Small-business owners, you deserve a moment in the spotlight. In this regular column, we’ll highlight entrepreneurs from all over the U.S., in any number of industries, who can answer the question, “What makes you stand out from the crowd?” We know you’re proud of your accomplishments — now you can tell the world about them, too.
Tara Abraham, co-owner of Accel, answers our questions:
My name is: Tara Abraham
My business is: Accel Inc.
Location: Lewis Center, Ohio
Year founded: 1995
Number of employees: 250 Full Time, 600 Temporary Associates
Web address: accel-inc.com
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Accel not only shrink-wraps and packages products, we immerse ourselves in clients’ processes and long-term strategies. We analyze a product or promotion and then plan accordingly to achieve maximum shelf appeal, cost savings and speed to market.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of owning my own business along with my husband David is the satisfaction that comes from knowing that we are contributing to our employees’ livelihood and doing as much as we can to maintain a happy and safe work environment. We reward our employees throughout the year and at an awards ceremony held during our holiday party. The looks on their faces are deeply gratifying and most definitely one of the best parts of owning our own business.
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
A huge hurdle that Accel faced was rapid expansion. We added warehouse after warehouse, until our operations were housed in TWELVE buildings! It was a logistical nightmare. It got so tough to navigate and orchestrate the work from so many locations, that we decided to build our current facility. The new building has helped us grow even more quickly, as our capacity is so much greater. What I learned from that experience was to really sit down and devise a plan for not only your current situation, but also for the future.
What’s the best business advice you can offer?
The single most important part of anyone’s job, besides performance of course, is networking. The old adage: “It is not what you know, it’s who you know” is true. The larger and more solid your network is, the higher your possibility for success. I participate in a multitude of trade organizations, professional organizations, boards and philanthropic initiatives. Your networking should not solely be focused on business, but it should also include philanthropy and social responsibility and benefit your community. Remember, your community takes care of you; you have a responsibility to take care of it.
Which organization referred you to smSmallBiz’s Stand Out?
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council or WBENC .
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