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.
Mike Gordon, founder of energy management firm, CPower, answers our questions:
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
By helping our clients manage their usage more efficiently, they’re able to reduce their energy consumption – and their energy bills. But unlike typical energy management firms, we don’t just stop there. We also help our clients turn their energy conservation efforts into rewards by enabling them to take advantage of Energy Efficiency Credits, which are paper certificates that represent the cost of offsetting pollution-generating energy. Since these credits can be bought and sold on the open market to brokers or electricity suppliers in states that require increased renewable energy production, or “renewable portfolio standards,” our clients can actually gain financially.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Focusing on activities that engage my strengths and being able to rely on the expertise of my team to fill in for my weaknesses.
What’s the biggest challenge of owning your own business?
Striking a balance between controlling and empowering my employees. As the business grows, I increasingly understand the value of knowing when to raise my hand and when to let someone else take the lead.
Name: Mike Gordon
Business: CPower, an energy management firm.
Industry: Energy Management
Location: New York
Year founded: 2000
Number of employees: 80
Web address: www.cpowered.com
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
I’ve always believed that people and companies could use energy markets to create environmental sustainability. However, that philosophy didn’t readily lend itself to profits. It wasn’t until the business was on the verge of failure before we figured out how to monetize our clients’ energy conservation efforts.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
I should have put more resources into sales and marketing sooner. But when the stock market took off, I chose to pursue investing.
What’s the best business advice you can offer?
Find something that truly motivates you to work hard.
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