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Why Employee Happiness Should Be One Of Your Number 1 Concerns

In recent years, it has become more and more evident that paying attention to the happiness of your staff can be one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Years ago, this isn’t something that company directors would have really given as much thought to. However, these days, we are more aware that the mindset of the people within a company can have a huge overall effect on the success of the company itself.

If you’re still unsure of why employee happiness should be one of your number one concerns or what you should be doing about it, read on.

How Do You Know If Your Employees Aren’t Happy At Work?

It’s unlikely most of your employees will come out and simply tell you that they are not happy. Don’t assume that this means they are. Instead, you need to ask yourself a few questions to get a more accurate idea of whether they are happy or not. For instance; how likely are they to go above and beyond in their role when you need them to? How willingly do they help you to come up with a new strategy? How do they engage with your customers? Answering these questions should give you a good idea of whether your employees feel engaged in their roles.

Getting To Know Your Employees

Getting to know your employees is key if you’re going to figure out whether they are truly happy or not. You should learn their names, ask them questions, and remember things about them so you can start conversations later on. Making your employees feel seen and heard is one of the best ways to make them feel valued and like an important part of the company.

Going Out Of Your Way To Help Them

If you can, go out of your way to help your employees. If they come to you with an issue, try your best to solve it. It doesn’t always have to be related to work, but if something outside of the workplace is affecting their work, it only makes sense that it will be in your best interest to help them. For example, it isn’t unheard of for bosses to help their employees secure a place to live by speaking to a landlord and giving a reference, as this almost directly affects their work.

Creating A Safe, Happy Space To Work In

Creating a safe, happy space to work in is another important factor of keeping your employees engaged and satisfied. They should feel physically and emotionally safe at work. If you’re not giving them safe equipment to use, for instance, you’ll likely be getting a call from someone like Alpert Schreyer Injury Attorneys sooner than you think. You must make sure checks are carried out and that the space inspires some creativity – you really don’t want your employees to dread coming in to work.

Acknowledging Employee Efforts And Achievements

Make sure you acknowledge your employees efforts and achievements both individually and as a group. If they have worked particularly hard one week/month, you could consider treating them to lunch or giving them a bonus for the added effort.

Ask For Feedback

Finally and most importantly, be open to receiving feedback. There’s nothing quite as powerful as asking for (even anonymous) feedback to get an idea of what you could improve upon. When you encourage your employees to share their onions, you’re making them feel heard and appreciated. Better yet, when you take their feedback and use to to make changes within your organization you are demonstrating that you value their happiness. 

How does your business tend to the happiness of its employees? Are there ways you can improve? Take time this week to really reflect on whether you’re adequately fostering happiness in your workplace and some changes you can make to do a better job. 

The Construction Of Trusting Workplace Communications

As a manager for a new business, you may find it harder than expected to build trusting and open communications with staff. You might find that some of your employees distrust or rally against the people in charge. In part, this comes down to human nature. It can also come about as a result of negative experiences in the past. Either way, it can building morale and company culture feel near impossible.

The fact is that staff will be far more efficient when they feel they are working for an employer they can trust and talk to. By comparison, closed doors and a lack of respect could lead to sub-standard work. Still, finding success here isn’t easy. Despite your best efforts, you may not know how to construct good communications. The good news is, this is a lot like any other construction task you set your sights on. Read on to find out how building yourself up here isn’t all that different from adding an extension onto your house.

The resources

Before getting started, it’s crucial to have the right resources to hand. In the building world, that means things like bricks and mortar. With working relationships, it means providing your team with the right resources to get the job done. In a fundamental sense, that could mean putting an HR team in place. That way, your staff will see that you have their best interests in mind. You may even want to provide worker handbooks which state things like employment bureau numbers, and outline how a lawyer can help in the case of workplace injury. While you can only hope staff don’t need to use all of these resources, providing them proves you have nothing to hide. Again, this shows you have staff’s best interests at heart.

