Michael Gregory Jr., Owner of GPS
Location: Chicago, IL
Start Date - March 15, 2004
Why did you decide to open your business?
I liked to witness the reaction of people when they saw their logo on merchandise. When you give an executive a product that symbolizes something they are a part of, it’s like Christmas all over again for them!
What have you achieved with your company thus far?
I have learned how to become an outside procurement company for companies needing branding and promotional assistance. At GPS, we know how to make ourselves part of the staff and not just product peddlers.
What has been difficult about running a business? What disappointments have you experienced since becoming a business owner?
The biggest difficulty about running a small business is the terms that the companies pay you on. You have the terms you have established for them, but their payment terms may have nothing to do with yours. Some are 30, 60, and 90 days out. This can make it difficult for you to make financial plans.
Decision-making would be my strongest point. Once I have found all the facts necessary to come to a conclusion, I can quickly decide on the next steps. You can not have the other three qualities if you never decide to take action.
What advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
Customer service is the reason why a company will keep you or leave you. Also, never sell on price or your product–always sell on the value of your company. In the end, your personal commitment to satisfying their needs is what the payment is for!