Adrienne Cregar Jandler, President of Atlantic Webworks in Greensboro, NC, says that she had “always planned to run my own company. As a child, I was constantly considering "business opportunities´ — one of the first of which was contracting with my parents to "teach´ my younger sister the things I learned in Kindergarten (for a "reasonable´ fee!).”
Through her work and education, Adrienne has learned to focus on the fact that “high performance websites have to address both the marketing and functional needs of the business to deliver results. My educational background in not only the technical subjects, but also in marketing and branding, has shaped the approach that my firm takes in working with clients. I´ve built my company and lead our team from this dual foundation — we´re as much a marketing firm as we are programmers. This is intellectually challenging for me on a number of different levels and also allows my "inner nerd´ to walk on the creative side!”
When she first started her company in 1997, “the web was young and websites were developed more from a tactical, and not a strategic, perspective. I believed that websites could deliver much more in terms of business results. Atlantic Webworks filled that need by tying business objectives into the process, developing sites that integrated into the bigger marketing strategies of our clients.”
She attributes her success partly to creating her own support network. “I actively sought out friendships with successful entrepreneurs in the area, and joined several business organizations. I learned through other entrepreneurs´ experiences, found support as I faced challenges, and developed a strong network, in which I still participate. Starting a business is both overwhelming and rewarding and, as a sole proprietor, I found that having other business owners to talk with provided additional insight that I missed in not having a business partner.”
Advice to other women who want to start their own business: “Invest the time to develop a business plan and don´t take shortcuts when it comes to building your brand. I encourage women who are thinking about taking the plunge to thoroughly plan their approach, to carefully determine their competitive advantage, to be fearless and to maintain their integrity. And I truly believe that success comes from a focus on service — put the client first and you´ll always come out ahead,” says Jandler.