front of clients be it through e-mail, regular mail, and web advertising; cold calling.
Q 9. 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: Initially it was the huge account we landed; now if we need funding we have a good relationship with our bank.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Good customer service.
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: Hopefully with a larger ongoing customer base.
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Q 13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Having good employees is the core to the success of a business because they are the front line. If a customer calls and does not feel welcome in the first second then that is a customer that will more than likely not call again. Employees represent what a company has built and prides themselves on.
Q 14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: We never give up- giving up is a sign of failure. We strive on accomplishing a task the best way that we can and if the end result is not perfect at least we know that we were able to put everything in to it to be as successful as possible.
Q 15. What motivates you?
Ans: We are motivated by accomplishing a task no matter how easy, difficult or timely. Our end game is to know that at the end of each day we were able to create a friendly and fun time for our customers.
Q 16. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: New ideas are generated on a daily basis. Even being at a local coffee shop and observing what people have in their hands or don’t have for that matter. From that, we than try to come up with ideas that may be fun for a company to have.
Q 17. How do you define success?
Ans: Success is defined as retaining customers and if we are able to retain a customer than we know that we have done our job successfully.
Q 18. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: There is only one way to build a successful customer base and that is keeping the customer more than happy and welcomed each and every time that they call, and that is done by treating each customer as though they are the only one of importance.
Q 19. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Closing the BIG deal.
Q 20. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: When I landed the huge account at the beginning of dkspecialties and after that built up confidence and landed other large accounts that have stayed with us throughout the years.
Q 21. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: As an entrepreneur you care about the business from beginning to end; an employee will work their 8 hours collect their paycheck and go home.
Q 22. 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: The tone of culture that exists at dkspecialties is a tone of everyone, everything and anything is accepted- we do not create limitations or boundaries- all who enter here are welcomed. We’ve established this tone as we are in a business of personalization and everyone has a story behind their brand, their logo and their image and we are not one to limit a person’s creativity.
Q 23. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur
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