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 Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO at Mavens & Moguls:
What does your company do?
Mavens & Moguls is a global branding and marketing firm based in Cambridge, MA. Our clients include Microsoft, Virgin, The New York Times Company, venture-backed startups as well as non-profit organizations. We do anything a marketing department, ad agency, PR agency or market research shop does on an as needed, outsourced basis. We can be your team or serve as an extension to your team when you need help. We are a virtual marketing group that can scale up to help during busy periods or when you need additional expertise.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I started the company 16 years ago and am the face and heart of the organization, I sell most of the work and make sure all the agreements get signed and everyone gets paid. I love that my DNA is in everything we do. Since starting the business we have worked with great clients helping them with their toughest marketing and branding challenges. I have joined several boards, am a mentor to the next generation of leaders and have helped build a very successful anti-bullying program that >50,000 middle school kids have gone through. As a marketing consultant I am able to write articles, contribute to books and speak at events to share my experience and lessons learned. Working for yourself and building a business you started is incredibly rewarding and gratifying. I am so much happier and more productive as an entrepreneur than I ever was working for others.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Staying focused and limiting distractions so I can grow my business. It is so easy to get derailed by the latest headline or tweet out of Washington, DC and I started last year wasting a lot of time every day following links online or spending the beginning of every meeting and call talking about things that I could not control and were likely rumors and/or fake news trying to confuse reality. It was frustrating and anxiety inducing so I have made a very conscious effort to stop it. I am much happier and more productive as a result. Washington continues to be crazy so it is well with my effort! Here's to a great 2018!
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
The key to any business is filling your pipeline and prospective customers/clients can come from anyone anywhere anytime so you should always be on your best behavior & make a great lasting impression. Be nice to everyone & make friends before you need them, you never know who is in or will be in a position to help! It is true you should never burn a bridge, that really is great advice and I can tell you dozens of stories over the years where that has served me well. You just never know when your paths will cross again with old colleagues, former bosses, etc. People have a way of recycling in your life in strange ways so just be nice. Kill them with kindness, trust me it pays off! Also, be the best prepared at every meeting, work your butt off and smile. It has worked for me!