One of my favorite things to do is share the faces of women in North Iowa that are making a difference. These are the women that are setting goals and going above and beyond. Julie Steinberg of North Iowa Collision Center is no exception. She understands customer service and she knows the value of building relationships.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?
WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
November of 1999 was when we officially opened our doors.
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
Overall, we enjoy working with people and helping them with their needs. Additionally, we started our business to have a bit more control of our working lives and to try to ensure a job for ourselves rather than working for another employer. We hoped to have a few employees with us on our venture. Looking back, we have accomplished our original goals. Over time we have almost tripled our workspace, over quadrupled our workforce, and far exceeded our highest sales goals. It’s grown into something much more than what we had originally anticipated. For that we are grateful.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS?
There was (and still is) a lot of planning, which will be continued through the life of the business venture. We started with an idea and built out what we wanted that to look like from there. Having a good idea of what you want, forming and molding that idea until you are solid on which path you are going to follow is important. Never losing sight of your big goal, but having open eyes to what is sensible for your grand vision along the way is priceless. Building a good, solid reputation. That is done easiest and best, in my opinion, by building relationships. Working with a team that is outside your organization is very important too- your banker, your CPA insurance agent, John Pappajohn Small Business Center, and a business coach. These folks can be instrumental in keeping you on track and helping along the way with sensible decisions.
WHO HAS MENTORED YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?
I would have to say there have been 2 individuals that I would consider my mentors, my husband and business partner, Bruce, and our CPA Tom.
DO YOU BELONG TO ANY BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS, IF SO, WHICH ONES?
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
Having interests outside of work helps to keep you “fueled” for work. I love to travel, spend time outdoors, photography, reading music and spend time with family.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US?
Business ownership takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. But it is very rewarding when you get that repeat customer, a customer referred a friend or family member, or a thank you card in the mail, or the best….. a relationship built with another person.