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Andrea Greenhous on Achieving Success as a Business Owner

Person holding a tablet on their lap and e-pen in hand

SBA: Andrea, thank you for joining us for our first interview in a series of conversations with Stittsville Business Association members. Tell us about your business.

AG: My business is an internal communications agency. We partner with communication teams at large organizations to help improve communication with their employees. Open, honest and meaningful communication play an important role in building trust, strengthening culture, and helping people find meaning and purpose in their work.

As a full-service agency, we help with strategies related to employee communication and change. We can help companies understand how to do a better job of communicating with their employees and then we can help implement the strategy. This could include developing content, building an intranet, creating campaign materials or helping to organize a town hall. For smaller organizations, we also run workshops and training to help leaders understand how to communicate with employees effectively.

SBA: How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

AG: I started 23 years ago when my daughter was born. I didn’t want to go back to the company I was working for and decided that if I worked for myself, I’d have more flexibility. To a certain extent, that has been true, but I do work very hard and most days I work long hours. My business has evolved over that time, but I’ve always focused on communicating with employees. Starting up a communications company is relatively easy, you need a computer, ideas and a strong belief you can make a difference.

SBA: Success is important for business owners for a variety of reasons, as it directly impacts both the individual business owner and the broader economy. Tell us, how do you define success?

AG: Well aside from the obvious financial results, I love to help clients and see the difference strategic communication can make. We’ve had some huge successes with clients helping them to reach their front-line employees, building trust and even supporting initiatives like technology change, Environmental, Social, and Governance programs, and culture transformation. As we grow, another success metric I strive for is helping my team and seeing them grow and gain confidence.

SBA: What has been your recipe for success?

AG: It starts with perseverance and hard work but I think understanding your customer and the market is important. So is providing value – we want our clients to see incredible business value as the result of our work. And, when you provide value and a great client experience, then clients become your best source of new business.

“…When you provide value and a great client experience, then clients become your best source of new business.”

SBA: What is the most rewarding part of being a business owner?

AG: The work we do is really a calling. We are on a mission to help make work better for people and I love doing something I am passionate about. I am an ideas person and I like the freedom of coming up with new ways to solve a client’s problem. I also love it when we start seeing a difference better communication can make. Small changes can make a big difference for organizations.

SBA: What makes you a great leader?

AG: As my company has grown, I’ve had to focus on my leadership skills. It’s not easy – even though we work with a lot of senior leaders and have significant expertise as far as leadership communications skills. It is definitely something I work on and am still trying to figure out. So far, what works for me is caring about my employees as people, being open and transparent, and focusing on their personal growth.

Image of Vision2Voice website homepage, text reads "Great internal communication. Great brand." Image of a professional woman with black jacket and cropped grey hair.

SBA: Starting and growing a business is an exciting journey filled with opportunities and challenges. How does your business look different now vs. when you first started?

AG: I was mostly a solopreneur doing big government contracts. As a single mom of two young children, I needed that stability. Today, my business is more dynamic with smaller clients, a full team of experts and clients around the world.

SBA: At what point did you look at your business and consider it a success?

AG: I don’t think you can ever really look back and think there isn’t more to do. I think one of the
things that defines entrepreneurs is that we are always looking ahead and ensuring our
organizations evolve. If you stand still, someone is going to run over you.

SBA: How do you deal with fear and doubt as an entrepreneur?

AG: Good question! To be honest, even after 23 years, I have my days and weeks where fear and doubt can dominate my thoughts. I try to practice gratitude – be grateful for what I have including a supportive family and my health.

SBA: What advice would you offer to someone just starting their own business?

AG: Understand that it isn’t easy and that you will likely have to work harder and smarter. You will need to learn, unlearn and fail. But if you have ideas, energy and are willing to put yourself out there, I can’t imagine anything better.

Professional image of Andrea smiling, long blond hair, in black shirt with text that reads "The Strategist"

SBA: What would you change about your business journey if you could go back in time?

AG: I think I would have dreamed bigger and had more confidence in myself. Our clients love us and love our work but I still need to prove myself all the time. Some of that is my own limitations but to be honest, being a woman has created limitations too.

SBA: Andrea, thank you so much for offering insights into your success as a business owner. Last question! What would you say to someone considering becoming a Stittsville Business Association member?

AG: I would say, come join a great community of business owners who work together to help everyone succeed. But please remember that we are volunteer run and the more you put into it (volunteering, attending events, etc.) the better your experience will be.

For over 20 years, Andrea Greenhous has helped organizations improve the employee experience and build workplaces where people thrive. As founder and president of Vision2Voice, an internal communications agency, me and my dedicated team transform how organizations communicate with a strategic approach that achieves results. Learn more about Andrea on her LinkedIn profile or check out the Vision2Voice website.

*If you are a Stittsville Business Association member and would like to be interviewed for in our blog, please contact our Vice President, Abbie Sizer McIntosh for an opportunity to be featured.

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