LT: LaTosha Johnson
FBE: Hometown and current residency?
LTJ: Lombard, IL
FBE: What is the concept behind TargetStars?
LTJ: TargetStars is a consulting firm that provides marketing, market research, and virtual assistant services to small companies at an affordable price. In marketing we refer to individuals or business we hope to gain as clients as our target market. That is how I came up with the ‘Target’ part of our name. I love the phrase “aim for the stars” (I love looking at the stars!) It is every entrepreneurs dream to capture as many clients as they can so we call our clients stars. However, I am aware that not everyone can be our customer; therefore, you have to concentrate on capturing the right stars.
FBE: When and how did Target Stars begin?
LTJ: TargetStars was founded in April 2008. I started this company because I was tired of settling for positions that did not interest me. Therefore, I decided to create my own opportunity.
FBE: Who are the founding members and what are their roles?
LTJ: We are a family run business. I am the President and my sister LaTavia Johnson and mother Pearlean Johnson work as consultants.
FBE: Who or what influenced the launch of this company?
LTJ: I launched this company because I was sick of waiting for the “perfect job” to find me. I decided to be proactive and create my own opportunity.
FBE: Have you worked with any well known entrepreneurs or people in general?
LTJ: I have worked with Dana Bowers from Shimmer Studio. She is well on her way to being a rising star in the Letterpress arena ( http://www.shimmer-studio.com ).
FBE: Have you and/or Target Stars been featured in any national publications or other media?
LTJ: TargetStars has been featured in the following ways:
• I was just asked today to be featured in WhoHub
• I recently did an interview with Business Week back in April (the story has not been printed yet).
• My blog posts have been featured several times by Brazen Careerist (I was even chosen to be a featured Blogger of the week by those in charge of Brazen Careerist).
• In February 2009, I was a featured guest on Launch Notes radio (it is posted to my website and blog).
• In February 2009, I did a Twitter Interview with Kim Beasley.
FBE: Who or what personally inspires you to push forth with your dreams and goals?
LTJ: My desire to help other people achieve their dreams is what drives me because I know how it feels to be “locked” into less than desirable circumstances. I feel so blessed and fortunate and want others to experience this as well.
FBE: Are you affiliated with any charities, scholarship program or organization?
LTJ: I am a One Brick volunteer.
FBE: Are your services available on a national level?
LTJ: Yes, they are available on a national level.
FBE: How would you describe the type of people that use Target Stars services?
LTJ: Small business owners, solopreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to find out more information about a particular industry before taking the leap into entrepreneurship.
FBE: What would you credit to being your biggest accomplishment?
LTJ: Being able to get this business off the ground without taking out a loan!
FBE: Do you find any challenges in the industry that you’re in?
LTJ: Yes! A lot of people go into business thinking, “I have a great idea and this is going to make me rich.” However, if you conduct market research you will be able to see although you may have a great idea the area in which you are looking to open your business may be wrong. Conducting market research beforehand will save you a lot of money. A lot of entrepreneurs do not realize the benefit of hiring a virtual assistant when they are in need of assistance. You cannot do everything by yourself if you want to be successful. A virtual assistant allows you the ability to only pay for the hours worked unlike an employee who you have to pay even if they are not working.
FBE: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs like yourself?
LTJ: My motto is, “If you are everything to everyone, then you risk being no one.” Remember, to concentrate on your abilities and remain authentic to yourself and your brand.
FBE: Do you have any events coming up that people should be on the look out for?
LTJ: Not at the moment. We just released our newsletter and started a group for Illinois Virtual Assistants on LinkedIn.
FBE: How can people get in contact with you for more information?
LTJ: They can contact me at 877.427.2261 ext.6 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org .
FBE: Anything else you’d like to add?
LTJ: You can be an entrepreneur at any age. Do not let your current circumstances dictate whether you can or should be an entrepreneur. I would also like to encourage people to sign up for our free newsletter and sign up for our blog posts via RSS feed or email .