Melinda F. Emerson
Bestselling Author, Serial Entrepreneur Founder, Quintessence Multimedia
Launch year: 1999
Describe your business in one sentence.
Quintessence Multimedia provides social media strategy ands content development services for Fortune 500 companies and small brands who want to engage small business customers.
What led you to launch your business?
I was inspired by Oprah Winfrey to launch my production company when I was a sophomore in college. She was making major deals with HARPO Studios and it thrilled me to follow her business progress. I caught the entrepreneurship bug right then.
How’d you land your very first customer?
My personal network was how I landed my first customer. I reached out to people I served with on nonprofit boards.
What’s the biggest struggle you’ve encountered in running your small business?
I think all small businesses struggle keeping the pipeline full, and early on I had the same challenge. It’s easy to work on your deliverables, and look up after finishing a big project and have no customers. One of the things I did was set aside time weekly to work on sales and I focused only on my monthly sales goal.
What has surprised you most about running your business?
I surprised me how hard it was to manage my employees. You can’t do it all by yourself, but you need to hire well. I had to learn to hire smart people and empower them to make decisions for the business.
What one thing do you know now that you wish you would’ve known when you started?
I wish I would have focused on a niche customer much sooner in my first business. I wasted a lot of time and money.
How do you measure success?
In my first business, I always measured success by revenues. Now I measure success by three things profits, am I working with my ideal clients, am I getting paid what I want to be paid and do I have the ability to turn down work I do not wish to do.
What’s your must-read online resource in your industry?
I love the NY Times, The Huffington Post, and Smallbiztrends.com
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring business owners, I would shout,
You never lose in business! Either you win or you learn. With God’s help you will never lose.