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Chicago's Young Entrepreneurs - Global Product Sourcing

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Michael Gregory Jr., Owner of GPS
Need to promote your business with a creative premium? You may want to connect with this week’s Chicago Young Entrepreneur, Michael Gregory, Jr. This 30-year-old loves to play basketball, spend time with his new wife and volunteer at his church in his downtime. After defying the odds and celebrating five successful years in business, Michael divulges sound advice for budding young entrepreneurs from lessons learned in his promotional venture, Global Product Sourcing.
 
Global Product Sourcing (GPS)
Location: Chicago, IL
847-204-5196
Owner: Michael Gregory, Jr.
mike@thegpsllc.com
Start Date - March 15, 2004
How did you come up with the name of your company?
By looking at the GPS tool and utilizing that as a way to describe finding products for people. That is why my tagline is " When you are looking to Brand, I am your Man".

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.

 
It has been shown that one's entrepreneurial ability is determined by these four attributes: initiative, decision-making, innovation and risk-taking. In which attribute are you the strongest and why?
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!

 
If the decision makers do not like you, you will not be able to sell to them. It's important to be genuine in your approach and not fake.
For more info: GPS
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