Nicole started her career in printing 15 years ago with her father, a legend in the printing industry, Robert Pittman. She began her career at Trend Offset Printing, was Executive Vice President of SMP Inc. and is now President and CEO of ROF Industries Inc. – a company that provides video production, photography, and printing services. She helps clients achieve their goals with various marketing platforms. She started her current business in 2013, and their sales have grown to numbers she never imagined.
StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Nicole to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I learned about business from my father, who was an entrepreneur. I was lucky enough to work with him for 12 years before starting a business with my husband, Chris. My Dad taught me to always focus on marketing and sales. You can have the best product/ service in the world, but if no one knows about it, it won’t do you much good. While working with him, I also had a side business that specialized in photography.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
My journey has had highs and lows, like everyone I’m sure. I started my current business in 2013, and our sales have grown to numbers I never imagined. When I was in my early 20’s, I felt too young and inexperienced to have much confidence in my sales ability. After many years, I have learned that people buy from who they like and if you are your true self, people will buy from you. When my clients see that I really care about helping them and their business, a true relationship begins.
What is your main source of income?
Our primary source of income is from our video production, photography, and printing services. We help clients achieve their goals with various marketing platforms.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Some may say it’s dead, but for me old fashioned cold calling has worked wonders. Recently I’ve had a lot of luck sending customized video emails. For me, happy clients have always led to repeat business and referrals, which have both been the key to our success.
How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
I believe our brand has stood out because my business partner/ husband Chris is amazing at what he does. Video production is his true passion, and you can see it in his videos. Clients are always so impressed with what Chris can accomplish. He is so easy to work with and tailors each video to fit our client’s specific brand/ style.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
The decision to redesign our website. We are still finalizing the details, but it was hard to make such a big change. When we first started our company we weren’t 100% sure who our main client would be. Now we know the majority of our clients are corporate and our website needs to reflect that. It was a big decision for us but important to change.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Before hiring anyone to help with SEO and social media, be sure to do your homework. Many companies promise huge rewards and then don’t deliver. I have learned to be more selective with many of my vendors.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
Always trust your gut. Sometimes when you want something or like someone you will try to con yourself into decisions, even though your gut is warning you. Don’t ignore it.
What new business would you love to start?
I have a real passion for travel. I would love to create a business that focuses on how to travel to unique locations with children. We have taken our kids to unique locations like Galapagos, Costa Rica, Ireland, Norway and Turks & Caicos. We have learned so much from our travels.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have spent so much time on small dollar ideas. I would’ve focused on larger, corporate clients and longterm contracts.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?
Have more confidence in your abilities! Trust when others tell you how much they love working with you. Fight that negative voice inside your head that tries to hold you back. We all have it; the key is to tell it to go away.
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
“The Sell” by Fredrik Eklund, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PH.D. and Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Try to live in the now. It’s easy to regret things in the past and worry about the future but make sure you’re not missing the amazing things that are happening right in front of you. Take time to stop and focus on the positive things happening at this exact moment, no matter how small they might seem.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Find a mentor to help you along the way. Be ready to work extremely hard. When you own your own business, it is constantly on your mind. You never really check out. That’s why travel can be so important to help you focus on something other than your business.