Small-business owners, what are you doing to stand out from the crowd? Each week, we focus on an entrepreneur who has lessons to share that we think will resonate with other small-business owners.
Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of mobile Internet service provider Motricity, answers our questions:
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
Motricity, has landed some big name clients — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, CNN and Condé Nast — and we help them transfer their services and content to the mobile devices of their customers. Our service allows their customers to set their own preferences and create shortcuts on their homepage so they can quickly access information that they are most interested in.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Seeing my vision become a reality.
What’s the biggest challenge of owning your own business?
Making hard decisions to get us through each stage of growth and ensuring that the company has the assets to evolve.
Name: Ryan Wuerch
Business: Motricity, a mobile Internet service provider.
Industry: Mobile Technology
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
Year founded: 2001
Number of employees: 350
Web address: motricity.com
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
In 2007, we set out to buy a $135 million business unit that was then owned by a public company. To push the deal through, I had to raise $185 million of capital and negotiate against competitive offers. Once the acquisition was complete, we had to integrate the two organizations and our technologies. That involved relocating our headquarters from one coast to the other and reducing staff. It was tough, but we kept our focus and got through it.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
Early on, we aggressively pursued a certain line of business that I was personally passionate about. In retrospect, we needed to balance that passion with an understanding of the financial implications and the depth of experience needed to make the business more successful.
What’s the best business advice you can offer?
Have a clear vision, but be willing to think outside of the box.
SmartMoney.com provides news, information, and tools for business professionals and growing businesses. All content provided by SmartMoney is © 2009 SmartMoney®, a Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Hearst SM Partnership.