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by RestonNow.com Sponsor October 18, 2016 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is an occasional feature from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Prosperity Internal Medicine’s Drs. Tarique Zahir and Taseen Mir.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Dr. Tarique Zahir (left) and Dr. Taseen Mir. PIM: Reston is home. We have been living in the Reston area since our move from North Carolina and Michigan back in 2007.

We find the Reston location innovative, modern, and a great place to live and have a business. It is our honor to share and give back to this community.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

PIM: Every business has challenges. As a business owner, we have learned the ups and downs and challenges of running a business. There is great responsibility and great reward in running a business. We find that excellent customer service goes a long way. The importance of retaining good, strong talent in your workforce, and establishing strains of loyalty in your practice is paramount and of the utmost importance.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor October 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is an occasional series from our partnership with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Insperity, which provides business and human resource solutions. Speaking is Business Profitability Advisor Sally Munn.

insperity-logo-stackedReston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Sally Munn: Reston is the geographic bullseye of business growth in Northern Virginia.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

SM: People buy from people they Know, Like, and Trust…in that order. I’ve really enjoyed getting out and about to a wide variety of events and meeting a very broad cross-section of people. That said, building trust does take time.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

SM: We give small business owners buying power they cannot get on their own, which translates into saving THOUSANDS on their Employee Health Benefits. Not just today. We also give them a predictable mechanism to control those costs going forward. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor October 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

This is a sponsored post that is part of an occasional series by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on InForm Fitness. (Note: Inform Fitness is also a Reston Now sponsor)

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

IF: Reston is an impressively sophisticated market, full of vitality, representing a huge potential of equally viable residential and commercial InForm Fitness clients. The demographic is perfect: whether one lives or works in Reston, they will typically be professionally ambitious, financially stable, mindful of their health, and conscious of their schedule demands.

We believe in one singular purpose of exercise – to build muscle safely and efficiently, with one or two 20-minute sessions a week. Our protocol of strength training offers extremely effective muscular and metabolic conditioning; from a safe, efficient, and sustainable program, through a high-intensity, focused technique.

inform-fitnessInForm Fitness offers a revolutionary program for people with demanding schedules, who want optimal results in minimum time. And while not in the gym the typical four to five hours a week, our clients enjoy the time to live the lives they want.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

Our Vision and Mission: Our company vision is to pioneer a sea change in the mindset of popular exercise culture to where the primary objective of exercise is to build and maintain muscular strength. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor May 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

This is a sponsored post that is part of an occasional series by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Koko FitClub, with locations at North Point Village Center and Fox Mill Center.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Koko: Koko FitClub is a nationwide individualized coaching training gym dedicated to changing lives through results-­driven fitness and nutrition. We work as a team to keep each client motivated every step of the way to fitness success. Reston was a perfect place to build a healthier, happier community!

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

Koko: Without a doubt, the rewards are seen in the relationships we cultivate not only with our clients directly but with the broader community as well. Nothing is more rewarding than working with individuals to design their fitness plan, train them, adapt as they improve, and to keep them motivated throughout the whole process! Koko Nation feels like a friendly, supportive and encouraging family. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor April 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

This is a sponsored post that is part of an occasional series by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Corner Media, an outdoor and digital advertising firm. Speaking is Washington, DC, Sales Manager Somer Gregory.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Somer Gregory: We work with multiple real estate partners in the Reston area and we are also looking to expand our networking opportunities throughout the area throughout 2016. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a sponsored feature highlighting businesses that are members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Laurentia Photography, based in Reston. Speaking is Laurentina owner Laura Kuah.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Laura Kuah: Laurentina Photography is primarily an on-location, full-service social event and portrait studio. Reston offers a variety of backdrops for my clients: from corporate events at the Hyatt in Reston Town Center to family photos at Lake Fairfax Park, and even editorial photos along the W&OD Trail. Reston offers a sense of community that I have never experienced elsewhere and I really wanted to keep my business local and engage with my neighbors.

