Entrepreneur keeps up success

Entrepreneur keeps up success

Managing growth key to continued development

BY JEFF MCKINNEY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Sunday, August 26, 2007

Carla Eng has some advice for budding women entrepreneurs: Have a solid business plan, fight adversity and don’t give up.

As
owner and president of Abstract Displays Inc., Eng has used that
strategy to help her Blue Ash-based trade-show exhibit company
experience explosive growth. And that’s after she overcame cancer six
years ago.

The company’s revenues rose to $2.4 million last year,
up from $500,000 in 2001, its first full year of operation after it
started in 2000. Eng’s husband, Mike, has helped run the business since
2001.

Abstract Displays continues to be honored locally and
nationally for its growth. The company will be recognized in the Aug.
27 issue of Inc. Magazine on its 2007 "Inc. 5000," an inaugural listing
of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. In October, Abstract
Displays will be honored as one of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of
Commerce’s 2007 "Emerging 30," which recognizes the region’s
fastest-growing companies.

HOW HAS YOUR company been able to
grow so fast when that’s a challenge for most small businesses in their
first few years after starting up?

We’ve been able to grow
rapidly by managing our growth. Some small businesses have a tendency
to let their growth manage them instead of them managing their growth,
often causing them to overextend themselves.

WHAT DO YOU see as the biggest challenges for the company to sustain that growth?

Among
the biggest challenges is continuing to find quality employees. Another
challenge is being able to stay on the cutting edge of technology,
including being able to quickly offer Internet-related services to our
clients. The last challenge is being able to manage the growth so that
the company does not grow out of control.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD you give to other women trying to launch a business?

Never
lose sight of the prize fights, keep a sense of humor and rely on your
family, friends and faith to help you get started. Women entrepreneurs
also should draw on their inner strength to overcome some initial
challenges and adversity. Once you secure capital, continue to plan
your growth and stick to your business plan no matter what.

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