Happy Wednesday, everyone- this is the first Wednesday of the month, and we're going to kick it off by trying something brand-new! Each month we will choose a small business that inspires us and do a mini Q&A session. For May, we thought we'd kick it off with an interview of our very own Ryan Pope, owner and CEO of Out of the Box Advisors!
So, without further ado... here are his answers to the questions we all have.
What are you in the business of?
Out of the Box Advisors is a small business consultancy, our primary goals are to enable and enhance small, local business' growth and success.
When and how did your business start?
We started Out of the Box Advisors in October 2012.
Working in and around small businesses my whole life, I had not only a personal attachment, but also a drive to help local businesses succeed. Where I saw the opportunity is that often times smaller businesses, and their owners, are often great at what they do, but regularly find themselves too busy or lacking the knowhow for things like marketing and strategy to be able to move their businesses forward. What we offer is expertise in all areas within a business at a fraction of what it would cost to hire a full time employee to tackle but one of the objectives.
What are some of the biggest triumphs since starting your business back in 2012?
Our most successful story involves a local retail shop. They wanted to begin distributing an up-and-coming product. We were tasked with engaging the manufacturer in negotiations and establishing the sales process. We not only had a signed contract within our first week, but we had an entire sales operation including offices, staff, website, and fulfillment process all within the first two weeks! Through our partnership we were able to grow this small retail establishment into a $5M+ company! While this is not typical or to be expected for any prospective clients, it’s also not beyond reach.
What are some challenges you face in owning your own business?
The biggest challenge for our business is overcoming those business owners who continue to ‘do it themselves.’ While we know there are many highly talented individuals running small businesses out there, even the best of us still only have so much time in the day. It’s okay to ask for help, and it is exceptionally important to utilize all the available resources to ensure the success of your business.
If you had one bit of advice for someone looking to start their own business, what would it be?
I won't lie, it will be a challenge and it will mean some sleepless nights, but if you are thinking about it, take the leap. It will be the best decision you ever made one way or another. You’ll be amazed by the amount of support out there willing to help you succeed. Your friends and family will most certainly step up. There are also public organizations, such as the Small Business Development Center that are great free resources. And of course, there are businesses such as ours that can give you a bit more hands on, experienced aid. While we can’t speak for all the businesses within our industry, there are many such as Out of the Box Advisors that truly care on an emotional level for your success.
Describe your morning routine, or secret to success? What gets you going to tackle your day and keep you motivated?
I find the best way to start the day is to clear your mind. This obviously looks different to different people. Some might like meditating or getting in a good workout. I usually start my morning with a long shower. We also typically work remotely, for me, personally, I enjoy finding a spot in a local coffee shop, such as Amelie's French Bakery for all of you in Charlotte. I love their coffee, the scenery and supporting a small business. Once relaxed, and with a delicious coffee fueling my mind, I start tackling the most important projects of my day. I believe it was Mark Twain that stressed the importance of eating the frog first thing in the morning. That's what I like to do.
We love talking to small business owners and believe there is so much to learn from each other! If you have a question for Ryan, or our next guest, be sure to leave a comment below!