Today we’d like to introduce you to Debra Gibson-Welch.
Debra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to Atlanta from New Jersey ten years ago with a degree in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I worked in retail management and merchandising for a short time in Atlanta. Five years ago faced with a steep decline in retail management, I decided to switch gears and studied for a Web Design certification at Emory University. I have always loved and excelled at working and building relationships with people and helping them solve problems, so this was a natural transition but with newly acquired technical skills.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting and running a small business comes with challenges regardless of the type of business. The biggest challenge for me is funding as a small business, being able to scale the business and to acquire new clients. Retaining them once you have new clients is where the hard work really begins. I have to make sure that I am providing the type of services they need. Each client is different; expectations are high especially for small and medium-sized independent businesses with tight budgets. It does not always run smoothly. I have had clients for short periods and long periods and it is never the same with each client. I learned early and fast from failure. If I provided excellent service and the client was still not pleased, I don’t take it personally. It did not work out, move on, learn from failure, be positive, get up and get better for the next client. And it’s not always your fault, focus on what’s next.
Please tell us about DEEG Consulting. What should we know?
Deeg Consulting provides marketing solutions for individuals and businesses. We provide website design and development solutions, digital marketing including social media, SEO, email marketing, marketing plans and training. Everyone should have a website if they have a business, but it does not always mean that they should build the website themselves. Today, there are so many DIY options available. Some people with tight budgets in mind opt to build a website, do their own social media, run the business and more, but for a small business burnout arrives quickly. Doing everything on your own is a lot of work, and the effort to stay current is relentless.
It is important to have an objective consultant by your side helping you with important decisions. Client training is one of my favorite areas when working with clients; I am patient and knowledgeable about my craft. Clients really appreciate the attention and time invested to ensure they have productive resolutions to their marketing issues. Helping companies increase their fiscal bottom line is the overall objective. I will note that not all businesses have the same level of success, each one is different. I try to run my business with integrity, I am honest with my clients and I only want to provide the best service possible.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I have been lucky to have a very supportive family, my husband, daughter and sisters have been my biggest fans. I also have been lucky and fortunate to have worked with some of the best clients especially the ones who hired me during the early days, they were patient and helped to keep me motivated and focused on succeeding.
- Websites – From $1500
- Social Media – From $50 an hour or a flat rate depending on the requirements
- Marketing including SEO – From $500
Photography by Lenna Davis Photography
Hair by Lamont Morris of Full Monti Hair Care