When Valerie Holstein and her husband, Paul, were baby-proofing their home in preparation for the birth of their first child, they had a hard time finding products that would help un-clutter their computer and home entertainment cables.
But as Holstein realized she and her husband weren't the only ones who had difficulty in finding cable organizing products, she also found another solution as a new mom who wanted to work at home: creating a one-stop online shop of cable organizers.
Outgrowing their original home office into warehouse space, Holstein's CableOrganizer.com online platform draws from a variety of manufacturers and products for a comprehensive selection of cable organizing products for consumers, professionals and businesses.
The company has 45 employees.
What was your job before you started this business? I worked as a construction office manager for Transeastern Properties, supervising customer service, overseeing subcontractor relations, arranging for permits and inspections, and coordinating marketing and promotional events for newly-built communities.
Who/what is your target market? Our target market is absolutely anyone with cable management issues. We cater to people who are wiring a new construction from scratch, and also those who just want to retrofit a few in-wall home theater cables. We sell high-performance cable protection for military and aerospace applications, miniature cord winders that organize earphone wires and everything in between. We work with everyone from large-scale corporations and the government to individual at-home consumers.
How do you manage growth? We've put our energy and creativity into growing organically. As sales grow, we increase personnel by hiring for the specific needs that arise, so we're always appropriately staffed without going overboard from a hiring standpoint.
How has the expanding wireless market affected business? Contrary to what you might imagine, the wireless market has been absolutely fantastic to us. Even though they don't use gadget-to-gadget connection cables, all of the new wireless devices still have power cords so they can be charged up. Wireless technology has brought with it so many more cabling and cable management needs that we really couldn't ask for more.
What new strategies have you implemented to continue to gain customers? Over the past year, we've gotten our feet wet with social media, and are continuing to use business intelligence tools to continuously tweak our site and make it even more user-friendly.
What can you do that your competitors cannot? Things like rerouting your package on the spot, when UPS is knocking at your door, but you've changed your mind and want your package redelivered to a different address. Smaller retailers, like CableOrganizer.com, can provide a personal level of customer service where you can easily connect with a live representative who is both equipped and happy to assist you with questions and problems.
What is the best advice you ever received? I'm happy that I've heeded advice to not get my MBA, and also to manage the company's growth. I think a lot of people have much bigger and better ideas for businesses, but I've seen most fail because of an inability to adapt quickly, be proactive and manage a company's growth without too much emotional attachment. There's definitely something to be said for business degrees, but at the same time, nothing replaces instinct, drive, common sense and adaptability, and I've relied on those traits more than anything else.
What keeps you up at night? My next big idea for growing the company. I tend to come up with a lot of "shiny" ideas. Some of them make it, and some are nixed by my employees. They keep me in check.
4 ways to retain employees
Create an atmosphere of open communication.
Give regular rewards and recognition for a job well done.
Provide opportunities for advancement.
Invest in extra wellness and morale initiatives like paid gym memberships and company gatherings.
Company Name: CableOrganizer.com Inc.
Address: 6250 NW 27th Way, Fort Lauderdale
Social Media: Facebook.com/CableOrganizer and Twitter.com/cableorganizers
firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4662 Twitter.com @mindingyourbiz