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Business Advice: “Running” Your Business The Right Way

November 14, 2013

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners


The purple sneakers I wear every day to run have a new meaning for me after listening to Eileen Griffin, Co-Owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Syracuse, speak at the YWCA Spirit of the American Woman luncheon. Fleet Feet has a fantastic brand name in Syracuse because it is the number one place to get the perfect pair of running shoes.

When I bought my sneakers a year ago, I was greeted by a friendly staff person, who escorted me to an inside track so she could evaluate my running style and footwear needs and then proceeded to show me a number of sneakers until we found the perfect ones. I didn’t know when I was buying the shoes this top-notch business was run by a woman.

Yesterday Eileen shared her story with the audience. I took away many business nuggets to share with my readers today:

*Eileen said, “I don’t want to be called a running store or a retail store; I want Fleet Feet to be in the “changing life business.” Entrepreneurs sell and produce specific items but shouldn’t we all be looking at our business the same way Eileen is by believing and acting as if what we do is “changing the lives” of our customers?

*Like most entrepreneurs, Eileen and her husband Ed performed every business duty themselves. They did their jobs so well that they got a lot of referrals so they had to “grow” and add staff. They have done this well by making sure their staff always has an outlet for feeling good and giving them more leadership opportunities in management.

*When the Griffin’s opened a second location, they wanted to make sure the brand experience from the first store was exactly the same as the brand experience in the second store. They want anyone walking into either storefront to know “This is Fleet Feet.” Make sure you are consistent with your branding especially if you expand.

*In order to keep growing, Fleet Feet added sponsoring races and even creating their own race to bring more visibility to their business. Eileen said it’s not possible to stand still in business; you must keep looking ahead and adding new services to enhance your company. By adding races, they expand their outreach and client base.

EileenGriffinEileen’s last piece of advice was simply “to have fun running your business.” The next time I put on my purple Fleet Feet sneakers to run off my entrepreneurial stress, I’ll keep that statement in mind. I hope you do to!

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