Meet the Lady Who Founded ‘Small Business Television’.

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Susan Solovic, SBTVHaving worked as a journalist in the traditional broadcast field, Featured Lady Susan Solovic was dismayed that there was very little coverage of small business. Her idea was to create an electronic mass media outlet focused on the needs of small business owners. In 2004, Susan and her partners launched (Small Business Television), the first and only video news and information destination site for America’s small businesses. SBTV provides credible, unbiased content, produced by award-winning small business journalists, thought leaders and experts, to help small businesses start, grow, protect and manage their enterprises. By the company’s second year it surpassed one million dollars in revenue.

A licensed attorney with a B.A. in history and political science, Susan’s career started in television as a news anchor and reporter. She then moved into the corporate world in the area of public relations, advertising and marketing. “I became Vice President/Director of Corporate Marketing for a division of ITT Corporation,” Susan says. “At the time, I was the first female executive in my division and one of the highest ranking women in the entire worldwide operations of ITT.”
While working in an executive capacity Susan attended night law school where she graduated with honors. A serial entrepreneur since the age of 15, in 1998 she launched Susan-Says® and began writing books, doing motivational speaking and consulting. “I’ve since authored four books and am getting ready to release my fifth next year,” she says.

To get Small Business Television started, Susan purchased the domain from a woman who had a website called SBTV. Then Susan began to think about what she wanted SBTV to be. Along with her two partners, she began to visualize the concept of television on the Internet. “When we launched the business in 2004, people said we were nuts,” she says. “Video on the internet would never work.”
Susan and her partners used personal funds to finance the launch of the SDTV and the business was profitable before the end of its second year. “We almost accepted a venture capital deal, but walked away,” says Susan. “Whether or not you bring in investors is up to each individual business owner, but if you do you have to be prepared to give up a lot of control.”
In fact, in October 2006 SBTV was selected as Best Investment Opportunity by the venture capitalists who attended a daylong Silicon Valley venture forum where Susan presented.

With SBTV, Susan knew she had defined a niche because there was a clear market need. She and the other partners originally thought about making SBTV a cable channel with a web component, but starting a cable channel cost millions of dollars, capital they simply didn’t have. “But we believed in the near future, media consumers would demand when, where and how they would consume media,” Susan says. “Therefore, it wouldn’t matter if you were on the Internet or traditional broadcast. Plus, producing and delivering via the Internet is much more cost effective.”
SBTV remains the only site primarily delivering news and information in a video format. Small business owners who are time and resource constrained can get information more quickly in an electronic media format than they can reading print on their computer screens.

With SBTV fully operational, Susan added yet another business initiative, Susan Solovic Media, where she positions herself, her content and her products as a small business expert, keynote speaker and media personality. “I am working with ABC News as a small business contributor in addition to appearing regularly on many other media platforms and blogging for major media outlets,” Susan says.

What we learned from Susan: “You have to understand that if you think small in the beginning, you’ll stay small.”

Add Passion, Mix Well
“Passion is an important ingredient when you are building a business, but passion doesn’t make payroll.”

At the Foundation
“You have to understand the fundamental building blocks of business in order to create a successful, sustainable enterprise.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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