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An Early Start Yields Big Success

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Ben Seidel has been a NASE member since 2011, the same year he won the NASE Future Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2012 he founded Igniting Business, a company that offers web solutions, technology services, and marketing consulting.

How did you get started in business?

I began experimenting with web development tools at the age of 13. Not long after that I designed a website for my first corporate client. Through high school and my early college years I continued to offer web design services, but I began to notice a very significant need for someone to provide marketing and tech services specifically geared towards small businesses. Most firms targeted larger clients that could bring high-dollar contracts while the smallest businesses were often neglected. We designed the services of Igniting Business around the concept that as we help our small business clients succeed and grow, we will also prosper.

Your father is also an entrepreneur and business owner.
How did he influence your start in business?

As an entrepreneur, my father was always very supportive of my desire to turn my interests in technology into a viable career – even at a young age. My father helped point me in the right direction and let me tap into his network initially to pitch my services. This was
key in getting my first few projects as just a teenager. Even today, my dad is consistently a brand advocate for us which I truly appreciate.

You just graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia last year with a degree in marketing and economics and you ran your business while in college. How did you do this and what did you learn from it?

A common dilemma was, “Should I study for the upcoming test tomorrow, or get these two proposals out?” Running a business while in college full time was extremely challenging. However, through constantly having to balance work and school, I learned the importance of prioritization, organizational tools, and time management.

You have an active blog and have also contributed to the NASE Self Made blog. How have you built a following for your blog and how does it help you market your business?

Our blog is primarily targeted towards small business owners and managers. By having a blog that we update frequently with unique content around marketing, tech, and web design, we have been able to build our following. In fact, a large part of the traffic from our website comes from blog posts that we created on trending topics of interest.

What other ways do you market your business?

The large majority of our business comes from networking and referrals. Above all else, we try to make our clients happy, and a happy client is quick to refer others to you. From a networking standpoint, we are actively involved in our community – offering our knowledge and experience as resources to others. We also produce leads from our website via effective search engine optimization (SEO) and occasionally will capitalize on online advertising for particular campaign pushes.

What challenges have you faced in your business? How have you overcome them?

Initially the biggest challenge was balancing work and school. Now that I have “more time” on my hands, it still feels like there is always more to be done. Perhaps the current challenge we are facing is managing and expanding our team. We have high standards for who we bring on our team in order to provide only the very best for our clients. The moral of the story is that our current phase requires us to be both proactive and patient.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?

I love that each and every day at work, I get to help other small businesses succeed by serving as their web, tech, and marketing problem solver. As an entrepreneur, I have made a career out of helping others. This has proven to be both interesting and extremely fulfilling.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

Starting your own business is both extremely rewarding and exceptionally challenging. You can truly turn your passion into a career, but doing so requires constant hard work, initiative, and patience.


What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?

We love to hear from our clients! Here are some client quotes:

“…the functionality [of the website] is perfect, their follow-up work is great, and the rates are so affordable that we can’t imagine using anyone else for our future projects.”

“I hired Igniting Business to design my website in order to showcase my custom woodworking business as well as serve as an online lead generator. This turned out to be the best business decision I have ever made. I couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Which NASE member benefit is most important
to you?

That’s actually a really hard question because I believe that the importance of the benefits shift as your company goes through different phases. The scholarships/grants were quite important to me when I won the NASE Future Entrepreneur scholarship in 2011. But now I see an extremely high value having access to tax and legal experts as my company continues to expand.

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