50°Clear

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Prosperity Internal Medicine

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.

PIM: Prosperity Internal Medicine, located in the heart of Reston, Virginia, has been serving the Northern Virginia community for the past 20 years. Also, known as Femme Care, it was founded originally in 1989 as a Women’s and Children’s Clinic. Currently, Prosperity Internal Medicine is a comprehensive primary care clinic that serves both male and female patients.

Prosperity Internal MedicineSomething unique about our business is that we are a husband and wife combo, Dr. Mir and Dr. Zahir.

RN: What is the unique value your clients get from your services.

PIM: At Prosperity Internal Medicine, your health and vitality is our primary concern. We are fully committed to providing you with the most excellent and comprehensive care possible. Our highly trained and educated staff will be able to assist you with all of your medical needs.

Prosperity Internal Medicine has a fully operational in-house laboratory, allergy center, and weight loss clinic in addition to its primary medical clinic services.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

PIM: In addition to being active physicians at the clinic, we are business owners involved in the day-to-day  operations.

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

PIM: Although we are very new to the Reston Business community, we have found our involvement these past few months with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce to be very facilitating and helpful. We look forward to working with the Chamber for the greater goals and objectives of our community.

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

PIM: “Quality care with a Personal Touch”

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

PIM: Our advice to future business owners: Positive energy filled with hard work, and dedication. Surround yourself with a team focused on greater goals.. Maintain excellent customer service, and instill loyalty and a reward system for your workers.. Retain talent and incentivize.

2 Comment

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Insperity

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.

RN: What is the unique value proposition your clients get with your services?

Sally Munn/InsperitySM: We increase their margins…and their professional “Bandwidth.”

Increasing Margins occurs through a mix of cost containment strategies and driving talent productivity to produce a greater ROI.
Increasing professional bandwidth occurs when they remove administrative tasks, thus allowing them to focus more fully on revenue-generating activities.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

SM: Develop a strategy for the day, and then literally block chunks of my calendar to manage the important projects and tasks. Proactively talk to customers and prospects. Network, Network, Network…

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

SM: The GRCC has significantly and meaningfully expanded my professional network. It also provides a construct to allow me to get to know people over time as I have become more and more involved.

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

SM: Helps Increase your Margins, Create New Efficiencies, and Focus More on Revenue-Generating Activities.

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

SM: Have a clear understanding of:

  • Your Point of Difference
  • How the status quo can be your greatest competitor
  • How long it will really take to get the kind of traction and revenue growth you think you’re capable of.

Photo: Sally Munn/Insperity

2 Comment

Reston Chamber Spotlight: InForm Fitness

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.

To carry out this vision, our mission is to maximize our clients’ strength, without compromising their health or risking injury. The InForm Fitness team provides a no-nonsense, sustainable regimen of strength training enabling our clients to overcome barriers to health and fitness, and fulfill their physical potential throughout their lifetime.

RN: What does the customer get when using your services?

IF: 20 minutes, once or twice each week of controlled and focused effort, with our instruction, is all you need to get stronger and fitter than you thought possible.

WE GUARANTEE RESULTS. If a new client does not experience a minimum of a 15-percent increase in overall body strength during their initial six months of strength training — provided they are in good health, adhere to suggested rest and nutrition, and can evidence those best efforts, and have consistently been training a minimum of once a week — we will train them for free until they do.

All sessions are private, one-on-one and by Appointment only.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

IF: As owner, I’m grateful daily for my two location managers, Jason Smith in Leesburg and Joshua Cagney in Reston, and an incredible team of dedicated instructors, who all go above and beyond in the service of our clients. No day for me is exactly the same, apart from building critical relationships and checking in with my team as often as possible.

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

IF: I have learned from experience that successful Chamber membership, just like smart networking, depends on not just making connections, but building enduring and mutually beneficial relationships. Solid rapport — built on mutual respect and trust — takes time, but is truly the catalyst for success. Moreover, when you approach associations from a sincere position of service, to be a trusted resource, and help others, lasting referral networks will cultivate, and your business will grow.

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

IF: “The workout never gets easier, but never longer either – yet you are stronger each time you show up!”

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Koko FitClub

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.

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

Koko: Any “Kokonut” knows that client relationships are a priority for us, but we are also very active outside of the clubs in community events and fundraisers to make sure we continue to change lives inside the club while making our community Koko Strong as well.

RN: What is the unique value proposition your clients get with you?

Koko is the only gym in the industry to combine individualized coaching with technology to create a proven training system, available 24/7. Whether our clients choose to work out independently, or with a certified FitCoach, at Koko, they get individualized coaching with every single workout, so they never have to do it alone.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

Koko: We start the day by reviewing our schedule appointments and discussing any unique client needs. Our team is always prepared to work 1:1 with our clients, or welcome new guests that stop and and want to tour the club and check out our unique training system. When we aren’t working with clients, the team spends time together in classes and team training sessions so that we can continue to improve our service and stay ahead of fitness trends. We love giving demonstrations of our workouts to guests and answering any questions they may have, and we gladly offer any guests the opportunity to try us out for a 30­-day trial if they want to see what we are all about.

