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 Megan Close Zavala, Founder and CEO at Turn the Page Book Coaching & Editorial:
What does your company do?
My company provides editorial and book coaching services for talented authors, empowering them to make their writing/publishing dreams realities. While we do offer proofreading and copy editing services, our claim to fame is our monthly coaching program, where I help authors create and follow through on a road map/battle plan for getting their books written and into the hands of readers. Every writer's journey is different, so it's important to educate our clients about the dangers of the "one size fits all" programs that are out there.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the CEO and founder of Turn the Page, and it is truly my privilege to walk with so many gifted authors across the country, spanning all genres. I enjoy looking at a writer's manuscript and looking at it like a puzzle to be solved, making sure all the pieces get positioned the right way so that the book's true purpose can shine. I've been a bibliophile my whole life, and I'm thrilled to be able to do what I love most, make a living at it, and help people at the same time. I have seen firsthand how transformative writing a book can be for people, even before they see their books on bookstore shelves.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The biggest challenge is educating authors about the importance of having a skilled professional help them with their book project and what a book coach actually does. People are so focused on the idea of getting published that they aren't focused on the most important part - having a quality book that will excite, entertain, inspire, and/or inform readers. You can have a literary agent, or even a book deal, but if your book isn't in exemplary shape, readers aren't going to buy it.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Just as I must explain to authors the importance of hiring someone to help them get to where they want to be, small business owners and entrepreneurs need to do that as well. I wish I had worked with a business coach earlier in my career, because once I finally did, the experience was revelatory. It's also important to pinpoint who your ideal customer is, as opposed to being all things to all people. Figuring out who I truly wanted to work with allowed me to avoid burnout and disappointment, as well as hone my coaching skills and do what I love most of all. Now I have fabulous clients whose work makes me excited to get started every day.