I live in Siskiyou County, which encompasses a handful of small towns in the far northern reaches of California. A new website launched in this area called Interview Siskiyou that features interviews with over two dozen local business owners in our community.

I was interviewed by Arthur Cronos, who runs the site, and felt like he asked some great questions that shed some light on what it’s like to be a small business owner. In order to share some fresh business and personal insights with my BAM! Blog readers, I’ve included my interview here.

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Interview Siskiyou: What made you want to start BAM! Small Biz Consulting?

NA: 
I had 15 years of experience in the advertising industry back in Minneapolis, MN. When I moved to Mt. Shasta in 2008, I saw a lot of small business owners struggling with their marketing (or ignoring it completely), which was negatively affective their revenue. Many were missing opportunities to create a unique brand, and most weren’t taking advantage of the affordable and effective marketing tactics and strategies available. Seeing this was painful because I’m truly passionate about branding and marketing, and I knew these businesses could be doing better. So I decided to start BAM! with the goal of helping my clients become Heavyweight Marketing Champions.

IS: If you had to pick one thing out of your day, what’s the most exciting or favorite?

NA: There are two things that stand out: First, I love mornings in my home office. Firing up my espresso machine and computer, pulling out my weekly to-do list, and diving into the work at hand. Whether I’m working on client projects, or engaged in the blogging, social media and marketing activity I do for BAM! Small Biz Consulting, I find the promise of each new day to be quite inspiring.

Secondly, on days when I have client meetings, I really enjoy visiting my clients on their turf, speaking with them and hearing first-hand what their objectives, desires, problems and frustrations are with their business. Whether I’m conducting a BAM! Free 30-Minute Needs Assessment, presenting a marketing proposal, or providing website training on their new WordPress platform, I learn so much with each and every conversation. To me, spending this one-on-one time with my clients is priceless.

IS: Who is your ideal customer?

NA: If you’re a small business owner who meets the following criteria, You will be a good fit with BAM! Small Biz Consulting:

  • You realize you could be doing more when it comes to your branding and marketing.
  • You are truly ready to make the effort to implement change.
  • You are somewhat accessible, regardless of your busy schedule.
  • You have an allotted marketing budget and are ready to invest in your brand.
  • You understand and appreciate the value that I bring to the table.
  • You realize that marketing is a long-term commitment and not a quick fix.

IS: What do you consider your biggest weakness?

NA: I’m currently capacity limited because I’m doing all the work myself (for my clients as well as my own company). While I do have a network of talented strategic partners, most of the client budgets I’ve been working with so far have not been large enough to allow for additional contractors to get involved.

IS: How are you improving on that weakness?

NA: Seeking clients with bigger budgets! Also, I’m strengthening my relationships with my strategic partners, so when the larger projects do roll in, my extended team is ready to go.

IS: What is your biggest strength?

NA: I truly desire to help improve the conditions of each and every client. If I don’t think I can do so, or if I don’t feel the client is truly willing to so, I will not accept the assignment. I can occasionally be bold, direct and curt with my clients – BAM! – but that’s because I truly want the best for them and their business.

IS: How do you like running your own business?

NA: Personally, I don’t fish, but I’ve heard a saying used by old-timer fishermen that goes, “The worst day fishin’ is better than the best day workin’!” That’s exactly how I feel about self-employment: All the stress, the problem-solving, the income tax headaches, the setbacks and the occasional client miscommunications is far better than the mind-numbing, soul-sucking, clock-punching tedium I’ve experienced working certain jobs as an employee.

IS: If you could change one thing about your businesses day-to-day routine, what would it be?

NA: Well, the beauty of self-employment – and the consulting field in particular – is that you can create your own routine, and every day is different. If I want to go swimming with my girlfriend on Tuesday afternoon, hit the mall in Redding on a Friday morning and spend all day Sunday building a website, I can. In fact, that’s exactly what I did last week!

IS: What’s the main reason a person would choose to hire BAM! Small Biz Consulting as opposed to other choices, including the choice of doing nothing at all?

NA: A solid referral from someone they trust who is a satisfied BAM! client is an ideal starting point. In lieu of that, I encourage my prospects to shop around. They will certainly find cheaper solutions, as I provide premium services, but they will not find someone as experienced and well versed in big-picture thinking who truly cares about improving the condition of their business, and ultimately making their lives better.

IS: If you had a chance to say one thing to a brand new customer, before they walk in the door, what would it be?

NA: If you’re looking for a cheap product or a quick fix, keep walkin’. If you’re ready to invest time, effort and money in creative, effective solutions that will grow your business with more loyal customers, then step in the ring with BAM! and I will help you become a Heavyweight Marketing Champion!