[quote style=”boxed”]Plan, Prioritize, Implement, Evaluate! This can be applied to individual to-do lists for a day to the direction of one’s entire company.[/quote]
Ben Seidel is currently finishing up his final year at the University of Missouri located in Columbia, Missouri. He is dual majoring in Marketing and Economics with an expected graduation date of May 2013. In addition to being a full-time student, Ben also is actively involved in entrepreneurship.
Mr. Seidel started out developing web sites in his early teens for companies throughout central Missouri. His web site design platforms have ranged from informational sites to entire online businesses and social networking platforms. By working with small companies in the Midwest, he discovered a need for affordable web, technology and marketing services specifically tailored for the small business sector.
In 2012, Ben Seidel founded Igniting Business. Located in Columbia, MO, Igniting Business is dedicated to helping your business grow. Igniting Business offers many services to its clients in the realm of web solutions, marketing products and services, and technology consulting. Igniting Business provides access to the latest and greatest technologies combined with a knowledgeable staff at an affordable price. Ultimately, Ben Seidel and his company want to see your company become a success, and they hope to serve as the spark that ignites your business into a thriving company.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, we are working on a few web application development projects for several companies in the Midwest. These projects include online catalogs, incident reporting systems, and customer relationship management systems.
On the other hand, I personally just began my final semester at the University of Missouri. I’m exceptionally excited for graduation and looking forward to not having the stress of balancing work and school related activities.
Where did the idea for company come from?
The idea for Igniting Business came from the local need that I saw in the Columbia, Missouri community for affordable technology and marketing solutions primarily geared towards the small business market. Small businesses often face significant hurdles with technology and marketing services due to a myriad of reasons ranging from funding and size of staff, to strategic planning and implementation. At Igniting Business we create solutions that save our clients time and money, as well as generate value for their customers.
How do you make money?
In brief, Igniting Business provides web solutions, marketing and technology services. We primarily focus on helping small and medium sized businesses grow by providing affordable and dependable solutions. We profit from primarily B2B and B2G services and products. However, we also work with non-profit agencies and individual consumers on a regular basis.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day currently consists of balancing work and school with great effort and attention. Since I am currently finishing up dual majors at the University of Missouri, I have to be extremely time conscientious and make every minute count. I do my best to attend all classes and study effectively. At the same time, you can find me formulating proposals, completing design work and managing my team from dawn until dusk, and then some.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Most of my ideas come from existing problems. In essence, my company gets paid to be a problem solver, and I can vouch for it being a fun and exhilarating job. We bring ideas to life by welcoming creativity and diversity of approaches and solutions. Finally, we add dry erase boards, trail mix, and exorbitant amounts of caffeine; usually that does the trick.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am very excited to see that the voice and impact of small businesses’ on our economy is beginning to be heard on a larger scale nationally. Small businesses are both a staple for growth in our economy and are responsible for new job creation and innovative products and services.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Interestingly enough, I have only ever worked for myself. However, that can still be the best and worst job in many ways. Being self-employed is wonderful in regards to the freedom it brings and the sense of accomplishment when you can see something grow that you built from the ground up. At the same time, I am also responsible for the entire company which can, and inevitably does, add tremendous amounts of stress. Yet, I wake up every day excited for the work that is to be done and exhilarated by the challenges that I will face.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Honestly, I would not do anything different per say. That does not mean I did not make mistakes. On the contrary, the mistakes that I made were painful, and, at first glance, I wish that I avoided them altogether. On the other hand, those same mistakes were critical in shaping who I am as an individual and where my company is today. If I could change anything, it would not be the circumstances in which I found myself; rather, it would be the attitude from which I approached the situation. I would encourage everyone to look at every challenge and failure as a learning and growing opportunity.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Plan, Prioritize, Implement, Evaluate! This can be applied to individual to-do lists for a day to the direction of one’s entire company. Each of these elements is individually important and also critical to success as a whole. Without planning, one could often miss critical opportunities or enter situations that could be detrimental for their company. Without prioritization, work would never get done on time; we all know that there are limited hours in a day. Without dedicated implementation, projects go unfulfilled and growth is neglected. Without proper evaluation of the results and challenges, we would never progress and learn what will and will not work best and how to move forward.
Plan, Prioritize, Implement, Evaluate…and repeat.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think one of my greatest failures lies in the realm of balancing work and personal life. Entrepreneurial endeavors are fantastic, and new and innovative ideas are exciting. However, at the end of the day, what matters most are the people with whom you interact and wish to share your life. As an entrepreneur it is extremely easy to work on a project “just 10 more minutes” even though you may be compromising spending time with your family. However, we often fail to realize the impact those compromises, large or small, have on our loved ones.
Figuring out the best work-life balance is an ongoing and ever-changing challenge. First, I try truly listening to the concerns and suggestions of my friends and family. Then I do my best to respect and implement their ideas. However, it is an ongoing process; one which I may never fully perfect.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would like someone to develop a Google frame plugin that can run on the Windows 8 RT platform!
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would love to see the world put more emphasis on relationships with people as opposed to money, achievements, fame, etc. I think that if we truly took the time to know and care for those in our lives, a lot of benefits would be reaped.
Tell us a secret.
I would really love to write a regular column/blog focused on technology and marketing tools and tactics geared towards small businesses.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Asana is an excellent task management system for teams. I love that it effectively organizes tasks, responsibilities, and communications regarding projects and makes my life less stressful!
Dropbox is a wonderful file sharing and synchronization tool. Dropbox saves my team time and makes collaboration simple.
LinkedIn is a great networking tool for professionals. I use LinkedIn to network with potential clients, associates, friends, etc. in a professional and organized social networking environment.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Doing Business by the Good Book written by David Steward, Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc. The book focuses on how Biblical principles are beneficial and even profitable when applied effectively in the workplace.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
1. Your local Chamber of Commerce – follow your Chamber in order to keep up with business news and your community.
2. NASE: The National Association for the Self-Employed provides legislative advocacy, benefits and educational tools for micro-businesses and the self-employed.
3. Someone that makes you laugh! We tend to go searching for critical information and the latest news when it comes to the business world. But keep in mind that a great laugh can make your whole day run smoother.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I was at an airport today traveling back from conferences. You would be surprised and humored by some of the things people say while traveling.
Who is your hero, and why?
My parents are my heroes. They have been incredibly instrumental in shaping both my career as an entrepreneur, and more importantly, my character. I am so appreciative of the wonderful support and opportunities that they provided, even to their own detriment through sacrifice.
If you could have our readers remember one thing about Igniting Business, what would it be?
We pride ourselves in providing affordable, effective, and innovative technology and marketing solutions to small businesses throughout the nation.
What is one place high on your travel list?
I would absolutely love to visit New Zealand. The scenery and varied landscapes would be breath taking.
Igniting Business Blog: www.IgnitingBusiness.com/blog
Benjamin Seidel’s Personal Website: www.BenjaminSeidel.com
Igniting Business on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IgnitingBusiness
Igniting Business on Twitter: @ignitingb
Igniting Business on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/igniting-business
Igniting Business on Google+:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.