Ali Rittenhouse International of Sidney, Ohio, is a virtual training portal for women entrepreneurs and their tech-savvy assistants.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: After holding several jobs in the corporate world, I felt my creative spirit was trapped. A training school called AssistU selected me from a pool of experience administrative assistants to complete their virtual training program. I started my own virtual assistant practice in 2004 and had great success helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Ideal customer: Women entrepreneurs with online businesses who want to grow their audience but aren’t sure of the next steps.
First customer: On Craigslist.
Biggest Struggle: Initially, it was finding clients. I overcame this problem by using social media and getting my business out there in a bigger way. I found many clients using Facebook as well as referrals.
Surprise: How much it doesn’t feel like work. It is truly something fun and exciting rather than boring or something I dread.
Two things I wish I would’ve known: 1) How important building an email list is for every business. 2) To go with a web hosting company that is growing.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: Creative ideas. I get many ideas at night and I like to write them all down.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?: No. It is just not an option in my mind.
Moving Forward: To have a live event. I have already begun planning. In order to fill the event, I am in the process of building my list and growing my community.
A Few Good Tips: Technology makes everything possible. It is essential for online business owners to become tech-savvy in order to succeed in today’s market.
Must-read online resource: Mashable – the site always has the best and latest technology news.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: having freedom to work when and where I want.
If I had to start over again, I would have: not done anything differently.
I never imagined: finding good quality local marketing groups would be so difficult.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “Never give up.”