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Business in Blue Jeans: Making Your Small Business Work
Do you own a small business? Do you want to have a small business but don’t know how to go about it? Well, Business in Blue Jeans could be the answer to what you need. One of your options. You know I just love options for it speaks of possibilities. It’s an expansion of ideas and explosion of creativity. It makes you want to get up and go!
I run a small business – a preschool to be exact. Looking back, I wished then that we had a mentor or a business coach who would have guided us. But since we had none, we just groped in the dark and made our way cautiously and very slowly learned from our mistakes and triumphs. I realized though that our failures were an essential part of growing, but I also saw how expensive those mistakes were. It was only years later that I was mentored by a brother in community and he helped me a lot in seeing my business in a different way.
I believe that getting a good mentor is one way to help you make your small business work. If you are looking for one, why don’t you check out what Business in Blue Jeans has to offer you. May I share a wonderful interview with none other than the CEO of Business in Blue Jeans, Susan Baroncini-Moe? It pays off to know who you will be working with and what kind of person she is.
I’ve always loved knowing how people got started with stuff. How did you get into this business?
In my "former life," I studied for and obtained my Master's Degree in social psychology. I paid my way through grad school by teaching web design and development at the University of Iowa, when the internet was still pretty new. I was recruited by a major American magazine publishing company to manage the web strategy for two of their magazines. But when I got carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive use injury affecting many computer professionals, I had to decide: continue working and risk surgery, or change careers.
I decided to change careers. I spent the next several months traveling around the country, training and studying to become a life coach. But as I built my coaching practice, I realized that many of my clients were small business owners who were really struggling, trying to find a way to make small business easier and more affordable. At that time, most of the books and programs were geared toward much larger enterprises than the small professional or what I call the "micro-entrepreneur." So I expanded my business and started consulting to help micro-small business owners figure out the nuts and bolts of doing business.
Your decision to change careers reminded me of myself. I did that too and it was a decision that changed my life. A beautiful move I believe. I like the name Business in Blue Jeans. It has a certain appeal to it. Why did you choose this name?
My business originally had a different, more corporate brand. It didn't fit me at all, and it bothered me for at least a year. Finally, one day, I was talking with a branding consultant and talking about my business and I casually said, "I hate wearing suits to meetings. I love working with clients who are comfortable and pleasant. I just love hanging out with my clients, rolling up our sleeves and really making their businesses work." The consultant said something like, "So you do business in your blue jeans?" And that's when it hit me. That's exactly what I do. I do Business in Blue Jeans.
Hahahaha That’s cool! It’s funny how life just brings forth inspiration right smack in the middle of a conversation or anywhere and in between here and there. So the main purpose of Business in Blue Jeans is to help micro-entrepreneurs or small business owners…
The purpose of Business in Blue Jeans is to make business easier, more comfortable, and more practical for people who are serious about earning an income doing what they love. I work with people who want to start a business to help them design a unique business that suits their personality, lifestyle goals, and budget. I work with people who already own businesses to figure out what isn't working and help them making their businesses run more optimally and more profitably.
I've designed my business so we can offer one-stop shopping to the micro-small business owner. And we're almost to the point of being A to Z with what we offer. In addition to the consulting, advisory, and coaching services and the books and audio programs, I now own BlueJeansLogos.com, BlueJeansWebSites.com, TheDomainNameCompany.com, and soon we'll be launching divisions for copywriting and book publishing. There's almost nothing we can't do for micro-entrepreneur.
That sounds like a lot of work! So do you do all of this by yourself?
When you hire Business in Blue Jeans, I am the primary point of contact. It's really important to me that my clients feel connected to a real person, not like they're dealing with a big corporate brand. So each and every Business in Blue Jeans client works directly with me, regardless of the project. Sometimes that direct contact means I have to prioritize my e-mails, so if an e-mail isn't client-related or project-related it may take me awhile to reply, but following up with people is important to me, even if it takes a week or two.
While I'm the CEO of Business in Blue Jeans, I could never run all of these divisions alone. Not only is the company growing and there's a bit more work than I can handle on my own, but I've found the best and brightest professionals who can do certain things better than I can. For example, I can design a logo, but frankly, there are people on my team who can design a better logo. So these days, I leave that work to them.
