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Hot! Alicia Rittenhouse, Ali Rittenhouse International

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.”

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