LaurenTINAnew1With its ample cultural and recreational opportunities, Reston has given me an amazing place to live, work and play. I am grateful to Bob Simon for his gift of Reston and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

LK: As a business owner, I would say that everyday is an adventure and surprise. The obvious challenges comes with being your own boss and delivering what you promise. As a photographer, this means that you are responding to emails after the typical 9-5 business hours and skipping social events to work on the weekends. It also means that you are following up with your clients to make sure they love their photos. And sometimes, you may even deliver their prints! (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm 5 Comments

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a feature by members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now. Today’s spotlight is on new Reston restaurant Red’s Table. Speaking is co-owner Ryan Tracy.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Red's TableRyan Tracy: Reston is our home and it presents a tremendous opportunity to be successful and grow within the community. We believe that Red’s Table provides a product and service that the people of Reston deserve and will appreciate. The interior space is unique to Reston and the location overlooking Lake Thoreau is phenomenal. Reston is a great place to live and it has also become a destination location for business and pleasure.

RNWhat are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

RT: The challenge is to remain consistent and maintain the highest level of service, along with a high quality product. At the same time adjusting to consumer demands and retaining quality employees can also be challenging. The relationships you build with employees and customers are very rewarding for a business owner. At Red’s Table we want our home to be yours, and the reward comes from customer enjoyment.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor January 19, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Chamber spotlight

This is a sponsored post by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. This week’s spotlight is on BrandMirror and its CEO, Jen Dalton. Brand Mirror is a business that consults with businesses and people on their personal branding.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Jen Dalton-BrandmirrorJen Dalton: Reston is a great location with growing businesses, innovative and insightful leaders, and a fabulous sense of community and giving back.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

JD: A better question to ask is what is not challenging, that might be a shorter list. It is critical for small business owners to know their strengths and when to ask for help. For me, when I work with individuals — whether business owners just starting out or seasoned CEO — it is critical that I help them get clarity on their reputation and how to leverage it to grow their business. I always saw that business owners have freedom, but no free time.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know?

JD: BrandMirror has a book coming out Jan. 19 on Amazon.com. It is an e-book, audio book, and the print book will be available in March. This endeavor was a lot of work and so worth it. There are 17 case studies of entrepreneurs and CEOs on their personal brand journey and we go through questions they had to answer and how they became a noisebreaker.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

JD: Working hard to deliver value and make a difference, while wearing lots of hats. Always trying to find the best way to deliver something that people and the market are willing to pay for and love utilizing. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor December 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a feature by members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now. Today’s spotlights is on Bloomforth, which provides technology platforms for small businesses, and Hector Velez, Bloomforth’s Chief Operations Officer.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

HV: I have been a resident of Reston for 22 years, my office has always been located in Reston Town Center, and my children attend South Lakes High School in Reston. In short, my family and I embody the Reston tag line: Live. Work. Play.

BloomforthReston’s emphasis on nature conservancy, diversity (ethnic and socio- economic), plus the amazing town center, make Reston the ideal town to live, work, raise a family and locate your business.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

HV: Being a business owner gives you an opportunity to be creative and implement your ideas constructively. It also challenges you to build a team that shares your value system and sense of pride, ownership and commitment.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

HV: We are not a service provider and we are not a government contractor. We are an early stage Software-as-a-Service company. Bloomforth is the best value 5 Apps-in-One Retail Success Platform in the market.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner

HV: Leading and participating in all activities related to Sales, Marketing and Operations.

RN: How has the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helped your business grow?

HV: The chamber’s membership profile is ideally suited to bloomforth’s platform solution.

RN: What is the quote that best describes your business?

Bloomforth levels the playing field so you don’t have to.

RN: What is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?

Get a good, trustworthy lawyer and don’t raise capital unless you really have to. If you have to raise capital, find investors that will help you in more ways than just writing a check.

by RestonNow.com Sponsor October 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a feature by members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now. Today’s spotlights is on Mary Williams, managing partner of The Alternative Board West Fairfax-Alexandria, a business advisory service.

Mary Williams, The Alternative Board Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

MW: Reston is a dynamic business environment populated with many businesses that fit nicely with our Ideal Customer Profile

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

MW: Business owners have many challenges and rewards. Challenges — having an understanding of all components of running a successful business; i.e., wearing multiple hats and playing multiple roles.

Rewards — Providing value to our clients and enjoying their success.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

MW: Most people don’t know about the detailed experience and expertise in Sales and Sales Leadership that The Alternative Board (TAB) offers.

RN: What unique value do you offer your clients?

MW: The value of leveraging the expertise and knowledge of fellow business owners   through TAB Peer Advisory Boards.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

The Alternative BoardMW: Working on client issues and opportunities and serving as their Trusted Advisor
RN: How has the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helped your business grow?

