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Small Business Week Interviews Lisa Witherow

Interview with Lisa Witherow, Owner, Memory Lane Designs

  

Tell us about your business.
We offer upscale photo gifts that help families celebrate, share and enjoy their memories.
 
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I’ve always wanted to make a difference, and this business allows me to help people embrace their memories rather than store them away in boxes. I also found that this business enables me to employ work-at-home Moms, which has been a really nice experience.
 
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My Grandmother was a huge inspiration to me. She opened her own business when she was in her seventies and always encouraged me to follow my heart. The idea that I could be a strong, inspiring role model for my children has also kept me going, despite the hurdles.
 
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
The fact that I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for nine years is something I’m very proud of accomplishing. Like many others, I had to overcome the notion that to “be responsible”, I should get a job and further my career within the corporate structure. It’s not always easy, but I’ve never regretted my commitment to forge my own path.
 
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I’ve learned that there are many expectations we put on ourselves, our services and our products. We need to step away sometimes and ensure that we’re offering all that the customer expects and not going too far in a direction of our own. Investing in quality is critical, but the quality must be valued by the customers or the price will often be too steep.
 
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed?

http://www.carbonite.com – an automatic back-up system for your computer to ensure no business data is lost

http://www.montastic.com  – for online businesses, this service alerts you to any down time your site experiences.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I will be optimizing my web presence to promote a product line expansion (coming this summer).
 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
It can be really overwhelming starting a new business. One recommendation is to make a list of friends and family members along with their experience and skills that may be helpful to you. Although sometimes it’s free advice and suggestions we need, it’s amazing how honored people in our lives are when we ask for their expertise.
 
How can our readers find you online?
 
http://www.memorylanedesigns.com
 
Twitter – MemoryLnDesigns

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