Nicole Newman is an inspiring motivational writer, public speaker and business networker. She was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. A product of Julia R. Reynolds Masterman School and the Carver High School of Engineering and Science, she was gifted enough to acquire a strong work ethic. Though an altercation in 1989 left her with stab wounds to the face, neck and right arm she was honored with the most improved student award upon graduation. She started her college career at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her second year, she was involved in a car accident that left her with a broken femur bone and a sublegal hematoma to the brain. Although she was unable to complete school at the University of NC at Greensboro, 2 months later while on crutches she transferred to Temple University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Fox school of Business with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Risk Management and Insurance, Management Information Systems and a minor in Human Resources. She went on to complete her MBA at the prestigious Robert H. Smith school of Business at the University of Maryland majoring in Finance. We interviewed Nicole for this edition of women entrepreneurs and here are her responses on life and her business, Newman Network.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
“I believe we can all be students of life and Life is about relationships. It is through seeing others as valuable that we learn to value ourselves. Learn to become a giving, trustworthy person who is on a quest for knowledge and you will be blessed” I live by this because I have experienced blessings throughout my life because I remain committed to being a student and absorbing knowledge from multiple sources.
Describe your business. List location, phone number, website.
My business is mainly in the Philadelphia Marketplace. Address is P.O. Box 2962 Upper Darby, PA 19082 phone 215-207-0996 website – http://www.newmannetwork.com
What motivated you to open your own business?
I was making 84K a year but was miserable. I knew I had a purpose and working in corporate america was not it. The straw that broke the camels back was the cost of day care. I always though when my children were old enough for school I would not have to pay 1350 a month anymore. I found out when my daughter was 4 that full time care was only 10 dollar more a week than part time care. I just could not imagine shelling out that money for another 14 years. If I wanted something different, I had to do something different. I was still fearful but then I heard a voice tell me to make it happen!
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when opening your business?
Yes, the inner voice said do it and I first said no. I said I don’t have the people in my life to make it happen. The voice said I will bring them to you and within 2 weeks , I had found the web developer that I needed while marketing my concept to the brownstone hair salon in south Philadelphia.
How did you develop your concept?
I did alot on my initial concept: database design, marketing plan, swot (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), incorporated, feasibility study. I bought 120 dollars worth of books from Borders and a took a 2 day business planning class to flush out the concept.
How much capital did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources?
My first business was called www.diversephilly.com, a place to find MBE firms and I refinanced my house to get the 20K it took to get it off the ground. I got traction and it was on its way to be successful when a partnership brought it down. But I did not let that experience ruin the business. I kept it moving onto social media and marketing expertise with Newman Networks.
How do you market your business? Do you use any creative marketing strategies?
I use Endless referrals by Bob burg as my marketing bible. My whole marketing strategy has been going to networking events, servicing my clients well and creating a network of referrals to grow my business. I don’t mind spending money on marketing and actually have a 5000 marketing budget to tie to my revenue goals for 2010.
Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
3 pages on Facebook –
Twitter – @nickynewman
Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolenewman
How do you manage employees if any?
I have an administrative assistant that I receive as low cost labor from the EARN Center.
What are some of your day to day struggles as a business owner?
Time management is the biggest struggle. Most people know that I walk around with a day timer that plans my schedule and I do my planning for the week on Sunday and set a monthly budget and weekly goals. There is too much to do as an owner and I write a list each day to see how much I can accomplish.
What brings you the most joy from your work?
Watching my clients grow through servicing their customers and receiving positive feedback. It is a cycle of the smiles on their faces that becomes infectious. This is where I get my energy.
How do you balance work life and family?
I balance work, family and religion by combining them into each other. My clients are starting to come from my place of worship which also educates my children and my support network consists of friends I grew up with from the time I was in middle school. We raise our families with the village concept and where I am weak (patience with homework) someone n the group is strong. I also protect 3 nights a week from clients to be with my family. I do not make plans to attend events on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday nights. Those are Family nights.. Does it affect relationships – Yes, it does, I have to become more guarded because I have a very transparent position but I have to also take on responsibility and adhering to a code of ethics. That is what made Islam become very attractive to me.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
Use your current job as an internship and build your network now. I attribute my success to making a commitment to do things the right way – file taxes, incorporate, get a business license and open a business bank account. If it starts off wrong, it will be wrong. Do the right thing and pay taxes!
If you can think of any information that would be helpful, please share.
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