Business Owners Speak Out

The 13th Edition

A collection of short interviews and education from local business owners with amazing insights to today's challenges.

We virtually interviewed some of the top small businesses to take a look at what's really happening during the COVID-19 Crisis. Everyone has some important tips to share with other business owners and a few even have a special offer to share. Check out their interviews and MOST IMPORTANTLY visit their websites and check out their services.  Every small business needs us now (and probably yours too!)


OH, And, learn from their mistakes.... hear what they've done wrong so you can do it right! 

Guy Lawson, Lawson Communications  
We are a marketing and advertising firm. We let free lancers work out of their home. We listened to what clients wanted vs telling what they needed. Today we do mostly market consulting for mid to large size companies (25-100M sales range). B to B service providers. We do a lot of presentation work  

Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? Anyone that is a manufacturer or provides B to B
 services. 25-100M sales range. 100M+ typically have an in-house marketing group by then and sometimes people see us as competition.

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? It was one of our best years of all time. With everyone working from home hiring an outsource is not a big deal and people are more open to it. 

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? We refocused what we are doing. I have a lot of background in defensive based training. I believe the next marketing shift is B to E. Getting employees excited about coming back into the office. A lot of people don’t have a choice but to go back and work in the office and corporate culture is important. We are doing more marketing services for ourselves. We are reworking our website to build our own blog and e-newsletters.

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? 9/11 brought down a financial market and exploded the telecom bubble and I took way too long to react to that. I should have downsized completely. Being too optimistic and being too late to react to something. If you stand still something is going to hit you. Keep an eye out on what is going on in your business and in the market. Be proactive. Especially with the big stuff.  

What is most inspiring to you today? Small business that are persisting against all odds. They keep on doing what they are doing and its really impressive. Rosalind Coffee in downtown Garland and their atmosphere is a great place to network and talk. 

Contact
www.lawsoncomm.com / guy@lawsoncomm.com / 972-523-2452 
 

Monica Scott, Logotology We are a locally owned and family operated promotional products company. Decorated apparel or anything we can put a logo on. We have 2 sister companies GolfTournament.com and classroomapparel.com school uniforms.
 
Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? Anyone that needs our products. Our sweet spot is small to medium sized businesses. We have worked with a lot of folks that have a staff of 40 to start. And we can add apparel as they have new hires.  

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? 
Lack of events have been impactful. We have pivoted and started looking towards the PPE equipment. They were already in our wheel house but now they are more required and nicer. More suppliers out there and we are able to do bulk better.  

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? We have changed and expanded our product marketing. Our showroom is by appointment only and we staggering schedules and are cleaning more.  

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? Really just understanding our competition and that we are different and differentiating ourselves. We had to learn how to differentiate ourselves as more professional. Knowing we are not like a lot of the competition in our industry.  

What is most inspiring to you today? I think the folks that have been so impacted like stay at home moms and the different folks that are just coping has been so inspiring and tiring all at the same time. 

Contact: P: 214-423-4000 / 
monica@logotology.com / https://www.logotology.com/

King White, Site Selection Group Site Selection Group was founded 15 years ago by me and a few partners. We are an integrated site selection firm that provides global location advisory, economic incentive negotiations and compliance, and corporate real estate services. We help companies maximize the return on investment of their location decisions through labor, logistics, real estate, tax, and other factors for a single location or their entire real estate portfolio. 

Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? We are helping both small and large companies across most industry verticals and project types. This can range from helping a small company evaluate renewing their lease versus relocating down the street to advising a Fortune 500 company to relocate their global headquarters from one state to another.     

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? We primarily focus on office and industrial projects. Our office sector clients have been dramatically hit with work-from-home transition both short-term and long-term. Many of our office clients are subleasing their facilities or trying to decide how much space they need in the future. Conversely, our industrial clients are growing due to consumer demand and supply chain reconfiguration. 

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? We have developed a Workplace 2021 – Work From Home Return on Investment Analysis to help clients quantify the financial impact of shifting to a work from home model. 

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? It takes time to build something of value. Many young people and inexperienced entrepreneurs think you can build a company overnight.  It can happen to a lucky few, but the reality is that it will take 2-3 times longer than you ever imagined but it is worth the wait!   

What is most inspiring to you today? The challenge that COVID-19 has presented us inspires me. I enjoy a challenge and working hard to navigate through it successfully and emerge as a stronger company. 

