Idea Mensch, a media outlet devoted to entrepreneurship, recently reached out to our founder and president, Laura Mecoy, to get her views on starting and building a business. Following are some of her answers. You can see more at https://ideamensch.com/laura-mecoy/
Where did the idea for Mecoy Communications come from?
Taking a page from the presidential, gubernatorial and other political candidates I covered as a newspaper reporter for more than two decades, I launched a “listening campaign” to determine my next career after leaving the news business. I offered to buy lunch or coffee for anyone who could give me advice, and many friends and colleagues took me up on the offer. As I talked to each of them about what they loved about what they did, my next career move became clear: Launching a boutique communications firm would give me an opportunity to build on and expand existing skills, and I would be able to tap into my existing network of potential clients and colleagues.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
No day is typical, which is part of what I love about being an entrepreneur with a great group of clients. While every day starts with checking email and contacting clients, I may be in a client’s office one day meeting with members of the staff, in an onsite TV studio the next day to provide media training to top executives and catching a ferry to Catalina Island on another day because that’s the home of one of my clients. We’re also committed to helping others. So at least one day per week, I take a bike ride to help prepare for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. The last two years, we rode 72 miles around Lake Tahoe, and next year we hope to ride a “Century,” which is 100 miles.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Our ideas start with our clients’ needs, the audiences with whom they need to communicate and the messages that need to be delivered. Once we know those answers, we develop the ideas for the best ways to communicate those messages to the target audiences and then create the vehicles to communicate the messages – whether they be printed materials, videos, photos, social media or traditional media outreach. We’re constantly seeking new ways to tell our clients’ stories.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The growing emphasis on storytelling. Studies have shown people remember stories better than facts and figures, and we are passionate about telling stories that will capture the imagination and move people.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Starting early. I’m often on email before my first cup of coffee, (although some days I should probably wait until the caffeine kicks in.)
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Fast food manager at the Tastee (sic) Burger Drive In. I learned I never wanted to work with food again.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would be more confident of my marketability than I was at the time I started this company.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Meeting deadlines and staying on top of everything – whether it be client emails or mundane business matters. Avoiding being overwhelmed by the multiple tasks associated with running a business and managing clients has ensured we never fell behind or failed to deliver on time and on budget.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
We rely entirely on word of mouth to build our business. So we have to be sure we deliver top quality work that more than meets our clients’ needs. It not only makes us feel good about what we do–it makes our clients happy enough to recommend us to others, hire us when they go to another employer or expand the work we are doing for them. We also go to countless social and other gatherings because that is often where we find old friends and make new ones who will refer us for business. Plus we love a party and a chance to meet new people!