The foundations

Any building project must start with a solid foundation. Without this, your efforts will crumble before you get to the top finishes. By laying a foundation, you ensure that you’re building on stable ground. And, that can ensure your efforts here last in the long-term. Of course, a concrete base doesn’t help with communications. Instead, this involves getting to know every member of your team. Don’t just employ them and send them out into the world. Take time to talk with them – daily is possible. Go for lunch together and chat on a general sense. That way, you’ll start developing a relationship. And, guess what? Trust and relationships come hand in hand.

The structural work

Even once you think the building work is finished, you need to keep coming back to check on any structural work. Otherwise, even the best building will fall into disrepair. As will your communications. An initial relationship will soon fizzle if you don’t nurture it. As such, you need to keep in contact with every member of your team. This means asking them how they are and meaning it. It means keeping up with what’s happening in their lives and doing what you can to help. This is when real bonds will form, and your workers will begin to love working for you. From there, trust will be your employment oyster.

How do you work to build a trusting company culture? What steps do you take to invest in your employees’ morale? Share your ideas or questions by leaving a comment below!

How to Stop Hitting That Brick Wall with Your Business Progress

So, you started the process of launching your business with such passion and motivation, and then all of a sudden your progress has come to a plateau. You seem to have hit a brick wall recently and you’re unsure how to gain the momentum back. You’re not sure whether you are losing focus when working from home or you are simply overwhelmed with your workload at the moment. Whatever has caused your halt in the road needs to be rectified as soon as possible because you want to make a success out of your business right now. Check out these ideas and see if they help you to get back on track!

Accept Help with Advertising

You could be approaching a dead end with your advertising strategies. Are you wasting money on campaigns that are never going to attract leads? Put your mind at ease as look into local advertising firm vistacomm. With their help, you can truly find advertising strategies that are going to be worth your time and money. You could be focusing on the wrong platforms or using incorrect techniques for your audience demographic; whatever the flaw in your system is, you will soon be able to straighten it out with the help of a professional agency.

Hire More Helping Hands

Are you becoming overburdened with work right now? Do you run out of time when trying to complete your daily tasks? You might benefit from hiring a handful of employees to lighten your load. This could help to bring some fresh eyes to a project and build up the momentum of your business strategy again. You might think you can get all of your tasks done on your own, but you can actually become counterproductive if you overwork yourself on a regular basis. Open up a job vacancy and hold interviews for your prospective candidates. You might find it a huge relief bring someone else into the team.

Rejig Your Business Plan

Your business plan holds the keys to all of your methods and strategies so you might want to rethink it sooner rather than later. Sitting down and tweaking your original plan might just set you off on the right track again. You might discover a flaw that wasn’t noticeable before or you could have a light bulb moment that completely transforms your business idea again. Open up your mind and don’t be afraid to admit that you might have made a mistake in the past; there is always time to rectify it now.

Scope out Your Competition

There are many ways that you can deal with competitors; the market has likely changed a lot since you started out so it’s worth re-evaluating everything. Take a close look at who your direct competition is and try to discover what their successful strategies are. Attempting to emulate some of their plans might just give you the boost you need to take a lead.

You can get back on the right track with your business’s growth and development if you just rethink your advertising strategies, recruit some help and take another look at your business plan. Use these ideas as a launching point to get started!

The Biggest Legal Battles That Companies Face

Looking in from the outside, you might think that it’s fairly straight forward to run a business. You just need to continually look for new clients while ensuring your products and services are kept to a high standard, right? Well, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are often a lot of problems happening behind the scenes of which many clients and customers are unaware. For instance, if a company is in a legal dispute with another party, they don’t usually want anyone finding out, as it could damage their reputation.

In fact, there are quite a few common legal cases that companies face. It doesn’t mean they’re a “bad” business, per se. But they are something that must be dealt with swiftly and professionally in order to resolve the issue and save face. Here are some of the common cases you, as a business owner, should be aware of.

Employee Injury Compensation Cases

Any business that operates in a potentially dangerous environment, such as a factory or warehouse, will need to have adequate insurance coverage in case any of their employees end up hurt in an accident. In fact, it’s even worth it for office-based companies to take out plenty of insurance too as the compensation and legal fees could be extensive. It can be difficult to fight a great worker’s comp lawyer on your own. So, your company might want to hire a legal expert in this field just in case you are unexpectedly taken to court!