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

Koko: The GRCC has introduced us to so many wonderful business owners and managers, and helped facilitate numerous networking opportunities where we can foster new relationships, engage in dialogue about business growth and explore ways to further community visibility and engagement. GRCC is helping Koko expand it’s reach in the Reston community.

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

Koko: Koko FitClub is the alternative to the mainstream gym. We have been dedicated to changing lives since 2008.

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

Koko: Your business does not exist in isolation, it’s part of a community! Your neighbors want you to succeed, so get involved, stay aware of what’s happening in your neighborhood, be accessible, and grow with your community while you help others grow, too.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Corner Media

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.

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

cornermedSG: Joe Kunigonis, our president, feels that we operate within a dynamic and new industry of digital media technology. We enjoy integrating our technology in new and creative areas. The challenge is what every new business runs into, the ability to communicate our product value on a larger scale.

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

SG: We have the ability to activate a full-motion, digital media campaign within minutes at multiple locations throughout the Washington DC Metro at a much lower cost than other mediums in the area.

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

SG: Corner Media brings together traditional and digital advertising to help businesses reach their ideal customers. Through digital displays, location-based mobile and innovative outdoor advertising, we get brands in front of their target customers where they live, work, shop and play.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

SG: There is never a typical day! Solving problems and implementing decisions in all shapes and sizes is an everyday proposition.

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

SG: The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helps us to build and facilitate relationships with potential and existing clients.

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

SG: “The future of outdoor digital media”

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

SG: Be prepared to be knocked down multiple times, just remember to keep getting back up.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Laurentina Photography

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!

The rewards of being a business owner far outweigh the challenges. It’s my clients and social media following. I also love attending workshops/networking events to meet other business owners and hear their stories.

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

LK: Laurentina Photography has a pop-up studio in Reston Town Center. There is an abundance of natural light and a great location for headshots, lifestyle portraits and more formal portraits as well. The pop-up concept comes in when we set up backdrops and props for your specific photography needs!

LaurenTINA2The studio space is also the location for our Reveal session, a follow-up session for portrait clients to see their photos for the first time and can order prints, wall art and digital files. The studio space is available by appointment only and the rental is included in the 2016 creative fee.

RN: What is the unique value proposition your clients get when using your service?

LK: Laurentina Photography’s clients know and value professional photography. I guarantee brand authenticity at every stage of the process so that my clients know that they are receiving a finished product after every session.

All of my packaging, albums and print material are made in the USA and printed on high quality, acid free, archival paper from professional photography labs nationwide. Furthermore, I am always an email away for additional questions and support even months after their sessions.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

LK: There is no such thing as a typical day at Laurentina Photography. Every day is different and a new adventure! At the moment, I also work a day job and sometimes have to be out of the office all day so I answer a lot of emails on the road. In any case, I try to start my mornings with some quiet time of journaling, prayer or meditation. It helps me stay focused and centered throughout the day.

At the start of each week, I also try to write down three goals that I hope to for a session or event that day, I pack my gear the night before and review my notes prior to leaving. If I am working on editing client photos or blogging/social media, I make time in my schedule for that.

I highly recommend using Google Calendar to organize all your events and Wunderlist to keep track of your “To-Do’s.” And don’t forget to take time to yourself daily: for me, that means going for a run, taking a class at the gym or cooking a delicious meal.

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

LK: The Chamber has been a valuable resource to helping Laurentina Photography grow and engage with the local community. I really enjoyed presenting my photography to the local network in my role as the official foodie blogger for NoVA Restaurant Week 2015 and Taste of Reston 2015, as well as a volunteer at Oktoberfest Reston 2015.

By participating as a social media ambassador for the Communications the Greater Reston area. I have also been published in Around Reston magazine several times and collaborated with other Chamber business owners to help with their marketing initiatives.

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

LK: “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

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

LK: Be confident in who you are and what you do. Develop a business plan. Put people first but also stand firm in what you value. Go with your gut feeling. The timing is right when you feel at peace in all you do. Get connected with your local community (such as the local Chamber of Commerce) and other networking groups. It takes time to build your business and find your ideal client. There will be highs and lows, and somedays you will want to quit all together. But if you keep an open mind and positive outlook, the journey will be much more enjoyable.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Red’s Table

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.

RT: Red’s Table offers 20 percent off bottle wines on Monday nights; Happy Hour daily from 3:30-6 p.m. We have a Tap and Bottle Club. We offer a Catering and Private Events Menu.

RN: Describe a typical day as the business owner.

RT: I like to set goals for the day with a simple checklist. The day consists of accomplishing the goals set out, working side-by-side with employees, marketing our business to future customers, and handling any inevitable issues that arise throughout the day.

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

RT: GRCC has and will continue to help us connect with businesses and people in Reston. GRCC can help our customer base grow and at the same time network with companies that may have a product or service that is beneficial to us.

