BusinessOpportunity.com interviewed Mike Mehrle, the founder and owner of United Assemblers Network (UAN) to find out what qualities have made him a successful entrepreneur. He has been able to build a living around one of his favorite hobbies – building things. Having an education and background in engineering, this comes somewhat natural to him. He was willing to share many tips, including how he beat his nemesis – the fear of rejection – on his road to establishing a successful enterprise.
Mike now runs the company he founded in 2008, continuing to help his own customers, but is also helping other people achieve their financial independence while doing this fun, interesting work. This fun opportunity, combined with the structure and experience behind UAN, is creating success stories all around the country.
How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business? Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why.
Too many people see owning a business as a way to make a lot of money, only seeing the end product, after years of very hard work. The majority of times, the business owner has worked 10 times harder while building their business to success and is able to appear relaxed once the business is successful. With that being said, I can tell you from experience of trying to help people achieve success in my industry (assembly, installation and repair) most of them don’t want to put in the work or take suggestions from people who have already made it in our industry. For these reasons, they fail!
I considered myself a great candidate for self-employment because I took pride in what I did no matter where I worked or who I worked for. I also knew (because of my work ethic) that if I worked half as hard as I did for others, I could definitely make it on my own. On the other hand, I knew if I worked twice as hard for myself, success would come that much faster.
The bottom line is: If someone can’t work for someone else, chances are, they may not have what it takes to work for themselves.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first six months in business? How did you meet that challenge?
I was very blessed with the opportunity I stumbled on. I have a very high mechanical aptitude and, as previously stated, have an even higher degree of work ethics. I did experience challenges though, which were overcome by living by these key elements: Desire, motivation and drive.
The majority of small businesses experience the same nemesis: Getting your name out there! Unfortunately, people fear rejection when they should embrace it. Rejection is part of the process of becoming successful at whatever you do.
The way I beat my nemesis (fear of rejection) was to make sure I could prove I was the best at what I did. I knew I would do it better than, or at least as good as anyone my customer may try, so I asked all of my customers to write a review to show prospective customers. You see, having happy customers is like having a support team ready to back you up!
I built a website early on, well before many businesses saw the potential in them. Being an early mover on the web along with having customer reviews gave me the upper hand
on the competition. I was able to post the positive customer reviews and could point potential clients to the reviews as a way of closing business. My “leads” were able to read first-hand accounts of how I was able to help other people in a similar circumstance to their own.
Eventually, those reviews and the optimization of my website helped me to land two huge retail accounts. They hired me to take care of servicing the needs of their local retailers. This was an exciting time and, needless to say, I was in my element by having the knowledge and experience to help me land those accounts, even with the competition working equally as hard to win the business. The best part: I was the highest bidder and still won because of my in-person professional demeanor and also the Internet presence, which I had invested time and money in.
What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves?
This is a little difficult to address with only answer since I don’t think there is a “single” piece of advice.
If I had to choose, my advice would be:
What would you say is the one thing that new business owners forget about or overlook when they’re just planning/starting out?
- Start with a high work ethic.
- Gain all of the knowledge you can (not some, or what you “think” is needed).
- Most importantly, and if I had to give one single piece of advice: Never Give Up, Never Surrender.
I consider this to be just as important as product knowledge or labor skill, although it is something most people don’t think about, and that would be the figuring of operating costs.
Over the years being and employee then later a business owner, I can tell you most people don’t take the business owner’s operating costs into consideration when they look at the wage they are being paid. How and where the owner comes up with the wage being offered is sadly rarely a consideration to many employees.
Here are some examples of operating costs:
What marketing strategies have you found to be most successful in growing your business?
- Building/facilities - rent or mortgage.
- Many people consider their personal utility bills to be high. It is the norm to pay $10’s of thousands per month to heat or A/C a 20,000 square foot facility.
- Insurance – and not just one type. You need to include workers’ comp, unemployment, liability, health, dental, etc…
- Wages and social security matching
- Then there is wear and tear of the building, equipment and supplies.
- Hey, let’s not forget employee wages if you plan on having any. Are you getting the idea?
WOW... I still can’t believe how many people want to start or even maintain a business and don’t consider a website. With a website you can take advantage of the best advertising available on the Internet by using Google AdWords.
What is it about the business/industry you are in that made it so attractive to you?
My job is a love for me... anything requiring mechanical thought. What I do is put things together for people. You know, the stuff you see at almost any store nicely displayed. That same item is sold in a box “for you” to take home and put together. Or, like many people, they find someone to do it for them. They are either too busy, do not have the strength or know-how, or because they know they don’t want to. I hope when this happens, the someone they find will be me.
This virtually unknown industry is very niche. I started over 20 years ago assembling things for friends and family not realizing at the time that people would pay for the service. As of today, it is still a very niche business... and that should be big attraction to anyone wanting to start their own business in a service industry.
What process do you follow to successfully close on a lead and make the final sale? Any tips?
This question should be easy; but many avoid the seemingly simple requirement. If you cannot answer your phone, you are best to get right back with those customers who left you a message ASAP or risk losing them to someone else. Sometimes getting the final sale is as simple as getting back with the customer in a timely manner. There are not many people who do that these days, so if you do, you are the competition.
As for keeping track, I use my email software to set up reminders that will alert me when something needs to be addressed. There have been times (many actually) where I send myself an email so I can set up the alert for whatever I need reminded of.
If you work from home, what are the greatest benefits to doing so? What are the drawbacks, and how do you manage them?
Working from home is great; however, let’s go back to the work ethics: If you don’t have the desire, motivation and drive to stay focused, you may be better served to find a job.
Distractions from friends and family are the biggest hurdles. When we work from home, many people don’t understand that we actually do work (or should be). So, a room as secluded as possible is a great way to stay connected with your work and caller ID on your phone so you don’t take every single call - especially when it is someone you know who just wants to talk.
What is/are your favorite motto and/or quote when it comes to business? Any final words of encouragement and/or inspiration for the budding entrepreneur?
Never give up, never surrender! I know, I watch too many movies. But it is a very accurate stand to take. Be successful by continual learning of your craft, be the best you can be, treat all customers like they are your only customer by getting back with all of them (good news or bad). If you follow these simple guidelines, you will do great.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet... find someone you can be held accountable to.
To read more about Mike's great business opportunity or to buy it you can GO HERE.
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