Immigration Audits

Whenever you hire an employee from a different country, you need to make sure that they have the right to work in the country. You will have to carry out a lot of background checks in order to try to find any potentially forged paperwork. It is necessary to be really thorough with these checks or else you could end up in a lot of trouble when you undergo your immigration audits. If you are found to have employed anyone who should not be working, then you will be the one that ends up prosecuted.

Angry Clients

Did you know that clients can file lawsuits if they are ever disgruntled with bad work from a contractor? It’s true, and these cases often end up coming out in the client’s favor. This can be especially troublesome for your company if a number of clients come together to fight your company. So, it’s always important to stay on top of your company’s output to make sure that the quality never dives. If you do ever get any complaints, be sure to deal with them as soon as possible in a very professional manner to prevent them from escalating.

Discrimination Cases

Discrimination is a huge legal offence, whether it is on race, gender, or age. It is of paramount importance that this never occurs within your company and that you never use any discrimination in your recruitment process. If you do, you will likely find yourself in court at some point in time. Not only that, though, but discrimination cases often attract a huge amount of publicity, which could spell the end for your business’s good reputation.

Hopefully, you and your business will never be affected by any of these big legal battles, but if you do find yourself facing a challenging case, be sure to seek professionalism representation first. Beyond legal representation, brand reputation is also important. An experience Public Relations professional can ensure your brand is not negatively impacted by what may transpire during your case.

Are You Really Ready For A PR Campaign?

A good PR campaign can be the making of your business. But as with many other things in life, timing is crucial. Many small business and startup owners look for help with their marketing and PR as soon as possible, in the belief that the earlier they get the word out on the street, the better.

The trouble is, there are a few things you need in place before you even contemplate PR, marketing and advertising campaigns for your business. But what are they, exactly? Read on to find out more about how to know you are ready…

Can you prove it?

No PR campaign can take a product that no one has ever seen before and make it sell like hotcakes. You need to ensure you have a grassroots movement on your product at the very least to prevent yourself from throwing money at something that simply doesn’t capture the public’s imagination. Feedback, prototype reviews, customer surveys – all these things need to be in place before you can start scaling out and finding your success.

Do you have the capabilities?

Let’s say you are a small company that hopes to double your sales over the course of 6 months, taking you from 500 units per month to 1,000, for example. You hire a PR professional to help you with your strategy and spread the word far and wide. It’s successful – wildly so, and your sales go through the roof. But you don’t have the products to sell immediately due to lack of finances and resource, your new customers get angry, and you never see them again. Don’t let this happen, as it can be tricky to pull yourself back. Sort out your cash flow, look for a business loan(s), and make sure you have the ability to scale if need be. Many businesses have crashed when they are overwhelmed, so don’t let yourself add to that number.  

Do you have something to say?

A good PR campaign can be explosive when the company it promotes has an awesome story to tell. But unless you are lucky, the chances are that even the best PR agency in the country will be unable to make a dent in your market if you don’t have a compelling message. And make no mistake about it – it needs to be compelling. The reality is that there are somewhere in the region of 11,000 startups created every single hour of every single day around the world. If you haven’t got a story, why do you think journalists will care? Or anyone else for that matter? While a PR expert can undoubtedly help you refine your story, flesh it out, and make it compelling – you need at least the kernel of an idea to base it on.

Are you in a race?

None of this is to say that you should wait until everything is perfect. If you are in a competitive industry, for example, there may be a necessity to get your name out there as soon as possible. If you need to scale fast – and have the capability to do so – then hiring an agency or PR professional could be critical to your success, not to mention your survival!

Do you feel your business is ready to implement a comprehensive public relations campaign? Or do you need to get some other items in line first before you hit the ground running?

