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Smiley Transportation, LLC Named in the Top 10 for 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners

Join us in congratulating Smiley Transportation, LLC for being named the winner in the Top 10 for 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners in the “Most Innovative Category”!

Smiley Transportation, LLC Wins the “Most Innovative” Category

Smiley Transportation LLC Congratulations to Smiley Transportation, LLC located in Fort Worth, Texas, for being named in the Top 10 for 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners. Smiley Transportation, LLC won the top spot in the “Most Innovative Category”! We caught up with business owner and entrepreneur Rushelle Wetzel and asked her to answer some questions and share some words of advice and inspiration with our StartupNation audience.

About Their Journey

StartupNation: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Rushelle:
The “Challenge” of keeping the big picture alive while maintaining the little picture of daily goals.

StartupNation: To what do you attribute your success as an entrepreneur and business owner?
Rushelle:
Honesty, it is because of my special needs daughter that drove me into a business owner. I was a single mother and needed to be able to maintain the home and take care of her and still work. That is when Smiley Transportation, LLC was born and has grown to what it is today.

Rushelle & daughter Sydney, the inspiration for me becoming self-employed and the name of our company.
Rushelle & daughter Sydney, the inspiration for me becoming self-employed and the name of our company.

StartupNation: What ignited the spark in you to start/select your particular business as an entrepreneur?
Rushelle:
Like I said before, my special needs daughter was the main reason for becoming a business owner. Why a student transport service? I kept over hearing other parents complaining about how the bus service was and how they always needed transportation for another school activities or early practices. It hit me why not fill that need. I started with a Kia Rio and three students and now today we have 8 vehicles over 165 students and growing. People have always said a great business is always sparked from a need.

StartupNation: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Rushelle:
The major skills (if you can call them that) for me are:

  • Courage to follow your dreams
  • Strength to maintain your goals even if there are road blocks and
  • Willing not to take “no’s” for answers and find ways to make things happen

Words of Wisdom – Inspiration for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

StartupNation: If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Rushelle:
Fear! Do not be afraid to grow. Grow steady but do not hold yourself back because of fear!!

Inspiration

StartupNation: Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
Rushelle:
Knowing we provide peace of mind to parents everyday. The parents know that the student is where they need to be and are safe and secure.

StartupNation: What is your favorite motivational/business quote as an entrepreneur?
Rushelle:
“You can have everything in ife you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

StartupNation: A motto you live by?
Rushelle:
Strive to be the best and give 100%!

Tell Us About Your Business, Experiences & Funding Your Startup

StartupNation : How did you get funding for your startup?
Rushelle:
I have boot strapped everything. I have had to finance the vehicle in our personal names.

StartupNation: Recommendations for others starting out?
Rushelle:
Even if banks tell you “no”…figure out other ways to get there.

Marketing and Building Your Customer Base

StartupNation: How do you market and build your customer base?
Rushelle:
We use social media, door-to-door flyers, networking, and talking to the schools.

StartupNation: Recommendations for others starting out?
Rushelle:
Live and breathe your business. Think outside of the box!

Changes in the Business Market

StartupNation: What changes have you seen in your business market since starting?
Rushelle:
Our business doubles every year. We are always told that it’s for the safety and peace of mind that we give our parents.

StartupNation: What do you see coming that will impact your business?
Rushelle:
I see school bus companies moving to pay for ride services or fading away in the next several years. The pay for ride school bus service has already happened in our school districts that we provide service for.

StartupNation: Have a funny story about a client or business transaction that you want to share along with a key lesson learned?
Rushelle:
Before we had electronic check payments, we had a parent give their first grader $200 dollars to give to our driver and instead he thought it was his lunch money and gave it to lunch lady and the school placed the money into his lunch account. This lesson was for both the parents and for us to move to electronic check payments.

Learn more about Rushelle and other businesses that entered and placed in the competition by clicking here for the top ten and a full list 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners and entrants.

Do you have a startup? Are you a passionate entrepreneur with an idea that has taken off and want to share your success with others? Would you like your business to receive priceless exposure in the media and be positioned to take your business to the next level? Then join us this fall for the 8th Annual StartupNation Home-Based 100 Competition which ranks outstanding home-based businesses and the amazing people behind them! Watch for your change to enter! In the meantime, be sure to visit us daily for new content to support and grow your business!

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