Tara founded SilverStrategy in 2008.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
SilverStrategy is a Washington, D.C. based public relations & public affairs firm. We provide strategic communications, business development, media consulting, event planning, image branding and creative approaches to marketing campaigns for clients across all industries.
SilverStrategy assists clients with forward thinking campaigns, uses strategic planning to persuade prospective targets and ultimately achieves the client's desired end results. Utilizing our unique edge, we converge our many resources within the press, business and non-profit industries to build our client's publicity, creating new opportunities for growth and partnerships.
SilverStrategy's clients have included non-profit organizations, government agencies, public figures, national corporations, and the arts and entertainment industry.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I worked at another public relations firm, I've always loved doing public relations and starting SilverStrategy was the first business I ever started.
Who did you hire to help you? Bookkeeper, Accountants, Lawyers …? Would you suggest others do the same?
In my first year my start-up did not allow for me to hire anyone, so I pretty much took care of all those specialties myself, and consulted outside resources when necessary. I did take on interns and would advise others if they can to hire support.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
I do operate my business from home. There are some challenges, such as not having the technological resources of an office, or not having co-workers. However, it gives me the flexibility to be my own boss and avoid a hectic commute. I do everything from my computer or my blackberry and depend on my personal contacts and strong networking ability to garner new business.
Have you hired additional staff? What is your greatest human resources challenge?
I've hired two interns to help with the workload; the biggest challenge has been not having fellow co-workers to consult when I have a particular question.
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Social networking has been a huge success for my business. I use Facebook a lot and am looking to increase my Twitter and blog capabilities to advertise what my business is doing. I also use Facebook to make connections for my business.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
To not be afraid to go out on a limb, don't let being scared stop you from acting on your dreams. It took me some time to get comfortable to go out on my own, but now I have my dream job! I love owning my own business and being my own boss.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the readers at Gaebler.com. Good luck, Tara.