Working Tips For Home Freelancers

The freelancing working environment is a strange one. This is because your environment remains static, but the working relationships and responsibilities you may foster online or through other commissions can be varied from day to day. Not everyone is cut out to work freelance, but not every freelancer is cut out to work a normal job in their field. Often, people dip in and out to freelancing, not always using it as a sole source of income but as a means to develop their best income stream.

No matter your reasons, your competency, the people you work with and the skills you offer to commission, considering these working tips can have a large impact on your overall comfort, happiness and effectiveness in this role. The early days of freelancing can be hard and worrisome, but over time you may find comfort developing your self-reliance:

Pay Proof

Working freelancers expect the flow of their income to vary frequently. It’s smart to use a working generating unit that needs each job completion to be verified, and uses services like PayPal to try and secure the potential for disputes from either sides. Some commissions come in independently, and may pay you half to begin with and half upon completion. You may be lucky enough to work with some form of a more systematized content production house, allowing you to subcontract solely for them and adhere to their payment standards, which are often more official and uniform. No matter how you access your form of funding, keeping track of everything can be greatly simplified if you create pay stubs using an official service to track your income. This can help you gain physical proof, and if verified by the payment provider, can help you effectively validate that document for use in tax and archiving purposes.

Communication & Reach

It’s important to always be available as a freelancer if you are offering your services on the internet. A valid email you can reach from multiple devices, an instant messaging offering like Hangouts or Skype, and even potentially a mobile phone or landline number for regular and respected clients you’ve built a cordial relationship with can be important. Staying available does not mean responding right away. Setting your own hours is an important task, so never feel obligated to respond at all hours of the night because a nasty precedent can be set from that point on! The main lesson is to open many forms of commission requests, to standardize that format in a manner you feel appropriate, and to monitor this first contact for potential income and collaborative customer care day after day.

Testimonials & Portfolios

Build a portfolio. You can use this to show examples of your work, be that artistic, content writing, or anything else you offer. Open a website to show this, and ask for testimonials from your most valued clients in exchange for a discount. These two options can help you secure more business, and help you achieve the art of staying reachable and discoverable.

With these simple tips, you’re sure to develop your working capacities in the best manner possible!

Boosting Your Self-Confidence When Pursuing a New Career Path

When it comes to careers, the majority of us tend to stick with what we know. We land our first job and do our best to remain within it. Maybe we’ll receive a promotion some day, maybe we won’t – the main worry on our minds is staying gainfully employed. If something isn’t broke, why try to fix it?

Now, this is a relatively safe way to play things. But it’s not likely to be the most enjoyable or profitable way to go about your life, and taking on this mindset is the very way that people end up stuck in dead end jobs for their entire career. It’s also important to bear in mind that even the most seemingly stable company could go bust at some point down the line, or your position could be rendered redundant. So, you might want to consider branching out a little and pursuing something that you actually enjoy and that earns you the salary you want. Sure, this can be extremely daunting. But luckily, there are a few ways to boost your self confidence in order to achieve your goals. Here are just a few to consider!

Establish Exactly What You Want to Do

Many people lack self confidence in their career progression, as they don’t actually know how they want their career to progress. It’s important that you take the time to figure out exactly what it is that you want to do. Once you’ve found something that you’re invested in, you’ll find that you have a much easier time dedicating yourself to it and making active steps towards achieving it.

Engage With Inspirational Figures

Take a look at some inspirational individuals in the field you intend to enter. If you want to succeed in a tech business, engage with a Tech Entrepreneur. When you communicate and network with individuals who have done well in your chosen field, you’ll see that success can be achieved. You may even be able to gain a few sage pieces of advice from them along the way!

Learn from Rejection

You might not land the first job that you apply for in your chosen field. In fact, few people do. But you shouldn’t let rejection knock you down. Instead, you should learn from it. A positive lesson can be taken from any interview or trial period that hasn’t quite gone to plan. You can then rectify your mistakes and put in a better performance next time.

Take Short Courses

If you feel that you need more specialist knowledge in your area of interest, you can always look out for short courses on the subject. Sign up to these! They will help you to get to grips with the basics, and will mean that you feel more self-assured when you do start your new role.

