Meet Trudy Jean Evans President, The Raven Group, Inc.
Tell us about your business.
Since opening in 1998, Raven has offered Executive Coaching, Customized Training, Business Consulting and Meeting Facilitation along with Corporate Retreats, Regional Seminars and Recognition Award Events. Our clients range from very small and medium sized businesses to large, publically held International Companies.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Owning my business has given me the autonomy to make decisions that are best for me, my family and my clients. After 15 years of corporate life, I was looking for a change, freedom and the ability to set my own course.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My husband, Bill, inspired me to leave corporate America and has been my business partner since we opened Raven in 1998. He is the driving force behind my success, serves as a great sounding board and always tells me the truth. He continues to encourage and inspire me to believe in myself and reminds me the value of having an Executive Coach.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Watching my clients reach their goals and then surpass them. My business philosophy is “My success is predicated on the success of others.” And my personal mission is to be of positive influence in the lives of others. So, to be able to work as an Executive Coach with a group of leaders that actually expand the globe is one of the most rewarding things I do. Couple that with the opportunity to train and speak to small and large groups, I am able to celebrate the successes of others each and every day.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Keep changing and reinventing yourself. Look at life through the eyes of your customer. Don’t get complacent and stay positive!
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Social media has served me well these past two years. I found LinkedIn has been a great way to promote my business and stay connected with others. Forming my own group through Linkedin, Raven’s Nest has kept me visible. I publish two blogs a month along with using Twitter and Facebook to keep my name out there. I am also on YouTube which gives the viewer an idea of my presentation styles.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Reputation, reputation, reputation! A small business owner can never lose sight of how they handle mistakes; which, speaks loudly for them. They need to exceed customer expectations and use problem resolution to build customer loyalty. They can never afford to burn bridges. They also must combine their entrepreneurial spirit with a high level of professionalism to set themselves apart from their competition. They need to instill excitement in the workplace and be someone others (clients, employees and vendors) want to be around. When all this happens, success is quick to follow.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
There are so many great resources out there it is easy to become overwhelmed. So, I subscribe to the E-Myth ViewPoint newsletter and am a member of the LinkedIn Harvard Business Review group.
Do you have any new projects coming up ? If so, please tell us about it.
Working with my colleague, Kimball Stadler, we have created a new company, Team-Wise which offers a variety of distinct team building venues for both small and large groups. We integrate team building exercises with an exciting learning environment that results in a fun day, full of knowledge and self-awareness. Venues range from Golf Course Events, Art as an Outlet, and Iron Chef Cook-offs to Competitive Race Car Driving, Team Bowling and the Ropes Course. Each offering is customized to specific client goals and incorporates a workshop setting with team application. For more information, visit www.Team-Wise.com
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I go to the beach with my husband on the weekends, am an avid reader going through 2-3 books a week and enjoy running in the evenings. And, anytime my daughters are home, I am in heaven!
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Grow my speaking business. I thoroughly enjoy talking to small and large groups and am actively pursuing keynote presentation opportunities.
You want to write a book on?
I have published a Leadership book on moving from Superstar to Supervisor entitled: The Pied Piper Principle; Lead, and They Will Follow.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I encourage all small business owners to find a mentor or coach to help them grow and develop. Cultivating this relationship can be the catalyst to doing great things both personally and professionally. Seek out someone you trust, admire and want to spend time with. Look for candid feedback. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid of appearing vulnerable. All great leaders understand they can’t do it alone. It is no different within the small business arena.
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you?
Visit my website: www.TheRavenGroupInc.com
Call: O – 954.755.1616 * C – 954.263.4960