"Jill Blankenship"Meet Jill Blankenship, CEO of Frontline Call Center on Orcas Island, Washington

Tell us about your business.
Frontline Call Center delivers high performance outsourced customer service representatives 24/7. We specialize in technical support, order processing, and professional, customized customer services. Our clients range from small, startup companies to large corporations where our technology integration and work force management creates cost effective solutions to any business.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
My intention of starting a call center on a rural island (Orcas Island, WA) in the Pacific Northwest was to provide year round employment to the people that live here…including myself. Also, the timing was perfect in that the advancement of technology and I created a ‘Work from Home’ business model that has allowed Frontline Call Center to expand to 14 additional states. We started with 5 agents in 2005 and have expanded to over 70 agents as of January 2011. As a business owner, I feel that I have made an impact on my community, which fills me with gratitude and happiness.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Roland Chaiton, with Seattle Community Capital Development Group. Roland went out on a limb for me and I was able to get my startup funding through a SBA guaranteed loan. Without his support, my vision would not have come to life.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I think overcoming the initial obstacles I had during my first two years was my greatest accomplishment – it definitely made me stronger.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Make sure you stay current on your taxes and a good book keeper is worth the money they charge!

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Lead generation groups like BuyersZone, trade shows and most importantly, word of mouth.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
‘This too shall pass’…I know it’s an old cliché, but it really does help me get through the stressful times as a small business owner.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love being a grandmother and spend as much time as I can with my children and grandchildren. I strive to balance my life with yoga, spirituality and personal growth.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Excellence! To me the definition of excellence is operating at a high level over and over again. We have built and maintained a high level platform and our goal is to continue the excellence that has set us apart.

You want to write a book on ‘The Wow Affect’
Everyday, everyone is a customer in one way or another. We hear what people are asking for as customers and our goal is to create a customer experience that make people say, ‘Wow’. We can show how businesses will achieve customer satisfaction and retention.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
The most important thing for me to share is to never give up…you will always be faced with obstacles and challenges, but if you’re on the right path, with the right intentions, you will overcome these and succeed.

In addition to your website www.frontlinecallcenter.com , how else can our readers connect with you online? LinkedIn