These are just a few steps that you should try out for yourself. They really will have a profoundly positive impact on your self-confidence, encouraging you to achieve your goals and dreams!

Are you in a transitional period with your career? What steps have you taken to boost your self-confidence? Share your advice or ask a question by leaving a comment below!

Time Saving Hacks For Small Businesses

Small businesses have a huge challenge when they begin from someone’s sofa or a spare room at the back of the house. There are amazing people all over the world who start up businesses every year and make their dreams come true. However, running a successful business can be incredibly stressful. There are so many activities and jobs which need to be performed that it can take a lot of time to get into the flow of running a solo venture, and running it well. Here are some things you can think about doing this year to help make the process of running your day to day operations easier.

Use a phone answering service

Phone answering services are a huge benefit to anyone who is taking their first steps in the business world, and it can be a wonderful thing for people to have to make their days more productive. Receiving phone calls every day can disrupt the way you work and this can have an impact on the time it takes you to get your work done. However with Receivr call answering service, you can save time and let other people handle your phones for you!

Schedule social media posts

Marketing and social media is a huge part of running a business, and when you are starting up a small venture it is incredibly important to make a name for yourself online. Marketing can take up a lot of time during the working week and social media in particular is one which can take a huge chunk of time out of your day. Because of this, being able to schedule social media posts in advance is a lot easier and will save you time and worry during the week as you try to stay consistent with your online presence. There are apps, such as buffer, which can make this easier and make sure that you are able to stay on top of things.

Plan projects with handy apps

Apps are a godsend when it comes to managing a small business because when you have little money and not a huge amount of time, free software can make your working life much more efficient. You can think about looking on your App Store for as many free tools as you can for different processes in your empire. There are apps for project management, finance, marketing and much more. You can save so much time and energy on your work with amazing technology, which in turn will save your business.

Use free tools for finance

Quickbooks and tools similar to this can be essential for running a successful small business in its fledgling years, and you can really set the tone for your business, as well as grow and expand, with the help of tools such as these. Planning budgets for your personal life can be hard enough, let alone a business, so make sure to use tools to allow for easier management for all of the processes within your venture.

What other tools and tips have you used to grow your business and save time? Share your insights by leaving a comment below!

5 Ways Your Website Could Be Damaging Your Credibility

There’s nothing more liberating than starting up your very own business. To cast aside wage slavery and a corporate pay structure that’s actively working against you to insulate its own bottom line. To shake of the shackles of a job and a career that were not only letting your talents go to waste, they were slowly sapping your will to live. When you secure the funding to build up your own business from scratch and transform your idea into a reality, it can seem as though anything is possible. But the reality is that your business is just one of legions of similar enterprises, all vying for the attention of the same customers. And these customers know that in a buyer’s market they can afford to be fickle, no matter how hard you may try and earn their loyalty.

Thus, the savvy entrepreneur knows that in order to draw custom towards their business and away from their competitors that their reputation must be absolutely beyond reproach. Of course there’s a lot that goes into your business’s reputation. Every customer interaction in the real world and on social media, every telephone query, the quality of your products and service and even the design concept of your logo can influence your reputation. Here, however, we’re going to look exclusively at your website. Your website is, for many businesses, the first and last chance they will get to make an impression on potential leads. If your website does not reflect the values or quality of your brand, it can seriously undermine your credibility. And credibility is extremely important. Credibility determines whether or not prospective customers can trust you, and it’s vital that your website earns it.

What a bad website can do to your business

We’re long past the days when merely having a website was considered a boon for your business. While an online presence is somewhat taken for granted, whether your business uses eCommerce or not, a bad website can make an impression in the worst possible way. It can;

  • Create a poor or misleading first impression
  • Provide inaccurate or outdated information
  • Scare away leads and reduce conversion rates
  • Undermine trust in your brand
  • Send customers running into the arms of your competitors.

