Meet Sharon Klein, President of Choice Marketing Group, Inc.
Tell us about your business.
Choice Marketing Group is a Promotional Products Agency.
We provide extensive Marketing Solutions for our clients through the use of Promotional Products unique, imported /domestic and customized, to fit your needs.
Our experience and expertise comes from our own talented staff and our varied and extensive team of out-sourced partners. We work with companies in developing and implementing strong, effective programs for various Branding Opportunities. Together with other media we can add greater perceived value to your Brand.
If you are considering drawing attention to your major event, increasing attendance or implementing a program to enhance your visibility, on a daily basis, Choice Marketing stands ready to assist you in achieving the highest degree of visibility and return on your investment dollar.
Our client’s range from solopreneaurs, small businesses and fortune 500 companies.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I love the creative end of the business and the challenge of finding something new. Prior to starting Choice Marketing I was a contracts negotiator in the strategic planning division of a global bank. Tons of stress, long hours and no life. I left corporate and never looked back. I actually fell into this, starting a company was not something I always dreamed of doing. At first I worked with research firms who needed gifts for participants in focus groups. One day a client asked “what else do you have?” my answer was “what are you looking for”
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I would have to say the greatest influence was my Dad and his two brothers. I learned about business from them. My family owned a building materials company and summers were spent working various jobs in the office and really learning everything from the bottom up. I also saw how they interacting with not only customers but with suppliers.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Developing very strong client relationships and loyalty. Choice Marketing started in New York and I relocated to Florida 8 years ago. I am very proud to say we did not lose any of our clients and have even grown the New York region.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Have a business plan. Set to paper your goals and develop a plan on how to reach it. Also, if you feel something is not working, step back, review, revaluate and develop a new plan. Also, educate yourself constantly. Not only Learn Your Industry, Learn From Your Industry. It is not only important to develop relationships with clients it is just as important to develop relationships with businesses within your industry. My first mentor in the Promotional Products Industry was another distributor, he assisted me in getting credit with suppliers and in locating the right suppliers.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Obviously, we use promotional products. But just like we advise our clients, we also use products that our target audience can relate to, will be useful for them and have retentive value. I also reach out to businesses that have the same target market as I do but who offer a different service.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
It is not as easy as it looks and you will probably work longer hours. But with focus and a plan you can become a success.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I read. Right now I am reading good in a room by Stephanie Palmer. Also, be smart with your networking. Research the various organizations, attend a couple of meetings prior to joining to see if it is a good fit. Ask yourself questions, such as how can I contribute to this organization – are the members a good source of two way referrals? It is not about doing business with just the other members but with who you know and who they know. As a small business owner your time is very valuable.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I used to play golf and am thinking about getting back into playing.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
To continue to grow not only my business but my referral base.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Love what you are doing and have fun with it.
In addition to your website, how else can our readers connect with you online?
Face Book http://tinyurl.com/yarbyym
Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonklein