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CEO of Turn Up Cleans House

Online EDM retailer fires staff. Business improves.

Fresh Meadows, NY, March 16, 2014 --( Each fledgling business encounters some rough patches in the initial stages of development. Often, hard choices have to be made. Andrew Laine, CEO and founder of Turn Up, shares some recent insights during an interview on his having to "clean house."

Cleaning House
When asked what has been the most difficult challenge for him, Andrew replied "finding employees who do not require excessive micro-managing to succeed in their roles. Individuals with a proactive personality and go-getter attitude will succeed because they tend to be the most willing to take risks and learn new skills necessary to excel at a dynamic job."

Andrew learned during his entrepreneurship program at Hofstra University that small businesses are only as strong as their weakest link. If an individual is willing to only invest the minimal effort required for each task, the business suffers. Worse, other employees must scramble to make up for lost ground.

While Andrew's initial hires were beyond talented and knowledgeable, they lacked the inner drive to be "in it to win it." Andrew found his business backtracking as he had to double- or triple-check his employees' work.

Heeding his father's advice that "sometimes the easy way is the hard way," Andrew bid farewell to most of his employees, and started clocking eighteen hour workdays on average. Since doing so, many issues have been worked out. Largely as a result, business has improved.

When asked how his business has improved, the Turn Up CEO replied, "Initially, product photos frequently had to be retaken as many as three times. Now, on average...the photos [are] right on the first take. Also, traffic has increased on Turn Up’s lifestyle blog, and contest entries for [the] Miami trip giveaway are growing fast! Not only did [Turn Up] take in a couple of online sales, but [the company] also had several djs submit mixes for [its] New Music Monday program.

When asked what lessons learned from having to clean house, Andrew paused. The CEO shared, "[It] is always a good idea to avoid rushing things [ the] recruitment process, [and to instead take the]...time to produce great results. [The] extra time and energy expended more than pays for itself by helping [to insure against] costly mistakes later."

Future Resources
Going forwards, Mr. Laine's family and close friends have been much-needed lifelines during the process of starting up Turn Up. The young CEO will continue to draw upon their insights (some relatives have started successful businesses themselves). When asked if he had a mentor his reply was that he is currently his own mentor, but is actively expanding his network. Recently, Andrew accepted an invitation to join TBF, an "invite-only social network for entrepreneurs, where [he] will strive to meet like-minded individuals or mentors."

The CEO's education and experiences have provided him with the requisite foundation to run Turn Up. During Andrew's stint in Hofstra University's entrepreneurship program, he took extra initiative to acquire skills he felt would be necessary to run a business like Turn Up. The entrepreneurship program "gave [Andrew] the latitude to intensively familiarize [himself] with business-specific skills. [For example], a majority of his knowledge is [Andrew]...invested over $1,500 in educational readings and materials...Though...not finished with all [the] self-assigned readings, the time and energy invested have already more for paid themselves by providing the foundation for [his] current knowledge base."

Finally, Andrew will continue to rely on his own hard work and sweat. His personal inner fire comes wanting to quiet skeptics' doubts about his business model and capabilities. His own inner energy is best summed up by the mantra, "fall down seven times, stand up eight times."

Advice for Fellow Small Business Owners
To conclude the interview, Andrew cautions aspiring entrepreneurs: "Be prepared to work harder than peers with nine-to-five office jobs..., [because] the success of the business falls largely on your shoulders. You must be resourceful, adaptive, tenacious, and just plain stubborn. Take at least three months before launching a business idea to extensively research whether you can fully commit and deal with likely complications or complexities. You must also mentally brace yourself for initial failures, and accept that, as business owner, you are in it for the 'long haul'. Jot down a personal mantra and tuck it away somewhere to look at when the going gets particularly rough. Finally, be receptive to Men-in-Black 3 'pie moments,' where answers come during strange times or in strange places. If you can't think of a solid fix at that very moment, the answer may come to you during a morning shower."

Looking Ahead
The young CEO of Turn Up vows to avoid rushing future hiring efforts. While soliciting recruits, he will dedicate more energy and resources to evaluating each potential hire. In addition, Andrew will heavily weigh recent references and referrals, especially those highlighting work ethic and willingness to seek creative solutions.

Andrew Laine:
Hel Ya:
(347) 666-6925
Contact Information
Turn Up
Helen Yang

Pen Name: Hel Ya

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