The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Lose your job? Start a business!

Ronnie FlissAfter having her corporate, IT vice president position terminated, Ronnie Fliss spent the next six months searching for a new job.  She was told she was either overqualified or too expensive for what was available so she decided to form Fat Murray’s Doggy Treats in 2003, www.fatmurrays.com.

As featured in the book, “Birthing the Elephant,” by Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman, Ronnie shares her success story with us:

Why is your business unique?

Fat Murray’s offers decorated cookies that have no sugar, no dyes or colorings and no preservatives. This is not an easy feat. We are in the process of beta testing a sugarless icing that will be the first on the market – there are no chemicals in it.

To date, we use natural beans and a vegan carob to decorate our treats. Most Dog bakeries use a sugary icing that is terrible for dogs, but looks pretty.

What was the biggest challenge in starting your business and how did you overcome it?

Sales – My background is IT and I had had no sales experience. It was difficult for me to approach new customers. I take both of my basset hounds with me on sales calls. It’s very difficult to turn them down.

How did you use public relations efforts to help your business grow?

My husband owns a PR firm. He was very instrumental in helping me. I wanted to let customers know that Fat Murray’s Doggy Treats were healthy treats.

He helped in the design of my website and helped to write press releases for my business. He also helped me to search out new customers.

What PR activities worked best for you and why?

Customer service has been the biggest ally in growing my business. We custom bake. We’ve listened to our customers’ needs and have tried to accommodate each order whether it is a different shape, different packaging, different ingredients.

Retail businesses do not all have the same needs. What works for one store may not work for another.

What advice do you have for others who want to pursue a business-dream after losing their jobs?

Be passionate about what you do. This is a second chance, an opportunity to do what you’ve dreamed about. Bring all of your collective knowledge and experience from your past jobs to your venture. You’ll have to work an exorbitant amount to launch your venture but it will be yours.

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Thanks for sharing your inspirational story with us Ronnie!

How about you? If you have a good entrepreneurial story to tell, please let me know. And if you have any SEO copywriting or public relations questions, please comment below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com. I’m here to help!

 

About the Author: Melanie Rembrandt

Since our initial launch date, Melanie Rembrandt has been an integral part of the StartupNation team. As the founder of Rembrandt Communications®, LLC, www.rembrandtwrites.com, Melanie is one of the country's top, public-relations consultants, an SEO content strategist and a published [...]