30 Mar 2012
- Written by Carlee McCullough
Tiffany Collins started a business that was uniquely titled and poised to do well just by its very nature.
Carlee McCullough: Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experiences. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tiffany Collins: I am a native Memphian, a single mother and a dreamer plagued with practicality.
CM: What type of services does Mr. Belvedere offer?
TC: Mr. Belvedere is a food, beverage and event clean-up service. We don’t cater food. However, we serve in the manner in which our client desires. Our beverage services can be as simple as ice tea or as extensive as custom cocktails to match the decor of a client’s wedding.
CM: How did you come up with the concept for Mr. Belvedere?
CM: As a business owner, have you been open to advice along the way? And do you believe new businesses should be open to such advice?
TC: Yes and Yes! I don’t advise taking all of it. But you can learn a great deal from those around you. I would advise creating a circle of influence that you can consult with for your various scenarios.
CM: What is the greatest reward in running your own business?
TC: Seeing a goal unfold into reality.
CM: What has been the most disappointing moment with Mr. Belvedere?
TC: I would like to think that I haven’t had any disappointing moments, just learning opportunities. I decided that I wanted to start a business and I did. There are no disappointments in that!
CM: Many small businesses are under-capitalized, what advice can you provide them in getting over that hurdle?
TC: Don’t let lack of capital deter you from starting a business. I started Mr. B with three uniforms and business cards. Also, research and network throughout your community to see what avenues are available for small business owners.
CM: What type of marketing do you employ?
TC: Google Ad-words and Bridal Shows are the most consistent. However, word-of-mouth is my favorite, it’s free.
CM: When you were starting out, who served as mentors for you?
TC: It depends on what kind of advice I need. I have friends who are entrepreneurs, so for business matters I turn to them. However, I have employed some of the best bartenders in Memphis and they have guided me as well.
CM: What contributes to the success of an entrepreneur?
TC: I would say having a plan and remaining consistent.
CM: Do you notice any new trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?
TC: I think consumers in Memphis have come to expect a higher level of service. Offering superior service in every customer-based business despite socioeconomic bracket is the new trend I see. People are much more conscientious about their money and where they spend it. Business owners are much more cognitive of that I think.
CM: If you had one piece of advice to give to someone just starting out in your field. what would it be?
TC: Know your worth and provide the best customer service possible.
CM: What is next for Tiffany and Mr. Belvedere?
TC: Growth within the business by expanding the services that we can offer clients. I also want to create opportunities for others to become self-employed.
CM: Any closing remarks?
TC: If you have a goal or a dream, taking the first step is the hardest. The second may not be easy. But at least you’ll be one step ahead.