Teajai 'TJ' Kimsey has started a number of businesses and now runs an Internet marketing consultancy.
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We asked TJ to tell us about his entrepreneurial experiences.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I am an internet marketing consultant with clients across the United States.
The company is called Ideas That Work. We are based in Wichita, KS.
I provide internet marketing advice; search engine optimization; design and development of email marketing campaigns; develop landing pages, write ads and manage pay per click campaigns; write content articles for my clients and just about anything else they need.
The difference in my business is that I focus on usability, conversions and results – not just another SEO company.
When did you start the business?
I started this company after selling my 9 year old web development company, July 2007
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Before this I was the founder of Beyond Web Design. I grew the business from my home to a full-fledged company with 12 employees in a 3000 sq ft office.
My first "real" business was a next-to-new clothing store in the mid 80's. It was a bit before the trend caught on.
I also had a dating service, prior to the advent of the internet. And I founded a temporary agency that provided temps to child care centers and in home child care providers. This involved changing the state rules to allow a temp agency to provide "back up" child care workers instead of having specific people "on call."
Where did you get the startup money?
I didn't have any. I started all of these on a shoestring and grew them up from there.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
I don't really have any local competitors but there are probably thousands in cyberspace.
I don't really worry about what the competition is doing because that would be a big waste of time. Instead I focus on keeping myself educated about the latest trends and evolution on the internet. The leads I get are usually by referral although I do run PPC ads and I tell prospects that I am focused solely on providing results, not so much "high rankings" but more high conversions.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
My consulting business has been even more rewarding than I expected. This is probably the perfect "job" anyone could have and I'm already thinking about growth. I have a part-time assistant / apprentice.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Not this time around. There were many things I would have done differently in the business I sold…like staying in the mid-sized location instead of moving a bit prematurely to a bigger space. That would have increased cash flow. I also should have fired faster – if a person wasn't working out – but it's tough to do that.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Just provide a good, personal, service in a specific niche.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Learn as much as you can and don't stop. The web is in a constant state of evolution and it's absolutely necessary to be knowledgeable on a daily basis.
Yes, it's amazing how fast things change on the Web. Listen, thanks so much for joining us for one of our entrepreneurial interviews. Visitors to our site who need help with Internet marketing may want to give TJ a call at (877) 644-3327.