This week we’re live-blogging from National Small Business Week, a public-private partnership event to honor and empower America’s small business community.
We just announced this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year - Victoria Tifft, President and CEO of Clinical Research Management in Hinckley, Ohio.
Congratulations on your award. What inspired you to start your business?
I had an idea that I could provide a service where there was a need. No one else was doing it. It seems like a lot of entrepreneurs start out this way.
What’s your advice for someone who’s thinking about starting a business?
You should seek out advice from others, whether it’s your local SBA, economic development agency, or local SCORE chapter. I also just finished an executive MBA. I sought out help from a expert strategist at a local university.I talk with a lot of other local small business owners. We all have a lot of the same stories.
You’ve been successful in government contracting, what’s your advice for a business that wants to sell to the government?
I went to the local SBA office and they helped me get in touch with agencies that were contracting. Even with government contracting, contracting officers want to know who they are doing business with. They want to sit down and talk face to face with the small business owner.
About Victoria Tifft and Clinical Resource Management
Victoria learned about the devastating living conditions endured by people living in Third World nations when she contracted malaria while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Togo. After her recovery, she returned home to the U.S. determined to spend her life working to provide medical solutions for the global community. In 1992 Victoria established ClinicalRM, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) that supports development of FDA-regulated vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices for government and commercial customers.
ClinicalRM helped create – and today manages – the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Clinical Trials Center. The Center develops vaccines for infectious diseases such as malaria, and E. coli. ClinicalRM has achieved amazing growth. Employing three people in 1994, the company maintains domestic and international operations today with a staff of 331. Annual revenues have increased from $17 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010.
SBA’s resource partners, which include the Kent Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Ohio Small Business Development Center have supported ClinicalRM’s growth. Victoria and her team serve on, or volunteer in numerous state, county and community groups. ClinicalRM donates to numerous non-profits, including the United Way, Salvation Army and the Ronald McDonald House.