Grade A Marketing’s Amanda Fischer
Amanda Fischer is the founder of Grade A Marketing. This young entrepreneur integrates values, and an embrace of constant change. Can you? See the exercises at the bottom of this post as a family or class discussion with the young entrepreneurs in your life.
President of Grade A Marketing
Tell us about yourself
I started collecting internships my senior year of high school. Early on, my priority was gaining experiential, professional knowledge. I had a wide variety of internships ranging from an internet start-up to a mega PR firm. I hold a bachelor’s in Communication from George Washington University. People usually assume my major was mass communications, but I studied theory-based communication which is actually akin to social psychology. For example, my senior thesis was a social scientific study entitled Exploring the Correlations between Teasing and Competitiveness within Romantic Relationships. Since I’m sure you’re dying to know, the study found that teasing and competitiveness are positively correlated, but only in short term relationships less than one year.
Apart from my business, my husband, my family and my personal relationships are the most important things in my life.
Tell us about your business
I positioned Grade A Marketing in a unique niche aligning marketing initiatives with revenue production goals. Marketing efforts should be purposeful and measureable. While marketing and sales are related, one cannot take the place of the other. Grade A helps businesses grow their revenues by uniting their marketing and sales efforts to reinforce and promote each other. Networking, which has proven key in building my business, is just one example of sales and marketing efforts in tandem. My company core values reflect my approach to life and interpersonal relationships:
Aiming to build long term, quality relationships in business by taking a “Give First” approach with our clients, vendors & friends.
Taking responsibility for our actions and taking initiative to improve the business for ourselves and our clients
Challenging traditional sales and marketing assumptions. Adding value to our client & vendor relationships & our business thru strategic differentiation, critical thinking and problem solving.
Cherishing the people and opportunities in our lives, both personally and professionally.
I started my business in November 2010 and have quickly amassed seventeen clients as a direct result of my networking efforts from the past seven years.
What were the early signs that you were a future entrepreneur?
There weren’t any! I have always been a leader and independently motivated, but these qualities do not surely lend themselves to business ownership. I wasn’t turning a profit while in diapers, reflecting the “born to be an entrepreneur” story of many business owners. I went into business for myself after consistently being disappointed by my own managers and bosses. I knew I could do it better, and I now am.
What is the most exciting/rewarding part of your business?
I love helping business owners rekindle their passion. I’ve seen how a renewed brand invigorates business development efforts. When business owners have an image they are proud of and identify with, their entire sales process becomes so much easier.
What is the most challenging part of your business?
Overall, the most challenging aspect is change as a constant. Every growing business is consistently in flux, so I’ve had to become comfortable with its ever-changing properties. For example, in the next few months I will be growing Grade A from a one-person to a multiple person organization. Anyone who is uncomfortable with change is likely to have a difficult time running a business.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Learn and Connect. With the goal of entrepreneurship, experiential learning is just as important as graduate school. You can learn a lot from other people’s successes and failures by reading, but there is even more value in learning by watching those who lead and manage you. Also, you must seek out mentors and stay in contact with people you like, respect or admire.
1. Comment on Amanda’s “change as a constant” comment. Could you accept this in business?
2. As a follow on to question 1, consider completing exercises in Module 1 of the Entrepreneur in the Classroom free curriculum. Do you have the traits and mindset of an entrepreneur where change is a constant? What other traits can you imagine are necessary to be an entrepreneur? List them without looking at the exercise? What additional traits are revealed after looking at the Module 1 exercise?
3. Do you like Amanda’s four-part values listed above? What would your values be as an entrepreneur? How many would there be? List them.
Know a Young Entrepreneur? Nominate them here.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.
Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.
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