Amanda Guralski founded bizMe.biz in 2007 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
bizMe.biz, an online magazine, is the bizgal's career coach—guiding and mentoring the young professional as she gains her career savvy, budgets her paycheck, and acquires her lifestyle. It's like having the honest, real-world advice from a trusted professor and the encouraging support of a best friend all packaged together in articles that reflect a "just like you and me" conversation.
We've got the experts who share their career knowledge and wisdom—giving the bizgal that competitive confidence so she'll always know what will get her in the starting lineup and what will keep her on the bench. bizMe is real life—it's the nine-to-five, the happy hour, the workout time, and the end-of-the-week freedom. Covering hot career, financial and lifestyle topics, bizMe is the best coach when in training for MVB—most valuable bizgal!
How did you come up with your business idea?
Mixed with a little stage fright when facing college graduation and finding a career, add in talented friends who were feeling the same and an idea gains momentum. I researched for a year trying to find a resource that could mentor and guide young professionals through this very important stage of getting your feet wet.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was in college when I started the research process for my business. After graduating I worked for a major newspaper to learn how to sell online advertising. This is definitely my first business.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
You really need to know yourself. Are you the type of person that has self motivation, initiative, thick skin, passion, self discipline, follow through, time management, optimism, and the ability to see the big picture as well as pay attention to the details. If this describes you, then you have the character strengths to be an entrepreneur.
The way that women and men do business is very different. Men are very reactive and get the job done without thinking everything through, while women can be more cautious and take the time to make sure every detail is perfect. This can be seen as an advantage and disadvantage because opportunities could be lost or an advantage is that the job is done correctly the first time around.
I still feel that a woman has to work harder, be smarter, and exceed expectations more so than a man under similar circumstances. Preparation and organization are the essentials that give the advantage to the female business owner. It is our instinctive nature to easily adapt to change and to project career savvy through our over-achieving multi-tasking super powers!
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Social media has definitely helped in bringing brand awareness to the site and with creating lasting partnerships that I might not have had access too. Social media is a very powerful tool but you need to remember to not spend all day on it! Face-to-face connections are powerful tools in developing personal brand and increasing awareness and the need for my bizMe.biz website.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Networking absolutely grows a business. Effective networking is the best influence on creating new partnerships, enhancing opportunities for new directions, and developing career relationships that are productive and beneficial. The more people talked to, the more different ideas are presented. The effort I have put into networking has lead to speaking engagements and this new trend has contributed greatly to growing my business.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
My business is structured around web design and HTML coding. I wish I had networked a little bit more in the beginning to find a web designer that understood the importance of my business and making it searchable for the web. During the first year and a half that the site was up, our bizMe.biz site was blacklisted from Google because of the amount of incorrect coding the web designer used! Ugh.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Follow your passion and eliminate the word failure from your vocabulary. Plan to succeed, work to succeed. Set goals: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Ambition and potential are powerful instigators to a fearless attitude!
Excellent advice! I'm glad you are passing it on to other entrepreneurs and young working women, too! Thank you.