Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Lori Ames, Founder and President at ThePRFreelancer, Inc.:
What does your company do?
Our company is a public relations agency that specializes in working with non-fiction book authors to promote, market, and publicize their books. While we focus on most non-fiction categories, most of our clients are business book authors who write about leadership, management, entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing, and more. We work across all mediums including print, broadcast, and online, and also assist with social media management and web design should our clients need that extra assistance. Our clients have been featured in all major media outlets.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am president of ThePRFreelancer, Inc., which was founded in late 2010 soon after my son was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor. I love being able to come up with ideas that get our clients coverage, nurturing my staff to excel at their jobs (which they all do), and doing all this while having created a balance that allows my son to thrive in the workplace while we all create exciting opportunities for our clients. Running my own business also allows me to give back by doing pro bono work for the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation (cbtf.org) and the Michael Magro Foundation (michaelmagrofoundation.com), two organizations that mean the world to me, my son, and my team.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The biggest challenges we face are intense competition and an ever-changing media landscape. Whereas years ago the focus would be on print coverage and city-to-city publicity tours, today many media targets are digital. Print journalists now write online, providing guest content has overtaken scheduling one-on-one interviews, and we need to stay on top of all the changes - television shows broadcasting on Facebook rather than a television network, for example. Posting on Twitter is sometimes just as important as sending a review copy to the New York Times, Washington Post, or USA Today. What is viewed as a media opportunity today could be obsolete tomorrow with a new type of media stepping in to replace it. We need to also be learning and reevaluating.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
What a fabulous question. I think I would advise my younger self to not be held back by doubt or the negative attitudes of an employer. I would encourage my younger self to take more risks the way I do now. One never knows when tragedy or life-changing situations will appear and rock your world. Live hard and play hardball when necessary; don't let anyone ever demean you or belittle you in the workplace. I created a business when many would have given in to fear and the unknown - my business was started from my son's hospital room as a way to create a semblance of normalcy. My younger self didn't know that you really can do anything you put your mind to and that one shouldn't listen to naysayers.