Over the years Royalyn Reid has built the company she co-founded with her husband, Angelo, and is CEO of, Consumer & Market Insights (CMI), into a well-established firm. CMI has offices in Dallas and Washington, DC and offers service in marketing research, training and conference management.
She has attracted many federal contracts and her clients have included the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), .U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, the cities of Dallas and Ft Worth, Texas, Texas Instruments, and First American Corporation, among others.
Reid has also served as a roundtable panelist for the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Reid told TNJ.com more about her career.
TNJ.com: What led you to co-found Consumer & Market Insights?
Royalyn Reid: After working as a scientist at Mary Kay Cosmetics in Consumer Testing and Consultant & Medical Relations, I began my journey as an entrepreneur providing marketing research and training services. ?I worked from home to build my client relationships and take advantage of networking opportunities.
TNJ.com: What niche did you hope to fill?
RR: We developed CMI around two offerings — marketing research and training. ?These offerings have a unique synergy. My passion for excellence and continuous search for ways to implement innovative approaches resulted in the adoption of new technology and value-added service. ?The synergy between the service offerings makes CMI uniquely capable to provide our clients with solutions they deserve.
TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
RR: We initially funded the business through our personal savings and a loan from a family member.
TNJ.com: Can you explain how you got started?
RR: We set up a home office that was dedicated for the business. ?We worked to keep our expenses low by performing most of the services between Angelo (my husband, co-owner) and myself. ?I provided the technical expertise in Marketing Research and Training. ?Angelo supported our basic IT needs and other professional services.
TNJ.com: What were some startup challenges?
RR: We had professional experience and skills from our years in corporate America. ?However we were new to owning and operating a business. ?We took advantage of various business advocacy agencies and organizations to learn what we needed to know. ?These agencies and organizations included the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), D/FW Minority Supplier Development Council (D/FW MSDC), Women?s Business Council Southwest (WBCS).
TNJ.com: What have been some obstacles you faced as you have grown?
RR: Cash flow and access to capital. ?Funding, whether during the startup or growth phase, is something business owners will always have to manage and continue to grow and learn.
TNJ.com: What is the best business advice you can give other small business owners?
RR: Business has its ebb and flow. ?Take time to enjoy the journey and give back.
TNJ.com: ?What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
RR: I have a passion to make a difference in everything I do. ?My company has the opportunity to bring creative and innovative solutions to each client engagement in Marketing Research, Training, Program and Project Management. We pride ourselves in delivering excellent customer service to all our clients. Our ultimate goal is to impact on their bottom line in the short and long term.