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Posts Tagged ‘Frecklebox’

KikScore SmallBiz Interviews’ Greatest Hits & Top Strategy Tips for Entrepreneurs: Part I

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

KikScore has had the pleasure of interviewing many small business owners over the past few years, asking these entrepreneurs about all areas of their businesses and what has spurred their growth, while also throwing in light-hearted pop-culture related questions.

In Part I of this two-part Greatest Hits series, I will highlight the top five lessons learned from these interviews with regards to establishing a successful small business. Many of these innovative and impressive business owners shared related advice and acknowledged similar trends in the e-commerce field. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Things You Should Do When Starting a Small Business:

5. Keep your website simple and easy to navigate

– “My advice to people about an online presence is to keep it simple and clean and VERY easy to navigate AND to have a Content Management System (CMS) so you can update your site yourself.” (Whitney Zimet, owner of I Am The Maven)

– “Spend the money to get a good website.  We went with a woman who did “websites for small businesses” but she really wasn’t experienced in sites with a retail/shopping cart component.  So, the site looked okay on the surface, but I later learned that she had used very amateur programming on the back end, making it enormously difficult for another web programmer to make changes.  This also limited our SEO.” (Kimberley Stewart from OnBoard Outfitters)

4. Have a flexible business model, being able to adjust quickly to a changing environment

– “Never think what you’re doing today is what you’ll be doing 10 years from today. Markets change and products evolve. Learn to adapt quickly.” (Michael Alter, President of SurePayroll)

– “Be willing to change.  Always look at your business in a new way.” (Rick Shoop, owner of Oregon Seafoods)

3. Utilize social media outlets

-“Another trend is tapping into more social media platforms and applications.  Combining sites such as Facebook with applications developed by Wildfire you are very quickly able to promote coupons, contests, and/or sweepstakes.” (Brian Esposito, CEO of Avenue You Beauty Store)

– “Take full advantage of all social network and free Internet advertising. 50% of our sales come from social networking sites, the chain reaction you can achieve from them is priceless.” (S.J. Trotter, owner of www.exclusiveclothingretail.com)

2. Establish a safe and secure online presence

– “Apart from that, customer’s satisfaction is also of utmost importance to online business. Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. We therefore strongly believe that customer loyalty is one of the most crucial and major contributors to sustainable profit growth. Over 60% of our profits are from customers who came back and made their purchases more than once within the 3-month period.” (Margaret Chan, owner of Cherry’s Brandname Gallery)

– “In 2010, much of our energy will be focused on improving the website and making sure our customers have confidence in shopping with us. KikScore is a great tool that helps us demonstrate that trust online.” (Madalyn Duerr, owner of Tufted Topper)

1. Keep the long-term goal in perspective and never give up

– “Most importantly: Don’t let anyone tell you no. You are your own best advocate and no one is going to do the work for you. Don’t let obstacles prevent your idea from ever being tested – you have to go out and do it.” (Andrew Shelton from Trackpack Coolers)

– “In my opinion the most important ingredient in a business’s success is the passion of the person or people running it.” (Mark Sarpa, CEO of Frecklebox)

– “Stay far from timid, Only make moves when your heart’s in it, And live the phrase ‘sky’s the limit'” (The Notorious B.I.G.)

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Posts Tagged ‘Frecklebox’

A Small Business Interview with Mark Sarpa from Frecklebox

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Mark Sarpa from Frecklebox took a few minutes out of his busy day to share his thoughts on focused marketing, Dr. Seuss books, and what makes him passionate about what he does everyday. Mark is the CEO of Frecklebox.com, a small business that sells personalized gifts for children.

Tell us about Frecklebox and who you focus on serving?

We are focused on parents and grandparents with children between the ages of one and 10.

How did you get your started selling online?

We are part of a digital printing company which was looking to diversify its business from the fine stationery and corporate marketplace. We had the tools and developed the products to take advantage of what we do well for others.

Where will Frecklebox focus most of its energy in 2010?

Growing the market will be our primary focus in 2010 and we plan on adding more books and additional products in the children’s educational marketplace.

If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

The first lesson would be to study more marketing. We think we have great products but sometimes it is tough (and can be expensive) to get your message out there. The second lesson would be to focus on a specific marketplace. I believe the more focused you are the more successful you will be.

What do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

The first trend would be more competitors (which is a good thing). Our market is fairly new and still small. As more competitors enter there will be growth for us all. The second trend would be more powerful customization tools. Later in the year we hope to add much more sophisticated tools where people can actually edit the story.

If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

That is a tough question. I would say Aladdin because he started out as a street urchin and became a prince. Not to say that a corporate printing company is a low form but if we can transform into a company which changes children’s lives I would think we might have become a prince.

If Frecklebox could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

It would have to be Dr Seuss. He was a pioneer in children’s books and paved the way for the rest of us in the children’s book market. Our HipHopHowie book was actually modeled after many of the Dr Seuss classics.

How do the folks at Frecklebox let loose after a busy day working?

All of us have families so playing with children and making them do their homework makes up our wild and crazy nights.

Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

In my opinion the most important ingredient in a business’s success is the passion of the person or people running it. When I receive an email from someone that thanks me for helping their child learn how to spell their name it gives me that warm feeling that we all strive for and makes me passionate about bringing better things to the market to make children and parents smile.

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