Karen Rodriguez is a Jacksonville wife and mother who started up her own business called ?Saving the Family Money?. ? She was inspired to start the business based upon her own passion for saving money, which she decided to share with others.
Karen?s business is online only ? there is no brick and mortar location ? and it is all about sharing resources, tips and coupons that can save families money. ? Karen said that social media has been key to creating a strong word-of-mouth influence for Saving the Family Money. ?She also shares information about her business with other websites and on Facebook and Twitter.
Karen also says excellent, responsive customer service has been a big part of her success. ??Being personally involved has made a big difference? she says. ? She shares her own name and photo on the site and it lets people know that they are dealing with a real person, not a big corporation. ?She responds to emails, questions and comments on her site as well in a timely manner, ?which has increased her influence. ?She says that readers that she meets in person call her by her first name when she is spotted around town . . . and they don?t hesitate to say hello and introduce themselves. ?She said that being approachable and helpful has really helped to develop her business.
When asked about how she keeps her creativity ?on tap?, which is so important for small businesses, she says that creativity?does not flow all the time. ? ?There are days when it?s ok to lack creativity?, Karen says. ??Keep up to date with social media, technology and what is happening in the world.? Don?t get stuck doing everything you?ve always done.? ? Karen suggests that it is important for small business owners to watch businesses that you admire, along with your competition, to see what is working for them . . . and give it a try! ? She states that you have to keep learning and growing to be successful.
Saving the Family Money does very well online ? the site is very active, with many people commenting and talking. ?There are over 10,000 Facebook followers, which is tremendous for a small business. ? When asked how she achieved such a great online response, Karen answered that it?s important to get people talking about you, in a positive way. ?She said it takes time ? but she also said that ?when you work hard at communicating with your customers, they will be loyal?. ? Karen also says you need to get out of your comfort zone and visit conferences, network and meet people . . . and don?t be afraid to spend money on your Website/online presence to make money.
Congratulations to Karen for her ingenuity and tremendous success in creating an online business that helps so many families. ?You can visit Saving the Family Money online to see the result of Karen?s work.
A) What inspired you to start your own business?
I?ve always heard you should ?do what you love and love what you do?.? So I took my passion for saving money, and created an online resource for national and local families to do the same.? Partnering with businesses who offer money saving coupons, deals and tips, helps me monetize my business and keep it running.
B) How does a successful small business owner think about online marketing?
Online marketing is the core of my business since I don?t have a regular brick and mortar location.?? But for any businesses, having an online presence can only increase your exposure.? Social Media is key to creating a strong word of mouth influence.? Sharing information about your business with other sites, Facebook and twitter, in the current market are where the ?people? are, so you should be too.
C) Any anecdotes on innovative customer service practices you?ve implemented and would like to share with other business owners?
Having a face/name that goes with the business, helps readers/customers know that they are dealing with a real person and not just a large corporation.? Responding to emails, questions and comments in a timely manner will help increase your influence.? Readers I?ve met in person call me by my first name and when they spot me around town they don?t hesitate to say hello and introduce themselves.? Be approachable and helpful when possible.
D) In the life of a successful small business owner such as yourself, creativity plays a big role. How does one acquire those skills?
Creativity does not always flow 24 hours a day 7 days a week.? There are days when it?s ok to lack creativity.? Keep up to date with social media, technology and what is happening in the world.? Don?t get stuck doing ?everything you?ve always done?.? Watch those you admire or your competition and see what is working for them and give it a try.? Continuing to learn means you are continuing to grow.
F) Saving the Family Money has an excellent online following. What tips would you give small business owners for creating buzz about their business?
Get people talking about you, in a positive way.? Similar to the question ?C? above, be real and honest with people.? It does not happen over night, but if you work hard at communicating with your customers, they will be loyal.
E) Any other info you?d like to share?
Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Attend Conferences, not just on your specific niche or business.? Don?t be afraid to spend a little money (ie: having a website/online presence) to make a little money.