The full Business in Blue Jeans team consists of almost a hundred people scattered across the globe. I spent five years assembling this team, and I'm really proud of the group I've put together. They're not just amazing at what they do, they're really good people who are very pleasant to work with. So it's very much a team effort.
That said, I still manage all of the consulting, advisory, and coaching work, as well as most of the project management. I also do most of the copywriting, the e-zine, and that really is me on all of my social networking profiles like Facebook and Twitter. These are the things I'm best at and the things I love the most.
It’s great to know that people can work directly with you and that you have a team of professionals helping you out. Can you share some of the businesses that you have helped and have prospered?
When I met my husband, he was a professional drummer who wanted to add a stream of income. He wanted to use his love of drumming in a new way, so we found a way to match his knowledge of drumming with his experience in graphic and web design, and created TheDrummerShop.com. TheDrummerShop.com is an online store where he sells his own designs on t-shirts, coffee mugs, mousepads and more. It's a very popular store.
Another success story is April Perkins, one of my clients who became one of my dearest friends. April was an interior designer who loved designing homes, but who also loved the environment. We paired the two loves and created TheEcoDivas.com. Now April is a successful environmental interior designer and is extremely busy as a sustainable living coach and consultant.
Finally, I want to share an existing client who I think is going to become a huge success: Kirk Wilkinson. Kirk is a happiness coach, which I think is fantastic. Kirk is currently going through the Repair, Restyle, Refresh program and we're getting ready to re-vamp his web site completely. I think Kirk is definitely someone to keep your eye on.
"It is unwise to pay too much, but it’s also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, all you lose is a little money. But when you pay too little, you stand a chance of losing everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing what you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it just cannot be done. So, when you deal with the lowest bidder, it is wise to put a little something aside to take care of the risk you run. And, if you do that, you can afford something better."
- From “A Thought on Price” by John Ruskin, English Philosopher, 1819-1900
That’s absolutely fantastic. With all of the things you are offering to the small business owners, are the prices affordable?
This is a great question that a lot people wonder about. When I first designed my company, I have options for people who have a very limited budget. In some cases that means I've created a product or service at a budget rate. For example, I created a home study course, "Designing the Business of Your Dreams," which is for people who know they want to start a business, but aren't sure what business to start. If you worked through this process with me personally, it would cost at least $3500. The home study course is much more affordable for the entrepreneur on a shoestring budget. There's also a value-priced version of my 90-day Relaxed Fit program.
Plus, although my team is made up of fantastic, top-notch professionals who deliver high-caliber work, they're also folks who work with me on pricing. That's one of the great benefits of working with Business in Blue Jeans: you don't have to search for the right professional and then wonder if they'll do a good job or if you'll get the best work at the best price. I recently worked with an author on her book launch and saved her over $1,000 on her planned budget, which she was able to put into more marketing to make her launch even more successful.
Finally, in order for any business to succeed and thrive, you really do have to invest in it. You don't have to invest crazy amounts of money, but you do have to invest something. I've always said that I can work with most budgets, but you have to have either time or money. If you want to save on one, you have to have the other in some abundance.
Yes, I was just talking to my partner about this topic awhile ago about the need to invest in a business. One last question, what is the most important thing we should know about you?
The most important thing you should know about me is that I'm deeply passionate about my business and my writing, but I'm also a well-rounded person.
I believe that life is an incredible gift that we should never, not even for a day, take for granted. We're meant to take advantage of all that life has to offer. If you're not content in your life, and if you're not exploring why you're not happy or content, the question I ask is, "Why not?" Life should be a continual quest for betterment, whether it's making yourself better or making the world better.
I also believe wholeheartedly in "variety is the spice of life." I'm always trying something new and exploring new creative outlets and hobbies. Currently, my husband and I are into urban homesteading, have several gardens and a chicken coop for our new baby chicks.
Thank you so much Susan for graciously answering all of my questions. I've found out that getting to know a person's character, personality, integrity, purpose and even warmth is one of the important things I need to know with anyone that I work with. I wish you much love and light as you help small businesses thrive.
And that concluded my interview with Susan Baroncini-Moe. I’m glad to have been able to share with you the person behind Business in Blue Jeans.
Enjoy exploring all your options in making your small business work for you.
By: Michelle Simtoco