Business Description: “Events By Anna-Marie” http://www.eventsbyannamarie.com/ is an events planning boutique specializing in creating lasting memories. Owner Anna-Marie Ezekwuka helps her clients plan and coordinate weddings, corporate affairs and life event celebrations. Focused on creating the best possible experiences for her clients, Anna-Marie also offers a special service for her brides-to-be. In addition to providing a full spectrum of wedding planning activities, she helps brides prepare for their big day with her “Get Fit and Feel Your Best with Anna-Marie” offering. This “GIFFY-BAM” program is what sets her apart from the rest and creates a truly unique, personal and special celebration for her clients.
How it got started: After relocating to Austin, TX with her husband, Anna-Marie had the opportunity to chart a new course in her career. She was a veteran TV reporter, working in several markets across the country. She loved her experiences in broadcast communications, but also felt it was a good time for a transition. She knew the circumstances were right for her to start her own business. The question was, what would that business be? Anna-Marie believes in leveraging the talents and expertise of those around her. So to determine the direction of her new venture she sought the advice of Jim Wojtak, entrepreneurial coach with IMPACT Group https://www.impactgrouphr.com/. Jim suggested that Anna-Marie enroll in the MOBI “Starting a Business” course, which they could then use as the foundation for their ongoing discussions. The first session of the course, “Deciding on a Business,” was the perfect place to start.
Anna-Marie began to reflect about what inspires her and quickly identified her passion for helping others and bringing people together. She also recognized a zest for life which fuels her active and healthy lifestyle, and identified her instinctive resourcefulness, gracious communications style, problem-solving skills and eye for detail. All of these attributes along with the exercises and learning MOBI provided, led her to establish “Events By Anna-Marie.”
How the My Own Business Institute course helped: Anna-Marie came from an entirely different field and was starting her business from ground zero, with no experience and no knowledge of how to start or run a business. Jim and Anna-Marie went through the MOBI course together, and it established a common language for them to discuss the fundamentals of the business. MOBI set the pace for Anna-Marie’s new venture. “There are a hundred ways you could begin when starting a business, and you just don’t know which way to go, how fast or how slow,” Anna-Marie said of her experience. The course gave her direction and provided a step-by-step foundation to get the wheels turning and the process moving. She learned how to write a solid business plan, and with each step she learned more about the best way to establish and run her business. Anna-Marie learned how to protect herself, as a business owner and as an individual. Originally she only considered a sole proprietorship, but through MOBI learned that a Limited Liability Company (LLC) would be the best structure for her business.
MOBI helped Anna-Marie to think of her business from many different perspectives. For example, MOBI taught her how to learn about her industry. She learned the importance of meeting the competition, meeting the field and getting out to see what the industry is like. She also learned to be honest about, rather than hide, her shortcomings as MOBI advocates. In doing so she is free to seek and identify people and resources who can fill key needs. One of the most important lessons Anna-Marie learned from MOBI was the value of a niche offering. She felt her business was valuable to potential clients, but MOBI challenged her to identify something unique and special. This led Anna-Marie to include the “Get Fit and Feel Your Best with Anna-Marie” or GIFFY-BAM program in her offerings. Anna-Marie’s love of fitness and healthy living is a unique attribute that she can share with her clients and a key point of differentiation.
“Events By Anna-Marie” continues to grow with many wonderful celebrations, GIFFY-BAM is a success, and Anna-Marie is gearing up for her first destination wedding. She had not originally considered expansion but keeps the lessons of MOBI in mind so she can recognize when the time may be right to add employees and grow the business.
When asked what she appreciated most about the MOBI course, Anna-Marie responded, “MOBI is for everyone. It is written to reach and be accessible by anyone, and it is not too difficult for the average person to complete. I had no idea where to begin. MOBI gave me the tools and knowledge to start my own business.”