Small Business Insights: GEM Marketing Solutions

Photo courtesy of GEM Marketing Solutions

Central Massachusetts is home to a thriving small business community. From one person shops operating out of their homes to companies with a few hundred employees and multiple locations, it’s a diverse and supportive group of creatively talented people who all have a story to tell. Each month this blog gives one of these businesses a chance to share their story to help others on the same path looking for some insider tips to grow their business.

This month we welcome Jennifer Hernandez of GEM Marketing Solutions.

Jennifer Hernandez is the CEO & Director of Strategic Marketing at GEM Marketing Solutions. GEM’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible marketing services to entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the Worcester, MA area. Their services include website design, social media marketing, and blogging just to name a few. Jennifer is a very active member in the local Worcester, MA business community speaking at and starting up numerous events and seminars throughout the city. She is also host of the Worcester Business Connect podcast and most recently will be launching the first Self-Made Entrepreneur Conference on September 13, 2023 at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester.

In this interview you’ll learn:

• How to get things done when you have a very busy schedule
• Why being yourself is important to help grow your business
• How the sport of rowing can inspire you as a small business owner

1. What got you to where you are today?

Never giving up on my own vision. Honestly, that vision has changed many times. In my own entrepreneurial journey, I have owned many businesses. Some worked, others not so much. However, the real power is following your heart and trying. The journey of it all is actually what leads you to success.

2. How do you stay motivated to keep on your path?

I am big on writing out my goals. I think there is power when you put your dreams on paper. Once I set my goals, I make a list of actionable steps that will inch me closer to my goal. My calendar keeps me on track. Each of those actionable steps lives as a to-do item on my calendar to ensure I get it done.

3. What has been your most successful marketing strategy? What keeps people coming back for more?

My most successful marketing strategy is one that I encourage all of my clients to use. That is to simply be yourself and keep showing up. You build trust when you are showing up in your community or online with the same vibe, personality, style, and voice. The world needs us just as we are. We have tribes of customers and clients waiting to meet us just as we are. So the more you can be you, the better!

4. How do you set yourself apart from others in your industry?

What I have learned is that there is room for all of us. In each industry and profession, if we remain true. In my own example, I created my business around providing affordable marketing solutions to small businesses within our city. That is my “why” that drives my brand’s purpose. I am passionate about making marketing solutions more accessible to all.

5. What is the best advice you’ve received when starting out?

Use your time efficiently! I take my time very seriously. We never get those hours back so I make sure to prepare my day ahead of time with scheduled tasks to make sure the work is getting done and time is being used to its fullest potential.

6. Is there a local business, organization, or person that inspires your work? How do they inspire you?

In 2022, I moved to the Quinsagamond Lake area. Every morning and every night I would see these Rowing Club teams practicing fiercely, no matter the weather. They were out there every day of the week without missing a beat. I developed such an admiration for those team members. That is true dedication and discipline. Owning a small business is very similar, you have to keep showing up, no matter the challenge. The consistent behaviors you develop will lead to your business’ success.

7. What do you enjoy most about being located in the Worcester/Central Mass area?

I love Worcester, especially the diversity and culture you experience within one city. So many different restaurants to try, art to experience and music to explore.

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