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Your Date Your Way

33228 W 12 Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Tatiana Grant

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
The Kaufman Foundation's FastTrac, many SBA seminars, Bizdom U, Michigan State University Master's in Public Relations.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
The Franklin Athletic Club. I worked as a weekend manager throughout high school and college. Upon graduating from undergrad, I pitched the GM and picked them up in 2006.

Where did you find your first employee?
She found me on the Internet and we did a lunch interview. She has great experience and has been the perfect addition.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Your Date Your Way is a self-funded entity.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Local leaders need to create opportunities that allow entrepreneur to flourish in Michigan. Whether it's support of business concepts, promoting creative space to allow for innovative ideas, or mentoring. Furthermore, leaders need to encourage community building and the sociability factor. Our generation enjoys working together, networking improving our community. The more engaged our people are with Michigan and Detroit, the more loyal they will become, and the more creative and committed they will be at rebuilding the Detroit legacy.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
I would change the public's perception of Detroit. In addition to the struggles of the automotive industry, I believe our perception has hindered our ability to attract large (national) corporations to have their headquarters here, as well as conventions and
national/international events. This has a large trickle-down impact on many businesses in the area. Once we diversify our economy, I think we'll see great success across the board.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?
Make sure that you're really great at the product/service you provide. Speak the difference/benefits of your company in all that you do; made your brand pitch is short and easy to say and understand. Furthermore, network your tail off. Put yourself out there. Last, really have your business development game plan to generate business inside and outside of the state. Put together a system that allows for great follow up and relationship building with clients.

Bankole Thompson
The Michigan Chronicle

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