We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Feld and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Having started and operated 6 total businesses and ran 3 others, I wanted this new business to be crystal clear on my mission. I put a lot of thought into my “Why”. Why should I build this business? Who are you going to serve? How are you going to serve them? What problems does your target market have? Who is your target market? How are you going to solve these problems? What kind of results are you going to get for your clients? What tools will you need in the business to achieve your goals? Who will be on your support team to help you build the business? What other resources will you need to be successful? What is your exit strategy? Anyone can ask these questions for themself before starting a business. I spent a very long week writing everything down. Calling who I thought I wanted to serve and interview them to make sure I am on the right track. Then did lots of research to make sure I had all the tools and processes I needed to serve my clients and solve their problems. I am not going to say it was easy. It wasn’t. I spoke to my coach multiple times over that week to make sure that my business was going to be built for success. That the business had clear goals and objectives. A strategic action plan to achieve those goals. The process and schedule to execute the plan and a way to measure all the results to make sure I am staying on track towards my goals. I did not want to just wing it. I have seen too many business owners do that and they have all failed. By taking the time and getting focused on the business I wanted to build was worth every second. I made sure that my elevator speech (unique selling proposition) was clear. My mission fits my passion. I am very passionate about seeing small business owners survive and thrive. All the tools, processes, products, and services support my mission. I have built businesses before. One of them was growing so fast, I felt I was working around the clock. Then one day it popped and it was over. All my clients were in the IT industry and that industry’s bubble just burst and my business along with it. I learned a valuable lesson about diversifying your products, services, and client base so that will never happen again. I didn’t put the same thought process into that business and I have in my current business. I wish I did. Anyone thinking about starting a business should put some deep thought into what they would like to build. As well as look at themselves. Are you ready for the ups and downs of being a business owner? Do you have a great support team around you, because you will need them. You cannot build a long-term sustainable business without support.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Being that anyone can call themselves a coach nowadays, I have to stand out. Besides being a certified business coach, one of the best ways I separate myself from those that just hang their shingle up is that I have owned and operated multiple businesses in a variety of industries. I know what business owners are going through, what that emotional roller coaster feels like no matter what industry they are in and where they are in the business life cycle. I also have brought in many tools and resources to get my clients the results they want. Have great strategic alliances to bring in an expert to help my clients when that is required. I don’t think I have ever stated that starting and running a business is easy. If it was everyone would be doing it and successful. The failure rate for a new business is very high. Only 8 out of every 100 business that starts will be around in 10 years. Most of them will be gone within the first 2 years of starting. That is horrible. My goal is to help reverse that negative trend. I wish that I could say that all my businesses were roaring successes, but that is not the case. My first business had clients all in one industry and that industry when belly up and took my business with it. Another business, I bought, turned it around, received multiple business awards for the processes and procedures I instilled, and had it making money very fast got hit hard during the economic downturn. Glad to say I renegotiated all my vendor agreements before everything dropped, which kept the business going for 2 years into the downturn. It was always making money, but barely which was better than everyone else going bankrupt and losing everything. I realized that the parts of my business were greater than the whole and sold off all my inventory and equipment for more than anyone would have paid for the business. You must overcome the challenges when faced with them and forge ahead. I learned a lot from every business I owned, operated, and worked with and continue to do so. It has been said that you learn the best from mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and use that knowledge to be one of your assets. My passion is seeing small business owners survive and thrive. Everything I do in my business supports that mission. When I bring in new tools, resources, the knowledge it is to support my mission. I believe all business owners need to have a solid mission and your business needs to support your mission. Keep in mind this is your business. Your livelihood. Charge for your services and products. Deliver on your promise. Operate with high integrity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend that was staying in Phoenix for a long weekend, I may take them to Sedona. The place is amazing. The colors in the mountains are amazing, Lots of great places to stay and visit-check out the vortexes. Do a jeep ride. Shop at local art galleries. One place that guests always want to visit is the grand canyon. It is pretty amazing. We have plenty of real Mexican restaurants in the valley and one that has been visited by all the presidents for decades. Yes, the food there is good. One place I take people is Carolinas. It has 4 cylinder block walks, plastic junior high seating, no real décor, and a line going down the block. I take people there for authentic Mexican food and if they ever come back in town they always want to go there to eat.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been many folks assisting me along with my journey. I had my first mentor when I was 15 and have many since then. I visited Score when I wanted to start my first business to get help on starting a business. Years later I became a mentor for Score and have assisted 100’s business owners to start their business and have passed my experience and knowledge to entrepreneurs in hopes they reduce the typical mistakes most business owners make. I believe all business owners need a coach. Look at Michael Jordan. He had 12 coaches. Why? He knew that he only knows what he knows and cannot see his faults and how to improve himself from his perspective. He needed that outside perspective to help him achieve a higher level and grow. I have a coach and a mentor. Each of them helps me within my business and within myself to grow, stay on track, provide me to look at challenges and opportunities from another point of view.