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Envision Online Media Inc. | email@example.com | CEO | 07/29/2004 | CEO
Todd Jamieson##comma## President and CEO of Envision Online Media Inc.
What kind of training or education did you acquire before your venture?
Lifelong entrepreneur with a keen interest in technology##comma## but a love for marketing and the arts. I felt Web Design / Development was a natural fit for me. After owning/running a successful computer training institute and a retail computer store##comma## I kind of accidently fell into this field in 1999 and 200+ web site launches later – still loving every minute of it.
What services or products does your organization offer?
We provide professional##comma## usable web sites for dynamic small and medium sized enterprises who need total control over their web site content. Our Envision Web Panel solution provides non-technical users with the ability to self-manage their web site in real-time. We are located in Ottawa##comma## Ontario##comma## Canada and our clients are located across North America.
What type of business or organization do you operate?
We are a federally incorporated company. We choses this to product us from any liability issues and for tax related issues as well. We also feel it provides a much more professional image.
How many employees do you currently have?
How did you originally discover the idea for your organization?
It was developed over time and has changed on an annual basis due to customer and economic influences (such as the 2001 tech-bust).
How did you originally fund your organization?
We provided family loans and had a small debenture (loan with the ability to invest later) for friends and staff.
Are you the founder of your organization?
Do you believe there is any distinct culture within your organization? If so, please describe it.
Absolutely. We have a ##quote##family like##quote## comfortable atmosphere. I always have an open door and staff feel as though they can speak to me at any time. It reduces the overall stress level and allows people to truly be creative and maximize their productivity.
What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your organization?
Initially we had project management problems at the beginning. We resolved this by setting up internal systems to keep track of staff hours##comma## manage internal resources and manage client information they provide us – so that we can react quickly.
Did you accept any advice along the way? Do you believe new organizations should be open to such advice?
The proper advisors have played a pivotal role. For instance##comma## I switched accountants##comma## and my new accountant connected me to government grant programs that provided me with close to $75K in government grants for R & D research (that##aps##s FREE money!).
Did you receive any help along the way from other businesses or organizations? If so, how and from whom?
Yes##comma## BNI (initially)##comma## a few Barter Exchanges helped out##comma## and then a few other local Networking Associations.
What have been the keys to success in your business? What do you believe are the keys to success?
The keys have been##comma## lots of hard work. Constant contact with clients – and focusing a lot of effort on ##quote##key##quote## clients. Providing our clients with exceptional QUICK customer Service.
What kind of relationship do you establish with your customers or clients?
Constantly reading and learning about business models##comma## business development##comma## marketing strategies and new technologies. Basically a lot of reading and a lot of listening.
What types of marketing do you employ?
Word of mouth has worked the best for us##comma## the second best has been search engines and our web sites. (the ##quote##designed by##quote## links on the bottom of our client##aps##s sites works wonders)
Do you employ any web or online marketing?
Absolutely. We are all about technology.
What role does trust play in business or in your organization?
We all make mistakes. My biggest mistake is not writing down a contract and starting on it before receiving payment. I have realized##comma## no matter how nice or honest the person seems – always get it in writing.
Did you struggle with starting your own organization or venture? Why did you decide to begin on your own?
Yes##comma## I always envisioned being an entrepreneur since I can remember.
What books or resources would you recommend for individuals starting off now?
Roger Dawson – Negotiation Series of books##comma## Tony Robbins – Personal Power Program##comma## Stephen Covey – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People + Many many more!
Do you notice any trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?
I see people moving towards more automated systems to provide instaneous management reports. I also see more and more people using the Internet as the primary method of product shopping and price comparison.
Do you believe networking and contacts are important? If so, how?
What do you think about contracts and other legal obligations? Are they important in your business?
Its not what you know – its who you know OR who you know knows!
If there is one thing that would sum up your advice to new entrepreneurs, what would it be?
I think it is important. It provides you with the training to learn quickly and the knowledge needed to excel at a higher level.
What, if any, final advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
A business plan doesn##aps##t need to be 100 pages long – build a simple business model on 2 or 3 sheets of paper and really understand how your business works before you jump into it 100%. Learn to read on a regular basis and listen to positive and motivational tape programs on a regular basis as well.