An Interview with Mindy Hart
Featured Entrepreneur: An interview with Mindy Hart
“Where Entrepreneurs gather ‘MAGIC’ is bound to happen.” ~Mindy Hart~
Mindy Hart is an amazing business woman/entrepreneur and has a passion for helping others……in a major way! She has spent the better part of twenty years in non-profit doing everything from direct services, management to fund raising and marketing. Mindy is a serious serial entrepreneur! She started her first business when she was 18 and since has founded five more businesses including; The Radio Dish, Craving Talk Radio and Essential Foundations For Business. Mindy is also the Associate Director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project Mid-American Nazarene University.
Essential Foundations For Business specializes in foundational business elements and everything you need to build your brand. After connecting and listening to some of her pod-casts on Craving Talk Radio, we couldn’t wait to interview her and share her expertise in branding!
Tell us a little about what you do or better yet, why you do it?
Everything I do centers around helping people reach their hopes, goals and dreams. I use several different tools to accomplish this depending on the client needs. As an entrepreneur, I currently own 2 businesses and I am confident there are more to come.
What does a typical day involve for you?
A typical day requires great flexibility. I will have appointments throughout the day with clients working on their projects. I will edit audio for radio shows or commercials. I may have a networking group to attend or present to. I will devote time each day to social media for my own business and clients businesses. Public speaking, facilitation, education and MC’ing are large parts of what I do.
The main focal point for this interview is to talk about branding and dispelling myths, first of all let’s talk about what is a “Brand”
When most people start talking about their brand or branding they begin with logos, color schemes and other imaging. When I think of branding, I look at every aspect of the company that “invokes and emotion” about my company or product/service.
Do you think it is as important for small businesses to build their brand as it is for large corporations?
Even now in the info age, there are misconceptions about branding. What are the top three myths that you consistently run into?
- Branding is logos, colors and stationary.
- Branding is your marketing strategy.
- We can always re-brand if we change direction later.
Your brand is built, and conveyed, with every action you take, with every product/service you offer, with every piece of communication you send, and with every contact you make with your customers. Could you elaborate on this statement?
It begins with your personal vision and your business concept… making sure that they are congruent with each other. That lead to your corporate culture as you bring on employees. That determines your HR, your customer service, product/service development… the list goes on. Let’s put it this way… if you always keep in mind what it is you want your business to be known for, how you want people to feel when your business is mentioned, in every business decision you will achieve your goal and be known that way.
For a new entrepreneur who is creating a start-up business, what is the first thing they should know and do?
The first thing…take FASTTRAC. Learn business fundamentals and create your business plan and marketing plan. That process will vet out your concept and make sure it is feasible and that you set up the right legal entity for your business.
Branding has many levels. One of them is brand identity and is one of the the entities that can help differentiate a business from its competitors. What are your thoughts on the visuals and do you think they are an important part of the brand strategy?
Brand identity… or how I choose to differentiate your company public identity is the first thing that sets you apart from other businesses. The imaging that is used such as logos, taglines etc are the first thing that consumers will see or take note of your business. Remember the adage… you never get a second change to make a first impression. This then transcends to the imaging surrounding each product (or brand) your company releases.
Building brand is hard work and very scary. There are going to be failures along the way, that seems to be a given. As a business owner, entrepreneur and business strategist what is the one thing that has kept you going during your darkest hours?
And going back in the other direction what has been the height of your career so far?
If you had a list of top resources for ( websites, books or leaders) what would they be & why?
- Kauffman Fast Trac – Easiest way to launch your business
- A qualified business coach – Keeping you focused on your hopes, goals and dreams, along with helping you build the strategy to get you there.
- READ! There are hundreds of great books. Get at least one take-a-way from everything you read.
Mindy is is also the mother of five children and has four grandchildren! During her free time she loves to cook, sing and travel. She is also continues her passion of tackling social issues and matters close to her heart on her internet radio show ” Talk With Hart”. You can find her on Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn and can contact her through email : Mindyhartkc@gmail.com.
Thank you Mindy for sharing your insights and information!