Top of the List President Beverly Mapes wears many hats on the job, and recently added one more — featured guest on WGVU’s Morning Show. Interviewed by host Shelley Irwin for a segment entitled Business Happens in Heels, Mapes shared her journey from employee to entrepreneur and spoke to the challenges and rewards of owning, operating and leading a business.
The Challenge “Search engine marketing is quite a diverse field and growing all the time,” Mapes said. Building a team of quick studies with wide-ranging skills is among the biggest challenges she faces as an entrepreneur. In the current era, specialization is more the norm, with most people becoming “experts” in a single area. But small businesses like Top of the List have smaller budgets and staff, meaning that each member of the SEO team needs to have a wide-ranging skill set. “We’re actually hiring for a database-oriented position,” Mapes mentioned. “It’s very difficult to find people who can wear so many hats, but we know the right person is out there.”
The Thrill Despite the challenges of running a business, Mapes wouldn’t have things any other way. “Passion is what I bring to the table,” she said. “Without that, I don’t think you can keep going in this industry.” She described the thrill of seeing her clients — often other small businesses — rise to the top of the list in search results, and being able to serve a critical need. “Website developers say they do what we do, but they don’t have the capacity,” Mapes explained. “Many of our referrals actually come from developers.”
On Women and Business Mapes emphasized that her success as an entrepreneur would not have been possible without the support of mentors and other businesswomen. “The support that I’ve received from them is amazing and has really helped with the business,” she noted. As former Vice President for the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs and a member of Local First, the Chamber of Commerce, Software Grand Rapids, and other technical groups, Mapes has been both a mentor and mentee. “Networking with others and nurturing talent in others is critical to our success,” she said.
To the Top And what makes Top of the List stand apart from its competition? “There are two things,” Mapes said. “First, passion for what you do. Then, when you start doing it and it starts working, look at things from the customer’s angle.” Mapes noted that Top of the List “goes really deeply into measuring results” for its clients. “It is then very easy for our clients to see and understand what we are doing for them, see the ROI they are getting and realize the value of our work.”
About the Author
Nicole has been working in online marketing since 2007 when she joined Top Of The List. She loves creative endeavors and spending time with her daughter.