So, what could your website be doing to undermine your brand and damage your credibility? Well, if you haven’t given much care to the building of your website, it can actually be damaging your credibility if it has…

Outdated or amateurish design

Like the world of fashion, web design is subject to trends which come and go in accordance with technological changes and the cultural biases of users. As such, while your website may look just fine to your eyes, savvier users may find your web design to be outdated or lacking the professional veneer offered by others. In an age where most people now consume online content and make eCommerce purchases through mobile devices, the most egregious sin you can make is failing to ensure that your site design is responsive so that it looks great on a screen of any size. Moreover, a WordPress site that’s built using a ready-made theme can make your website look cheap, amateurish or homogeneous to the more practiced eye, no matter how great it looks to you. Look at the online presence of businesses you admire and work collaboratively with a talented web designer (here are some tips for finding one that’s right for you) to build a website that looks beautiful and professional while explicitly tailored to your brand.

Bad UX

Even a website that looks beautiful can undermine your credibility by providing a bad experience for the user. User Experience or UX is an important discipline which nascent brands can tend to overlook. A gorgeous looking website that’s hard to navigate or takes forever to load (keep in mind that a page load of just 7 seconds can increase your bounce rate by over 30%) can potentially be more damaging than a website that looks passable yet is a joy to navigate.

Poor quality content

Most new entrepreneurs understand the value of content marketing but fall victim to an overly simplistic mode of thinking. They know that content is king and that posting fresh content on a regular (ideally daily) basis is the key to getting an edge over the competition in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, this is not to say that quantity trumps quality. In fact, it’s the opposite of the case. Outsourcing your content to poor quality, low cost click farms overseas might seem like a cost effective solution, but the increased likelihood of poorly written, grammatically incorrect or (worse still) factually inaccurate copy will seriously damage your credibility and authority in the eyes of users.

Moreover, it might not even give you the SEO boost you were expecting. While search engines don’t share the minutiae of what affects rankings, it’s widely believed that measures of genuine engagement like scroll depth and time on page are of value to search engines. If users click off your content in seconds, it could do more harm than good to your SEO.

Your images

A picture is worth a thousand words. But if you’re personally responsible for all of the images that go into your content, it behoves you to brush up on your photography skills. We human beings are visual creatures and rightly or wrongly we make value judgments based on appearance all the time. Either outsource your images to a talented photographer or take the time to improve your skills in image capture and post production photo editing. Cheesy stock images are not recommended as they can cheapen your brand and make your content look like that of an amateur blogger.  

Outbound links

Finally, while link building is an important part of SEO, it’s important to remember that not all links are created equal. Some links can actually harm your search engine rankings and leave you with less than reputable and credible associations. This is why you should never link to an outbound source or site without first doing your homework and ensuring that your brand is in good company with theirs and establishing that they are both reputable and credible.

Remember that you only have a few seconds to make a very important first impression. All of these factors go into making that impression count.

20 Fun Facts About Bennis Public Relations

20 fun factsI love sharing insights into the business I started more than seven years ago, Bennis Public Relations. At just 23 years old, I was well aware I didn’t have everything figured out. Actually I was pretty certain I knew nothing about the entrepreneurial journey I was about to embark upon, but I was certain I was passionate about following this calling and would do whatever it took to make this a successful career.

On a fun and light-hearted note, I want to share some of the little known facts about Bennis Public Relations, and me personally. Entrepreneurs are quarky people, and I am no exception. So as I draw back the curtain a little further, I hope you’ll get a kick out of these facts that are fun, interesting and maybe even a bit strange.

1. My business is named after my maiden name, and my son is also named Bennis. I love that when he gets a little older he’ll realize the business I started from ground up and poured a lot of passion into, also shares his name. Hey, maybe he’ll take it over someday?

2. Less than 2 months after I started this blog on WordPress (as a trial for my own blog building services) I was featured on WordPress’s homepage and as a result I got almost 7,000 views in 1 day. August 24, 2011 still holds my record for most views.

3. My only overhead expenses are $10 a month to Hootsuite and $40 per year to the PA Public Relations Society. Almost unbelievable I know, but it’s true. I don’t pay any other subscriptions, memberships, fees, payroll, rent, etc. (Taxes are a whole other story, of course). I love running a lean business!

