An Interview with Marc Paetzold, aka Myself

Tuesdays at the Micro Business Kid are usually reserved for interviews with other micro business owners. I didn’t have one set up for this week so I decided to interview myself so you weren’t disappointed. It’s a bit awkward to interview yourself, but its a great way to reflect and think. Try it out sometime!

  • What’s the name of your micro business and where is it located?

Officially, we’re known as Suncoast Classic Bikes, LLC for tax purposes. I use that entity for Habermann & Sons Classic Motorcycle Clothiers and the Micro Business Kid. I’m currently located in St. Petersburg, FL but I’m hoping to be able to run both businesses along with consulting micro businesses from Europe within the next 2-3 years.

  • How long have you been in business?

Since July 4th, 2008

  • What does your micro business do?

Habermann & Sons started life as a vintage motorcycle shop that repaired, restored, and serviced vintage motorcycles from the 60s to the 80s in a storefront on St. Pete Beach in Florida. We were also distributors for Metro Racing and Parts Unlimited. The Recession hit so we were forced to move back into our 2-car garage. Best decision ever. The garage is our workshop and our family room has been our office ever since. We now are more of an online business. We offer Metro Racing apparel on our website as well as eBay and we are in the early stages of getting our own clothing line going. We’re getting ready to launch a new service soon but I can’t really get into that here.

The Micro Business Kid is a blog that offers a blueprint, support, and resources so anyone, anywhere can start and grow a successful micro business in their spare time. It shares my business experiences, thoughts, views, and ideas so others can learn from them and integrate them into their businesses.

  • Why did you decide to start your micro business?

My dad decided to start the business because it was a life-long dream of his. He reached a certain milestone at the job he worked at and wanted to go part-time to build the business in his new-found spare time. They said continue to work full-time or quit. So he quit.

Growing up, I always was interested in business and knew that I wanted to have my own someday. The freedom, control of my life, and other stuff that supposedly comes with it was very appealing. I was in college studying Economics at the time but burned out and dropped out to help my dad with his venture and pursue my life-long dream of playing professional soccer. We’ve spent more time together since the start of the business than the previous 18 years of my life because he always worked crazy hours. This is definitely something you can’t put a price on.

I decided to start the Micro Business Kid because I found myself helping other businesses that we met on Tumblr with their businesses. They told me that I really helped them so I guess I did something right. I’m passionate about business and even more passionate about helping people with theirs.

  • Who else is a part of your team? What are their roles?

My dad is basically my clone except he’s a lot more creative. He has more of an old-school approach and I’m more new-school. Combine us, and we’re pretty awesome. My mom is the one who keeps us in check with all of our ideas and makes sure the bills are paid on time. One of the most important jobs if you ask me. We’ve worked with countless designers, coders, photographers, and other freelancers that have helped us out tremendously. I’d say the team at Metro Racing is a part of our team as well. They’re also a family business and we know them all on a first-name basis. We have incredible professional and business connections around the world who I couldn’t thank enough. I’d include all of our followers on our social networks as a part of our team as well. They help create our products, give us feedback, and are a wonderful support system. Without them, we literally wouldn’t exist anymore so I can’t thank them all enough.

  • What are some memorable moments that you’ve had in your micro business?

Seems like there are always memorable moments going on. I’ll always remember our first day and our first sales in the storefront, on eBay, and on our website. Meeting all the great people on our social networks is also always memorable. You never know who you’ll meet and who or what they know.

  • What are some moments that you’d rather forget?

The couple of times we’ve gotten scammed and that one time we got a death threat. It’s not fun, but sometimes it’s an unfortunate part of business. As long as you learn, you’re better off in the long run.

  • What’s something that you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out?

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. It takes time to create trust with your customers. I also wish we would have gotten started creating connections on social networks A LOT sooner. I also wish I would have known that you don’t necessarily need to have a physical storefront to have a successful business. Knowing that everything is negotiable would have also been nice to know. It’s all about perception as well.

  • If you could give advice to those just starting out, it would be:

No one cares as much about your success as you do.

  • What do you think is a key trait that you possess that has led you to have a successful micro business? Why is it important?

My positive outlook on things. There were many instances when we could have or should have quit. Moments when there was hardly any hope and we were really discouraged to the point of depression. Somehow, I’ve been able to get through those times, learn from them, and become a better person and entrepreneur because of them. If you quit or give up, you give yourself no chance to ever succeed.

  • What do you think is most important to have while first starting a micro business; a business degree, connections, determination, etc.? Why?

Having an idea that will either help, improve, add value, or benefit someone and making sure that person is willing to pay for it is what you first need. If it doesn’t do these things, no one will want them and you won’t be compensated for them. That’s the perfect example of what kind of business model you don’t want to have!

  • Looking forward to the next 6 months or so, what new ideas or goals do you have for your micro business?

We want to move away from eBay as much as possible. All of hoops we have to jump through just isn’t worth it anymore. Getting our new service going is something that I’m really excited about. We’re working on creating new products and new collaborations as well. Some that are more “traditional” than others.

With the Micro Business Kid, I’d love to have some guides available for sale and grow my client base and the businesses of my clients. As they grow, I grow.

  • What are some “myths” of starting a business that you’ve found to be absolutely false?

You need a business degree to be successful, that “experts” are always correct and that they are absolutely necessary for success.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share or address? If so, what?

Reading is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to grow as an entrepreneur. If you are faced with some issue and don’t know the answer, Google it. If you don’t know how to do something, copy what your successful competitor is doing. Use technology to your advantage. You won’t become successful overnight; you become successful by doing something each day to advance your business. In other words, just be proactive!

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