Tiffany Roman of Small Biz Highlight on creating a platform to help small businesses thrive
Describe your business in a few words?
Small Biz Highlight is a web show, created to help introduce the people behind a small/local business, their products and services, and discuss how COVID affected them.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Back in April 2020, COVID shutdowns were in full effect forcing countless small/local businesses to shut down and a lot of them, ultimately, for good. This just refused to sit well with me. I found myself unable to shake the feeling that I needed to do something to help them. One thing I knew, for sure, was I couldn’t afford to buy something from them all so I decided to go with the next best thing – exposure through a free LIVE video interview.
And so, on April 20, 2020, Small Biz Highlight streamed its first live video on Facebook.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I am a 17 year Army Veteran with experiences in multiple admin support positions. I’ve also worked with some amazing companies in the world of network marketing and have even started up my own business in honor of my grandmother’s recipes. Beyond that, my life revolved around being the best mother I could be for my two boys.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Oh absolutely. After I found out I was pregnant with my first son, I knew I never wanted to go back to work for someone else again, so I started on the journey of finding the right business for me that would turn into the reason I could become a stay-at-home mom and still be able to provide for my family.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Going into this, I recognized that word of mouth was key to any small business succeeding, so it would be no different for the show. I started reaching out to my friends with businesses to invite them to be guests and, in return for the interview, I just asked that they invite their friends to like and follow the business page. It helped grow our reach fairly quickly. In addition to that, advertising on Facebook groups was also a tremendous help in spreading the word and filling up my calendar.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
One mistake I made was thinking I had to do it all by myself – completely untrue. Thanks to the support from my family, my organizational skills and some genius apps, I was able to automate a lot of the business to alleviate some of the workload.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Coming soon, my web show will debut as a digital TV show! My goal has always been to help small businesses gain as much exposure as possible and between the webshow and the digital TV show, the opportunities are endless. Streaming on the iSHEtv Network, Small Biz Highlight will reach 213 countries with an overall viewership of 10-30 Million. It will be available to view through the SimulTV app (available on Apple and Android devices), AppleTV, AmazonFireTV, RokuTV, and so much more! This accomplishment is such a blessing – not just for me, but for the businesses I have the honor of featuring.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
My business actually started during the pandemic. There were so many businesses forced to shut down and many were suddenly trying to find ways to get the word out that they were still there for their customers. Thanks to their trust, Small Biz Highlight quickly became a safe space for them to use for that purpose and so much more.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
With our digital TV show debuting soon, the sky’s the limit! Cannot wait to see what the future holds for both the business and for the businesses featured on the show.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
That I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. Any limitations I thought I had were put there by me and me alone. It has been such a blessing being able to work through that with the support of my family.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
My boys have been a huge part of keeping me grounded. I was forced to resign from my job when childcare options were nonexistent, thanks to COVID, and my job was unwilling to allow me to continue working from home. With the shutdown, homeschooling the boys, trying to work through my eldest’s struggles with ADHD, and working this business…it has been anything but easy, but they made it all worth it. No matter how busy I got, any time either of them asked for cuddles, I immediately dropped everything and cuddled. They are my reason for everything I do in life.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
If I am being honest, I don’t believe that a work/life balance exists. Especially when you are trying to balance so many different hats, like I know so many mommas do. What I do believe in is moments of reprieve being important to your daily schedule; allowing ourselves to clear our minds and find those moments to just take a breath. Taking those moments to re-group and recharge are what helps maintain that overall balance we hope for.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
Although I have made a business going live on multiple social media platforms and now will be hosting my very own digital TV show, originally the idea of going live terrified me. I would literally do lamaze breathing before pressing the button to calm me down. The anxiety was very overwhelming and, although I have come a long way, I still struggle, from time to time, with postpartum depression. I went from not having any desire to do anything with my life or to be around people to hosting my own webshow and dedicating myself to others. I am not perfect and certainly am still fighting through it on a daily basis but, for any one else who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I just hope my story shows them it does get better.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Lists! You are going to have a million and one things to do. Make a list and prioritize them, but also learn to be ok with not being able to get everything on your list.
- Accept failure: just because you don’t get through your list for the day, or a potential client says no, it does not limit your ability to continue to grow.
- Enjoy the small moments: take the time to eat lunch, listen to music or a quick nap to recharge. Those little moments help rejuvenate you.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
For me, it means being part of a community of strong, independent, successful women ready to support each other in all things business related and beyond.