Be Your Own Boss

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Since he was little, Jacob Garlick knew he wanted to own something.

"I thought it was so cool that you could own a skyscraper," said Garlick.

His dad took him under his entrepreneurial wing.

Now towering buildings aren't quite his specialty.
But at 20 years old, the unassuming man with a faux hawk owns three businesses.

"When I turned 18 it was only natural that I start a commercial investment company," said Garlick.

Then came Garlick Business Consultants to help other entrepreneurs find their footing.

Now Socialsmac is his most booming venture.

Smac stands for Social Media Advertising Company.

Businesses hire Garlick's company to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to advertise their products.

"Rather than putting out paid-for advertisement, we're creating a culture around our clients' brands," said Garlick.

One of those clients is Carol Jones.
Her Good Morning Mattress store has been in Tallahassee for 5 years.

They've done print and TV spots but Jones wanted to bring her advertising into 2012.

"When you're my age and the world is staring you in the face with Facebook and Twitter and you're aware of them but you don't really know where to begin with it all," said Jones.

They're a generation apart.

But Jones is looking to this man who can't yet legally buy alcohol, to help take her business to the next level.

She isn't thinking about his age, only about results.

Jones said, "He's so brilliant at what he does. That never really enters into it."

Garlick said, "In the past, they're always kind of taken back and surprised. Especially in commercial investments. In social media, the wonderful thing is, young people are the ones who have the credibility."

College graduation means people will be looking for jobs. But national statistics show the unemployment rate among people younger than 25 is almost double the national average.

That could be why 15% percent of people who own businesses are under 35, according to the Small Business Administration.

Garlick says with numbers like those, more and more young people will become their own CEO's.

"Just 20 years ago, if you wanted to start a business you couldn't start selling things to China overnight," said Garlick. "Well now you can. So your potential market has really opened up. You have access to the whole world at your fingertips. Someone who is born today is born with computers in their life and it just makes sense."

A study by the Guardian Life Small Business Institute says Millennials are 50% more likely to expand their business compared to previous generations.

They're also 120% more likely to be a business owner without other workplace experience.

Carol says she didn't know how young Jacob was when she became his client.

She didn't know he was still working on his degree while putting 60 hours a week into his businesses.

She didn't know if he hasn't worked for someone else, but has more than one dozen people on his staff.

She just knew she wanted his ideas on her team.

"They're fresh. That's what I liked about him the most," said Jones.

Plenty of people have great ideas for businesses. However, many don't know how to translate them into a successful endeavor.

In a time when 9 to 5's haven't been as easy to come by, or they might not be what you want, many are opting to be their own CEO's.

That's when people go to Mark Raciappa. He calls himself a business coach and owns Action Coach in Tallahassee.

"They feel like, if I can't depend on somebody else, maybe I can make a go of it myself," said Raciappa.

Most of his life he worked in grocery chains.
Then he owned a store of his own.

Now for the last six years he's been coaching others through the contact sport of business.

"So many people are looking at the job they want to do, the money they want to make and not the long term which is why am I in this?" said Raciappa.

Raciappa says many small businesses fail for a number of reasons.

The first step to success is showing what makes your product or service, unique.

"If you can't differentiate yourself out there, then your prospective customers can't tell whom to pick," said Raciappa.

That would be your "unique selling point" that would go into your business plan.

Next, time management can make or break your outcome.

Raciappa said, "It's the only non-renewable resource that we have. It's the only thing we can't get back. So once today is gone, we can't get it back."

Then, if you've gotten that under control, Raciappa says you'll have to create an effective marketing plan.

"We want to diversify your marketing to spread the risk. You can't put all of your marketing eggs in one basket," said Raciappa.

To do that, he suggests what he calls 10 by 10 marketing.

That means, try 10 strategies simultaneously to measure results. That way you can make an informed decision about where to put the most resources.

Every successful team has players with different strengths.
Raciappa says business is no different.

"Every successful business owner should have an attorney or access to one," he said.

Raciappa said you should also have a CPA, banker, insurance agent, and financial adviser on your squad.

He warns, many people lose when they spend too much time working in their business and not enough time working on it.

"If you own a business, you're the only person who can take that view from 10,00 feet and look at the ways you can innovate, strategize and evaluate test measure and look forward to the future because only the business owner can do that."

Raciappa says first and foremost, everyone should take the time to have a clear goal and objective.

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