Being part of the Greater Reston Chamber has been very rewarding including exposure to other dynamic business owners (several who have been clients).  This exposure has been accomplished through several channels including; networking, presentation participation in the Educational Series, Committee involvement, and personal introductions.

RN: What is the quote that best describes your business?

MW: “Shared Wisdom for Bottom Line Success”

RN: What is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?

MW: Be passionate about your business and have a well-thought out written plan. Once you have developed your well thought out written plan, be sure that you have designated people that will help you focus, stay on track, and hold you accountable!

 

by RestonNow.com Sponsor September 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a feature by members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now. Today’s spotlight is on marketing firm Conversion Pipeline and its CEO Michael Delpierre.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Michael Delpierre, CEO of Conversion Pipeline/Courtesy Conversion PipelineMD: Reston is a centralized location for business in Northern Virginia. Also, it’s location is central for finding skilled employees.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

MD: Rewards are:

  • Helping other companies meet/exceed their revenue goals
  • Personal reward of helping create business growth
  • Overall sense of achievement
  • Building a company with great people is the most rewarding experience I have had

Challenges:

  • You do NOT have a lot of free time.
  • Work never ends. So long to the 9-to-5 jobs. Weekend work is the norm for our industry.
  • Finding new employees that are skilled in digital marketing is hard because colleges do not prepare students to succeed in digital marketing.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

MD: I served for 6 years in the United States Marine Reserve, so we are a veteran-owned business. Also, Harry Brooks, our CMO, worked for an major Internet Registrar and has given over 200+ presentation on SEO & Google AdWords He is our go-to presenter. He is a a complete digital rockstar.

Conversion PipelineRN: What do you offer your clients that makes you unique?

MD: Digital marketing has become completely transparent. We utilize conversion goal and call tracking solutions so we can tell our clients down to the dollar what their return on investment it.

Most companies spend marketing and advertising dollars without truly knowing what their ROI is. We provide our clients with a platform that allows us to discuss where and how much they should spend on specific advertising campaigns based on actual data.

Digital Marketing has and will keep on surpassing other traditional advertising paths.

RN: How has the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helped your business grow?

MD: I view the Chamber as a partner. We have held many joint seminars, the last one being a seminar where we had Google present to a group of 20+ small business owners and marketer on the benefits of AdWords. We utilized our partnership with Google and with the Chamber to put on a great event, which benefits the local business community and raises our visibility within the community.

I started out volunteering in the Communications committee, now I am the co-chair of that committee. Shortly thereafter, I joined the Board of Directors and have been active within the chamber ever since.

My company sponsors events because we believe in the Chamber’s mission and love to have our brand next to other great chamber members.

RN: What is the quote that best describes your business?

MD: I never thought of defining my business with a quote. Digital Marketing is constantly evolving so the old cliché “You Grow Or Die” is probably the most applicable.

RN: What is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?

MD: You have to look around and at your competition, if you think you can do it better than them, offer a superior product/service and have a good time doing it, then GO FOR IT! I thought to myself, I didn’t want to be 75 years of age looking back saying “What If”… that would crush me.

by RestonNow.com Sponsor July 21, 2015 at 11:45 am 0

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a biweekly feature from Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Random Words Marketing Group, a creative services firm with offices at Plaza America. Speaking for them is CEO and President Laura Ramirez Drain.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Random Words: Because I have lived in Reston for more than 10 years, I have seen how much Reston has grown. Reston is a great place to do business. You can find opportunities everywhere without driving far away, so I decided that I would focus all my effort around Reston. My fist step was joined the Greater Reston Chamber, because I need to meet small business owners to offer my services.

Reston Now: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

Laura Drain of Random WordsRW: Challenges: Money Management –Having enough cash to cover the bills; Fatigue — The hours, the work and the constant pressure to perform wears on even the most passionate individuals;  Financial Knowledge, There is so much you have to learn.

Rewards: You are your own boss; You mange your time; You develop your own goals

Reston Now: Name something about your business that most people don’t know?

RW: We can help to find the right words for the right people in Korean, Spanish and Chinese. We use your words and places in video, radio, print and social media with that you will be able to reach the communities that need you.Random Words Marketing Group

Reston Now:  What is the unique value proposition your clients get when using your services?

RW: Random Words Marketing is a consulting business, we don’t sell products we sale solutions. We will partner with you to define your goals and then design and deliver customized marketing solutions that are right for you, from print to video. We will find the right market to implement the solution and we will help you to find the right customer for you.

