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How did these successful Utah businesses get to the top?

The road to success is often winding
The road to success is often winding

In Salt Lake City, there’s no shortage in the supply of local entrepreneurs who are willing to do what it takes to establish a thriving and sustainable enterprise. Wherever you look, it’s almost impossible not to find a new business setting up shop in this fantastic city. This level of involvement speaks volumes for both the health of the local economy here as well as the passion and “verve” of the men and women who are making progress happen.

That being said, not every business transforms into a success story. For every one inspirational entrepreneurial achievement in our city, several other businesses fail. This isn’t so much a warning for would-be business owners as is it a fact of life. Success is hard won, regardless of which industry an individual may be working in. The question then becomes, what can business owners do to maximize their chances for success?

1) One common denominator between many entrepreneurs we spoke with is passion. Having a good business idea is often not enough to drive someone to high levels of success. A burning passion behind what they’re doing is something most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

Carrie Brinton, founder of NIMA (National Institute of Medical Aesthetics) which has locations in South Jordan, UT, Washington and Nevada, spoke about the drive behind her passion when she said, ““As my husband and I have grown three separate businesses, all within the aesthetics industry, I have realized that there is a very different passion that drives me every day; creating opportunity. We currently have over 150 employees, 90 percent of which are women. We have about 20 executive level positions and another 20 management positions; almost all filled by women. When I walk into a management meeting, I sometimes find myself feeling the way a proud parent feels about their children. I see a room full of intelligent women, most of which were stay at home moms prior to working for us. Almost all of whom worked their way up from entry level to executive within our companies. I can’t help but feel a thrill that we have been able to create so many opportunities for so many people.”

2) Equally as important as passion in building a successful business is having a vision. If your business vision aligns with a real problem people are facing, you’re headed in the right direction.

Brock Blake, CEO of Lendio said, “"The vision of this company is bigger than Lendio. I am not building this for a quick exit; I want to solve a major problem in the market and help more business owners get loans. If we focus on that, everything else will take care of itself."

3) A third commonality we found that separates successful business people from their less successful counterparts is the ability to network effectively.

We asked Shane Stott, founder of Zen Float Co, if networking played a role in his success and his response was a vehement “yes”.

“I had gone to our industries float conference and always stayed in touch with many people in our industry up until the launch. Early on when I was building tanks I met many key people to help me spread the word too. I really value all my relationships in the float industry. When the time came, everyone I knew supported me in the kickstarter,” said Stott.

4) An often overlooked but important trait shared among successful entrepreneurs is that they’ve found and implemented a way to give back. Not just to get something in return, but to receive the intangible gift of giving something back to the world.
Colonial Flag founder Paul Swenson created a 'field of flags' in the Sandy Townsquare which attracted 50,000+ visitors and made national news a year after 9/11 simply because he didn’t want heroes be forgotten.

5) Perhaps more important than anything, it’s absolutely essential that new entrepreneurs find a way to get their product or services in front of their desired customer base in the most effective and direct way possible.

Although your particular vision for your industry may be unique, there will be countless other businesses who attempt to grab the attention of the same customers who could be supporting you instead. In order to ensure that your business succeeds, you’ll need to carefully and strategically develop a marketing plan. Cutting corners or costs on marketing almost always leads to a quick and painful business demise.

Media Moguls PR, a PR and media relations firm that boasts to be “not your grandpa’s PR company” is so passionate about the importance of marketing, they recently launched a seminar series on the topic of traditional and online marketing.

The #KickassSeminar ( series launches in Salt Lake City on July 17th, includes lunch and features three acclaimed keynote speakers who have been featured on ABC 4, Utah Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and the Inc 5000 list. More information about event topics can be found here. Tickets to the event can be purchased here and tickets will not be sold at the door.

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