Offer: SSG can provide a free review of your real estate lease, assessment of your labor market, and/or economic incentive eligibility. 

Contact: (214) 271 0580 / kwhite@siteselectiongroup.com / https://www.siteselectiongroup.com/ 

 

Amanda Squier, Creative Color I Started 2 years ago as squire Inc. and did printing and signage. We grew rapidly for being a new shop but because of COVID I didn't have the cashflow to operate the way I wanted. So, I partnered with one of my regular customers and we started Creative Color. We bought out a screen printing shop and took over doing apparel in-house. Our goal was to be a commercial printer. A true one stop shop with everything in house. 

Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? We target large corporations.  We are trying to be a commercial printer, not just a standard mom and pop type printer.   

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? I would definitely say the cash flow.  We had more orders in the past and hit a dead month or two. When COVID hit we had so many signage requests we were becoming too successful too fast and didn’t have the cash flow to keep up with it. 

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? I would say the biggest thing was going ahead and looking at other options.  By taking on a partner we gained a lot more equipment to keep up with demand and cash flow as well. 

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? I would say the biggest mistake, especially with COVID, I kind of sat there for a month or two trying to figure out what I was going to do instead of just adapting.  So by the time I started adapting, it was too late.  I was worrying about paying the bills rather than adapting and doing what I could. 

What is most inspiring to you today? Seeing small business owners like myself find ways to make it through and figure out ways to get through.    

Offer: 10% off first order.  End of April 2021.   

Contactamanda@creativecolorllc.com / (214) 334-5514 / www.creativecolorllc.com 

Alan Davidson, D3 Roofing & Construction I am partnered with my brother. I wanted to help the community to improve the homes and improve the community. From day one we started with the concept of radical generosity. We set aside money from every project to go back into the community via locally-operating charities. We are a new company with decades of experience, dedicated to our customers and community. We look forward to working with you.

Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? The ones that are struggling with their insurance claims for example when they get hail damage. I really excel when they have been partially declined.  

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? The biggest impact is that it has been difficult to get customers. People are apprehensive.

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? One of the things is that we will keep our distance from the initial door knock and we will maintain a minimum 6-10 feet. And that was something that was pretty common for most of us to do anyway so it wasn’t a huge adjustment. We can offer things via email and electronically. We can go to as little contact as possible while maintaining the same level of service.  

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? Some of the biggest mistakes would be not hiring higher quality people. I hired anyone that was willing to knock on doors assuming I could train them and there is some truth to that but you can’t train integrity. There is an old saying “I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies”  

What is most inspiring to you today? I would say the resilience and the way the people have handled the pandemic. Everyone stepped up from the first responders to most of our government officials and especially the citizens themselves. 

Offer: We can do up for a 20 square roof for $4500 of Owen Corning. 

Contact: (214) 303-9988 / info@d3roofing.com / d3roofing.com 

 

Paul Wackym, Wackym's Kitchen  We bake more than 50,000 cookies on a comfortable day. We started with 5 flavors at the farmer’s market 12 years ago and in the first year began selling cookies at Central Market.  We have made our cookies the same way since the beginning. Along the way we figured out how to do it smarter and faster. We sell all-natural crispy cookies and we make over 40 different varieties. 

Who do you consider your best customer or Target audience? We have a very broad customer base. Parents, adults, children. We target those who love crunchy cookies and made all-natural real ingredients. 

What's been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business? The rate of sales. When everything shut down in March 2020 our distributor had 5 weeks of product and sold it the first week. It was breath taking to try and play catch up. It was ultimately positive.  

What are some actions you have taken to make a difference? First, we took care of our people, we paid them because everyone needs to continue eating. Secondly, I am actively coaching to make sure my employees are taking care of themselves and their families. There is a lot of misinformation out there. It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others.  

It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, but the wise learn from the mistakes of others. What are some mistakes that you’ve made that could help others? I’ve spent lots of good money after bad. I would have rethought buying a new forklift from a honest legitimate forklift dealer.   

What is most inspiring to you today? The view toward tomorrow. A big point of pride is that one of our long-term employee's son graduated from college and got a job at IBM. Looking towards tomorrow makes me proud.. 

Contact: (214) 327-7667 /  paul@wackymskitchen.com / www.wackymskitchen.com 

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