To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
Loudoun Clear Marketing started almost the minute I stepped away from the Corporate world to start my family. I knew it was time to reconfigure my life to make room for my family. My priorities had to shift. It was from this point that I chose to build a home business doing exactly what I’ve always done but this time, being the boss.
I am especially proud of my home based business over the past 14 years. After living overseas twice in the last 14 years, I eventually established Loudoun Clear Marketing in February 2012 with a single client and an incredibly modest income. In the span of just under 5 years, I am proud to say that I have proudly represented more than 30 clients in Loudoun and surrounding. The sense of fulfillment I have for the work I do is even greater than I imagined when I started this journey. Today, Loudoun Clear Marketing provides outsourced marketing, public relations and communications consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. We build strong business relationships and work closely with clients to establish marketing strategies that build brand awareness, customer base and position in the marketplace.
I also believe very strongly in community service. Giving back to the local community has always been a very important component to how I run my business. Since my formation, we have given more than $50,000 in billable hours to countless non-profit groups locally, nationally, and internationally. It is a commitment we are passionate about. We are thrilled to support those causes we hold near and dear. For some, community service is the icing on the cake; for us, it is often the whole cake.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
Being a finalist among a pool of talented home-based businesses is an incredible honor. I am so very proud that the work we do at Loudoun Clear Marketing has once again been recognized by a panel of judges to elevate us to become a finalist once again in 2016. Being a finalist is already a testament to the fact that we are doing quality work for quality clients. I could not be more proud of the team that I have built at Loudoun Clear Marketing. They are top notch.
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
If I ever decided to hang up my ownership hat, I would have to take on a role heading up a Marketing Department for a large company and ideally enjoying the perks of international travel that I enjoyed earlier in my career. Those trips and experiences are never far from my mind.
4. What book are you reading right now?
“Smarter, Faster, Better” by Charles Duhigg. I have become a fan of Audible over the past year after attending a class taught by world-class motivational speaker Mark Matteson with the team at Modern Mechanical, and this is the latest book I am listening to.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
Canva for quick design jobs for Girl Scouts and other personal interests and Fitness Pal to keep my fitness goals in check.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
A perfect day for me would be a road trip to explore our great state of Virginia. I would hop in my car with a few close friends and explore the furthest corners of the state, stay in a fantastic hotel along the way, most definitely drink some great wine, and have some laughs with dear friends. Oh, and shopping. There would have to be some shopping along the way.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The smallest thing that has had the largest impact on my business was quite simply the day I decided to join the Chamber and in particular a Leadshare group. On the first day I attended my (now) Leadshare group, the leader of the group was having a Grand Opening. I instantly pulled him aside and gave him some ideas for how to get some exposure for his event. It didn’t matter to me that he was not a client. It only mattered that he had a real story to tell and a small window of opportunity to tell it. I didn’t want that window to close for him. He ended up taking my advice, getting the exposure we discussed, and coming back to the next Leadshare meeting with a testimonial that I never expected. When you have a passion for your trade, and it truly runs through your veins, it is hard to contain the excitement.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
Since I started in this industry as a teenager, I can’t recall earlier dreams that would have taken me in other directions. I have pursued the career I was meant to pursue and have never waivered.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
Early on in my career, I worked for a charismatic woman by the name of Cristina Tabora. She was the head of Public Relations for Hyatt International in Chicago and I was her Public Relations Manager. She had poise and sophistication, grace and style, and experience that spanned the globe. It was an honor for me to work with her for four amazing years. I learned from a master and took with me quality traits that have endured.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
My favorite thing about running my business in Loudoun County is the sense of community I feel here. In the last 15 years since I have been a resident, I have come to learn how this county functions, meet the people behind the scenes, and know first hand how my life skills and talents have equipped me to make a meaningful contribution. As a Girl Scout Leader, a Rotarian, a Volunteer at my church, the Founder/Advisor of the county’s Saving Loudoun’s Littles car seat program, a PTA mom, and a friend to many others in leadership rolls across the County, I love being a match maker to connect friends and businesses alike.
Thanks, Sharon Wright, of Loudoun Clear Marketing, and congratulations on your nomination!
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