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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Important Lessons That Women Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Angie Hicks, Founder of Angie's List

Angie Hicks

It's been nearly 20 years since Angie Hicks started her company, Angie's List, in Columbus, Ohio. She has come a long way from two employees and her first 50 members to now over two million members and over 1500 employees. The quiet, soft-spoken entrepreneur has learned much about her customers and herself over the years that other entrepreneurs can learn from.

What is Angie's List?

Angie's List is a U.S.-based website that is supported by advertising and contains reviews of local contractors and other businesses. The company has over two million paid members and revenue of $17 million.

Angie's advice to other entrepreneurs

In a recent interview with Inc. Magazine, Angie open up about how she started her business, what she did to earn the loyalty of her customers, and what advice she gives other entrepreneurs that might help them reach their business goal.

#1 Solve a problem - Angie's business began by helping a friend, who was refurbishing a house, find good contractors. It soon became clear that many other people might be struggling with finding good contractors such as plumbers, painters, carpenters, and all the other contractors that consumers need at some point in time to keep their homes and lives running smoothly. Does your business do that?

#2 Find out what your customers want - never assume you already know what your customers want. The key to a successful business is understanding exactly what problems your customers are having, then offer them a good product that will not only solve their problems but fit their needs.

#3 Talk to your customers - Angie is quick to point out that we live in the Internet age, but electronic communication is no match for good face-to-face conversation with your customers. Angie started out going door-to-door, speaking with customers about what they needed. To this day, Angie continues to provide friendly customer service with someone customers can actually talk to, as a way of staying in touch with her customers and continuing to nurture them.

#4 Business owners need to evolve as their business grows - Angie commented about her being an introvert, admitting this was hard to overcome. But as an entrepreneur, she knew the value of growing with her business. She admitted to being scared to death the first time she had to do public and media appearances, but she did it because she knew its value to her business growth. She also commented on the importance of being able to transition from a doer to a leader as your business grows.

#5 Don't give up - This is one of Angie's best pieces of advice. Don't give up! She certainly didn't!

For more details about Angie Hicks, visit www.AngieHicks.com
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