‘MegaMinders’ put new strategies in play

Growing her business no longer scares Erin Anderson.

Anderson, chief operations officer and chief financial officer of Trinity Applied Internet, a Reno web design and development firm founded in 2005, recently completed the inaugural MegaMind business mentoring program hosted by the Reno-Tahoe chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization.

The MegaMind program paired five local small business owners with several more successful and well-established counterparts from EO for in-depth business mentoring and guidance to help them overcome the myriad challenges faced by small but growing companies. MegaMind participants met once a month for four hours from September through March to discuss operational strategies, ways to increase sales and how to handle the demands of a growing firm.

Anderson, 39, says one of the main benefits of the MegaMind program was the ability to tap others’ experience in areas that are currently challenging Trinity Applied Internet’s executive team.

“We actually worked with an executive coach who came in and helped make sure the three partners were on same page going forward,” Anderson says. “Anytime you experience a period of growth, you have to take a look back at your core foundation and the core direction of the company and make sure you are still in alignment. That came as a direct result of one of those education sessions.”

Anderson says she also has a much clearer idea now how to manage a sustainable growth path for Trinity Applied Internet — which has reduced her stress about the future of the firm.

“I am less afraid of the impact growth will have on us because I know how to plan for it and what I need to do to support it,” Anderson says. “I am a lot less anxious than before I went through the program; I feel more confident now.”

KC Mares of MegaWatt Consulting says he employs the lessons learned from his MegaMind mentors on a daily basis. One of the main things he took from the program is the ability to better market himself and his business in a saturated market.

“MegaMind gave me not only the support of a group of other entrepreneurs starting their businesses who I could bounce ideas off, but it also provided me with the motivation and ideas to help me grow my business,” Mares says.

“Many of the ideas were anecdotal from other business leaders talking about the things they have learned an applied in similar situations. Another was direct, real-world advice to specific business situations and the ability to focus on growing my business rather than just working at it.”

Mares continues to employ many newfound strategies at MegaWatt Consulting to help the company grow.

“I am grateful to Reno-Tahoe chapter EO and the very fine leaders of the program for all that they gave to myself and fellow MegaMiners,” he says. “The training in this program has been immensely valuable.”

Last September was the “guinea pig” launch for the MegaMind mentoring program, says Reno-Tahoe EO Chapter President Steve Conine, who is also president of AccuStaff and Talent Framework of Reno. However, Conine says it’s unclear at this point whether the program will continue this coming September.

Reno-Tahoe Entrepreneurs Organization seeks partners or sponsorships to provide funding and support for a second round of the MegaMind program this fall.

“If you are interested in partnering with us, we would love to hear from you, Conine says. “This is a 100-percent volunteer program; EO not compensated for its time or the venues we donated. The program turned out spectacular — I don’t think we could have asked for better tangible results from our participants. All contestants across the board turned in improved revenues and margins by most measures.”

Other participants of the MegaMind program included:

• Sarah Toney of Hi Point Coffee

• Layne Linebaugh of Alpine Wellness Center

• Nate Pearson of Trainer Road

Pearson in February nabbed the technology startup of the year award at the 2013 Nevada’s Center For Entrepreneurship Technology Awards. Pearson’s firm provides a cycling training software system for riders using stationary bikes for training rides.


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