Iris Broyles has always had a passion for technology. In 2008, she recognized that starting a business offering access to tremendously deep lists of leads for marketing purposes was a perfect career move to make.
Broyles, who is a happy client of 1-800Accountant, operates Central Tex Data, LLC directly out of her comfortable home office in Glen Rose, Texas. While she is the only owner and member of the web-based small business, she enjoys the self-employment lifestyle.
Broyles offers up a basic explanation of how the startup company functions.
“We basically offer custom mailing lists for direct-mail marketing purposes,” she says. “We have 30 different databases from which we can draw customer information. A customer can go to our website, look at pricing options, then actually go and run free reports to see how many people are available under the category of customers they are targeting for the purpose of selling their products or services. We can also run these reports based on the parameters a customer gives us.”
The customer information that Broyles can provide includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. All of this information helps her customers specifically tailor their marketing efforts toward the leads who would be most effective to contact.
Some of the lists available have over 200,000 names. They run the gamut and include lists of everyone from those who own certain cars to new homebuyers to new small business owners, or even lists of doctors and pilots.
She says it was a close confidante who laid the stepping stone for her to start the small business in the first place.
“I have a very good friend who has been in the data industry for over 30 years,” she confides. “She was looking for someone she could trust to work with her because she had a proprietary database. So she started giving me business, and that’s how I got started at doing this.”
The former teacher has a Ph.D. in education and taught math, science, and technology for a number of years. She taught Kindergarten students all the way up to college students enrolled in master’s programs, but she says it was working with the middle schoolers that she enjoyed most about her career in education.
As for her current role as a small business owner, it’s the individuals she gets to do business with that she says make her smile.
“I have a group of really great clients who are loyal and very nice to work with,” she says. “I have a good relationship with them.”
Any entrepreneur wanting to make a small business successful should follow Broyles’ approach to doing so.
“The quality of our data is a huge selling point,” she says. “We also strive very hard to have excellent customer service so that we are responsive to the needs of our clients. This helps us stay ahead of our competitors. Plus, we’re a very honest company, which is not always the case among other companies out there.”
According to Broyles, there are lots of fellow entrepreneurs who offer access to similar lists of potential consumers and businesses.
“It’s a highly competitive industry,” she admits. “So we’re always working to be one step ahead of everyone else. We offer a service known as IP targeting, which allows our clients to specifically customize the lists they are looking for based on a customer’s computer IP address.”
All small business owners endure some challenges, particularly during the startup phase of their companies. Broyles has been no exception to many of these common hurdles that often get in the way. She admits living in a rural part of Texas has made it difficult to get high-speed Internet so she can do everything she needs to do in order to successfully run the web-based enterprise. Additionally, finding enough time to operate it has been a little tough.
Thanks to her own experience running Central Tex Data, Broyles offers up some handy tips for entrepreneurs who are seriously considering starting a business.
“Do a ton of research to make sure there’s a place for your niche. Either bring something fresh and unique to the table or be the best at what you do. A business should involve something you enjoy and love doing. I think customer service and caring about your customers as individuals goes a long way to being successful.”
She admits self-employment can entail both pros and cons.
“The advantage is that I make my own hours,” she says. “I can work while I’m on a cruise ship since I can take my laptop with me. The disadvantage is that there’s no one to take your place, so you do have to at least check in on things even when you’re on vacation.”
Broyles says she’s a very satisfied client of 1-800Accountant – and that the national accounting firm has made the process of starting a business so much simpler from a tax and accounting standpoint.
“1-800Accountant has made it much easier for me to ensure all of my tax information I need to provide isn’t piling up until the end of the year. It really keeps me organized and on top of things. You guys have definitely saved me money by advising me on the tax structure for my LLC. Everyone has been so nice and helpful, and the webinars have lots of beneficial information.”
Photo credit: The photographs included in this blog post were provided by Central Tex Data, LLC and are used with permission.