A: Erin Kaberline
Q: Your Business
A: Kaberline Communications
Q: Years in Business
A: less than 1
Q: Business Structure
Q: What are some things you like about being in business for yourself?
A: I love that I have the flexibility that our military life requires and that my future success is unlimited. I’m able to do almost everything remotely, so no matter where the Army sends us next, I will be able to continue providing services to my clients and find ways to grow my business.
Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
A: Owning my own business is still very new for me, so I’m working out a lot of the logistics. One of the things that is most challenging for me is actually marketing my own business. I spend a lot of time perfecting my clients’ marketing and communication strategies, but I don’t feel like I’ve taken enough time to solidify my own marketing strategy and goals. I also don’t spend as much time on things like my own blog, social media platforms, etc. as I would like to. These things are on my to-do list…now I just need to find the time to do them!
Q: How has being a military spouse, Veteran or Veteran spouse helped/challenged your business?
A: Being a military spouse opened the door for me to own my own business in many ways. As a military spouse you gain critical entrepreneurial skills without realizing it, such as resiliency, determination, and perseverance. If you would have asked me 8-10 years ago if I would ever own my own business, I definitely would have said no. Over the years and through the deployments and moves, I’ve developed a confidence I didn’t have when we first entered the military. Without those challenges, I don’t know if I would have explored this opportunity.
I also feel that my experience with the military through volunteer positions helps me relate to the clients I have now, both of which are military-related. Simply knowing a little about military tradition, protocol, and the acronyms has helped immensely.
Q: What would you like your customers/future to know about you and your business?
A: I’ve spent many years in the marketing industry – some paid positions and some volunteer positions. I’ve given my all to each one of them and they have helped me develop my skills in ways I never expected. I love what I do and I love helping my clients communicate their strengths and benefits to their audiences. I firmly believe that a communication strategy can make or break a business or an organization. Many small businesses skip this step because it takes a great deal of time and they are simply busy concentrating on the other aspects of their business, such as creating quality products for their customers. However, creating a strategic communications or marketing plan helps keep small businesses focused and allows them spend their precious resources wisely. Helping create this strategy is probably my favorite part of the whole process!
Q: What are some things people may not know about your business?
A: My business never would have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for three things.
The first is one of my clients, the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership. This organization immediately recognized my talent and brought me on as part of their team. They understand the demands of military life and encourage me to maintain that important work/life balance. They were also the first to come to me and encourage me to continue working with them before we left Missouri for Texas last summer. They have been instrumental in the start of my business.
The second group includes good friends and fellow military spouses, including Erika Bender (Flybabies Embroidery) and Carolyn Dyrdahl (Marketing Connection), who inspired me with their dedication to their own businesses and provided advice as I began considering owning my own business.
Third is, without a doubt, my husband who fully understands my passion and desire to make my business successful. At times I have been scared, frustrated, and have shown doubt in myself. He continually reminds me of the goals I set and the reasons I wanted to do this in the first place. Though he works long hours, he leans in for me and we work together to lead our family. It isn’t always easy and we don’t have everything worked out, but we believe that each of us deserves to be successful professionally and we are committed to making that happen.
Q: For fellow military spouses considering a business, what advice would you give them?
A: Go for it! For many years, military spouses were confined to “transient” jobs, such as healthcare, administrative work, or federal employment. In today’s world of technology, that no longer has to be the case. If you are passionate about something and feel that you have a unique skill set that could be a benefit for others, you should look into that opportunity. Additionally, I see so many military spouses engaging in their own professional interests with fierce determination…it is awesome! I also love seeing military spouses building professional networks at each duty station and continuing to find ways to support each other as we move on to new assignments. I guess what I’m trying to say is, the more, the merrier!
Q: We all have lessons learned the hard way, tell about a business experience that you’ve had where you had to learn something the hard way.
A: One of the biggest things I’m learning, as I do all of my work remotely, is that email and texting are great for quick communication, but if you have questions or concerns it is always best to simply pick up the phone and talk to someone directly. I’m excited to start doing more video conferencing, as well. I feel that if you work remotely, you should take every opportunity to do what you can to personally connect with your clients when you have the chance and I think video conferencing will help enhance these connections.
Q: What do you wish you had more access to? How can MSBAcademy and/or MSBA help you?
A: I’m always up for increased networking opportunities (i.e. LinkedIn groups, etc.) and webinars that could help improve my skills as a business owner.
Q: Website/Contact info