4. I have no desire to have employees. I continue to grow every year without having to hire employees by raising my hourly rates, taking on new clients and finding ways to be more efficient with my time. It’s just me (and my network of vendors) and that’s how I like it.

5. One of my titles is the Executive Director of the Carwash Association of Pennsylvania. That’s right, CAP has been my client for several years and for the particular services I provide to them, I serve as the E.D.

6. I rarely work more than 6 hours per day. Again, I LOVE efficiency and I love that with my business model, the more efficient I am, the more time I have to devote to other passions and projects. Some days/weeks I work well over that! But I know those long hours every so often afford me short work days most every other day.

7. When I first started my business, I had just enough clients to pay the rent. I hadn’t figured out how to pay for other expenses or even taxes when I made the entrepreneurial leap to quit my former job. But I hustled hard and went into survival mode. That work ethic had afforded me what I have today.

8. I have successfully turned nearly all “competition” into partnerships and collaboration opportunities. I love meeting with other PR professionals because nearly every time I do I’m able to identify our unique differences and turn them into collaboration opportunities.

9. I started doing freelance public relations work when I was still in college. During my senior year at Penn State University, I met a professional speaker and best-selling author through one of the events I planned through an internship and he and I started doing work together that last for about 5 years. He’s how I bought my first car!

10. My husband is a serial entrepreneur too. Between the two of us, we run four businesses. His current and largest venture right now is a tech startup that provides performance-based fundraising – and it’s changing the world! Read the stories at www.pledgeit.org and you’ll see I’m not exaggerating.

11. Throughout running my business, we grew our family by two sons. As an entrepreneur, I can’t really take a maternity leave, so I literally never missed a day of work, even if it meant answering emails from the hospital (yes I packed my laptop in my hospital bag). It’s one of the hard truths of running our own business, but the payback is so worth it!

12. My dad is part owner of Bennis Public Relations. He gave me the money I needed to fully incorporate Bennis Inc. in 2011. He jokes that Jeff Bezos’s dad was the first to invest in Amazon. I don’t know if I’ll afford him quite that payback!

13. My cat, Pinot, has been the closest thing I’ve had to a colleague. She’s been with me since day 1 of starting Bennis Public Relations and lays by my side just about every time I open my lap top to write. She’s also been my most popular blog topic by far!

14. Most of my friends and family have no idea what I do. I’m not offended! Unless you’ve studied it or work in the industry, public relations doesn’t really fit in a standard “box” especially with how it’s evolved thanks to technology. I usually just say I do a lot of writing, and leave it at that.

15. As far as I am aware, I’ve never run into a roadblock for my gender. In the day and age when everyone is shouting “the future is female,” I’ve never found I needed to apologize or compensate for being a female business owner. I simply let my work ethic speak for itself. In fact, I’ve beat many male businesses for different jobs, not based on gender, but based on the ideas and follow-through I bring to the table.

16. A lot of people confuse me with a publicist. Frankly, I think I’d make an awful publicist. While I have worked with people to enhance their personal brand, I most commonly work to enhance the communications and branding for businesses and organizations.

17. In high school I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” I thought it was silly at the time – and my mom thought it was pretentious and borderline offensive. Now looking back, I think that title may have subliminally inspired me. And though I didn’t get “Best Dressed,” I think this one has served me a lot better.

18. Though I have a dedicated home office (behind a hidden door to boot) and several office locations in downtown Harrisburg I can use as I wish, I prefer to work from our home living room. I’m a creature of habit!

19. I still have my very first client on retainer – that’s been 7 years now! The work has ebbed and flowed over the years, but I love being able to say I have the consistency of working with clients for many years, some even from the start.

20. And for #20 the fun fact I want to end with is that I’m proud to say I have had the privileged to serve 100+ clients from coast to coast in just seven short years. It may sound crazy, but I serve 25 different client accounts monthly, with many more one-time projects scattered throughout. Entrepreneurship has been a crazy one, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

So now that you know a little but more about what shapes me, and as a result by public relations business, what fact do you find more interesting? Or maybe you’d like to share your own quarky and random fact.

Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!