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

RT: “Chef driven but family owned, making Reston proud,” and  “With Red’s Table, Reston has a reason to stay near home and eat” (Tim Carmen The Washington Post 11/4/15).

RNWhat is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?

RT: Owning a business is a huge commitment and it’s very important to have the support of your family before moving forward. Do your homework and ask all the questions. Most importantly, surround yourself with a strong team that challenges.

5 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: BrandMirror

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.

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

BrandMirrorJD: The Chamber has provided great forums to meet people, whether at Educational talks, events, or new member onboarding. I also give talks at the Chamber and love leveraging the space they have for workshops. Lastly, the other business owners are great people and willing to help you grow your business.

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

JD: “Be yourself; everyone is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

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

JD: First, define what success looks like financially, emotionally, mentally — then pressure test what has to be true for you to hit those goals. Understand if what you provide really solves a problem and who will pay for that. Being an entrepreneur is amazing, however people think it is way more glamorous than it is. Be realistic and optimistic — then go for it.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Bloomforth

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.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: The Alternative Board

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!

 

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Conversion Pipeline

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.

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Random Words Marketing Group

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.


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

RW: The GRCC has helped me tremendously. I have got involved immediately in their networking events and I have invited some of their members to my Radio Show Café Latino Radio, this has given me the opportunity to find three customers.

The GRCC is dynamic and it has opened its doors to me. Since the first day, I have felt that I was part of the Chamber. Like we say in Español mi casa es su casa, my house is your house. The Chamber is like my home.

Reston Now: What is the quote that best describes your business?

RW: Finding the right words for the right people in Spanish, Korean and English, wherever you need whenever you need it.

 

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Move With Epi

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.

The reason why we ask for the contact to be signed first is for two reasons: to protect the consumer by explaining the duties and responsibilities of the parties and set out exactly what services the broker will provide; and to protect ourselves and our commission.

RN: What is the unique value you offer your clients?

EP: My goal is not to be a sales person. I want to be your Realtor, the one that you think of when your family, friends and acquaintances are thinking about anything real estate related. I believe in building positive and strong personal relationships and providing as much education as possible.

Move with EpiRN: Describe a typical day as a business owner.

EP: As a business owner, I try and schedule my day as much as I possibly can. Early on, I found that time can very easily escape and you find at the end of the day that you’ve spun a lot of wheels and didn’t really get anywhere. I live by a list and everything goes on my calendar.

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

EP: This is my first year as a Chamber member. I will be completely honest and say that the first eight months I was quite dormant. In January, I evaluated my business model and plan and saw where I was not using all the tools I had readily available to me. This chamber is very special. It’s not about individuals; it’s more like a family. Everyone wants to see each other succeed.

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

EP: “An educated consumer is a good consumer.” I wholeheartedly feel that if I educate my clients, they will have the confidence and trust in me to refer me as an expert to their friends and family.

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

EP: I encourage and fully support anyone who is thinking about owning their own business. It’s a challenge, there are many uncertainties and it becomes your life. But if you work hard, stay positive, make use of every tool you have in your toolbox and surround yourself with people who are successful and business savvy, you’ll find that your successes will be far greater then you ever have imagined!

2 Comment

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Training Solutions, Inc.

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.

RN: What is the unique value proposition your clients get with your services?

CMF: I think what our clients appreciate is our nimble and quick ability to service their needs. We use technology to our advantage; and with our online store, customers can get all the information they need and order their products right away. Our local customers like the fact that we can quickly service their needs with customized classroom training.

RN: Describe a typical day as a business owner.

CMF: Well, first there isn’t a typical day as a small business owner. We are a jack- of-all-trades, and on any given day we are either delivering services, presenting to a prospective client, going to a networking or a Board meeting, stopping off at the mailbox, Fed Ex, bank or even a Staples run for supplies.

Never boring, and every day is a new opportunity. At times we work nights and weekends to get the work done, and sometimes we also take a few hours off during the work day to focus on a personal activity.

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

CMF: The Chamber has helped our business in many ways. The exposure both through online, attending or sponsoring events has gotten the message out about our firm. The ability to serve on committees and eventually the Board has helped build relationships which has led to business. In my case, I was able to have the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Board; and in that role, our firm was able to get receive a lot of exposure to both business and community leaders.

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

CMF: Our tag line is “Educate*Inspire*Serve.” Those three words are very important to how we conduct business. In a more operational description, Training Solutions provides information that enables business owners and executives to make better decisions regarding their people issues and also provides people skills programs and coaching services to enhance employees’ productivity.

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

CMF: After doing a bit of market research, I would say, go for it! Join the Chamber, your industry association and your professional association. Get involved in those organizations because that’s where the benefits really pay off. Find a good banker, a lawyer and a good IT specialist to get your office set up.

Work your hardest, and you will be successful!

0 Comments

Reston Chamber Spotlight: Maid Bright

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.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list