(more…)

by Karen Goff July 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm 1 Comment

Chamber spotlight

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a regular feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Realtor Epi Pitre of Move With Epi.

RN: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

Epi EP: I decided to start my business here in Reston because Reston is an exciting place to live! There are so many great opportunities here. Reston is changing, buzzing and fresh. We now have Metro, a direct way into the heart of DC.

From a Realtor’s perspective, Reston is an absolute gem. There really is something for everyone — from quiet lakeside living to the urban feel of the Reston Town Center and everything in between.

RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

EP: Being a business owner or self-employed definitely has its rewards. The fact that you’re a business owner or self-employed probably means that you’re doing something you love.

However, I will say that it is probably going to be the hardest dollar you’ve ever earned. The hours are long and you have to be focused, goal oriented and hold yourself accountable. It’s important to have a solid business plan and to periodically evaluate your own performance.

There is also the financial uncertainty, especially in the first few years, that can cause you to rethink this path. With that being said, I assure you that hard work truly does pay off. The ultimate reward of having a successful business is being independent and in control of how you chose to spend your time personal and business.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.

EP: Often, buyers don’t want to sign the “exclusive right to represent” contract and don’t quite understand why we are asking them to do so. I’ve been asked many times by potential clients to just show them homes and if they find one they like, then they would work with me. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor June 16, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

NEW SPOTLIGHT21

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. This week’s spotlight is on Training Solutions, Inc., and its President/CEO C. Michael Ferraro.

Reston Now: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?

CMF: I actually started my business in Chantilly in 1995 and then joined the Reston Chamber in 1998. My last job before starting my business was in the corporate training department at Woodward & Lothrop department stores.

When the company closed in the summer of 1995, and I decided to try my hand at my own business.

C Michael FerraroRN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

CMF: There are both many challenges and rewards in owning a business. Challenges include making the best use of your time. Determining how much time you spend running the business or delivering the services for your business is always a juggling act to find balance. You have to do the marketing and selling to win the business, but then you have to deliver the services. Lucky for us, we have both a product and service business so much of our revenue is buying and selling products.

RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know?

CMF: What most people don’t know about our business is that we can help our clients obtain public funding and tax credits for the training they provide. It really only helps our larger clients and this is a bit time intensive, but the rewards can be great for those companies that participate in state or federal training grant programs. (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor June 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

NEW SPOTLIGHT21

Reston Chamber Spotlight is a bi-weekly feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. This week’s spotlight is on Maid Bright, a housecleaning company and 2015 Best of Reston winner. Co-owner Yusef Mehmetoglu explained his business philosophy to Reston Now.

RN: Why did you decide to start or locate your business in Reston?

MB: Our business is located in Sterling, but we are part of the Reston Chamber. We live in Reston and believe it is a great community to be a part of and raise a family.

Yusef MehmetogluRN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?

MB: Being a business owner is both rewarding and challenging. For one thing, you are your own boss. But this also means you are responsible for everything that happens in your company. You have to keep a good reputation and make sure your customers are satisfied. Also, being a business owner can sometimes mean that you are working longer hours than you normally would at a full-time job.

RN:  Name something about your business that most people don’t know?

MB: We started Maid Bright from the basement of our townhome about 11 years ago, and we actually cleaned some of the homes ourselves in the beginning because we did not have enough cleaning crews.

RN: What is the unique value your client’s get when using your services?

MB: Our clients know that we never compromise on our service quality and we have a 24-hour guarantee. If for some reason our client is unhappy with their service, we will resend our cleaning crew to complete the job to their liking. We use environmentally friendly products, which they know will not harm their children, home and pets.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

MB: My day starts out by looking at my schedule for any meetings, interviews or customer issues that I need to take care of. Then, I check-in with our office staff to discuss any important issues for that day or week like sick calls, vacations and any feedback or request that we need to respond to from a customer. Depending on my schedule, I am usually out of the office and making phone calls and attending networking events and meetings.Maid Bright

RN: How has the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helped your business grow?

MB: The Reston Chamber of Commerce has enabled us to meet many people and introduced us to the community. Furthermore, the chamber hosts many networking events that we have attended to reach out to the community and grow our business.

RN:  What is the quote that best describes your business?

MB: “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”-Walt Disney

RN: What is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?

MB: My advice for someone who is planning on owning is a business is to have a good business plan. Be prepared for the challenges you may have as your business grows such as costs associated with hiring, advertising, finding good people to work with and committing your time.

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