SCORE Client Stories – Meet Andrea Robel of Vistanet Telecommunications, Inc.


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At Asheville SCORE we are honored to work with a wide variety of clients in Western North Carolina. Our entrepreneurs are motivated and inspired. Many of them have had successful careers and companies in the past and they are looking for new ways to grow their businesses and organizations, and in some cases the chance to move in a new professional direction.

Andrea Robel, owner of Vistanet Telecommunications, was one of these clients in search of counseling and support as her work and her business evolved with the marketplace. When interviewed here is what she shared with us:

What service does your business provide?
Vistanet offers phone, internet and data solutions. We partner with all the major companies to bring you the telecommunications services you need, such as offsite storage, Office 365, Merchant Services, and system virtualization.

What prompted you to start this business? 
Having worked my entire career in helping to build out rural America for state of the art telecommunications services, I recognized a need in WNC for alternative communications services that are offered in the big cities.

How have SCORE services helped you?
SCORE has helped us with our marketing program. The direct counseling and Women’s Roundtable seminars have been very beneficial in learning better ways to improve marketing.

What would you pinpoint as being the main challenges in opening your own business and how did you manage them?
The biggest challenge is educating business owners about the telecom options available to them to help their business function more productively and efficiently. Business owners would rather stay with the status quo than change. We continue to meet with and educate business owners as to the new technology features that are available to them.

What has been your greatest success so far? 
Being able to offer a world class telecommunications product in the often overlooked mountains of WNC.

What advice would you give potential and new entrepreneurs?
Really do your homework before you start. Make sure that you are willing to commit time and capital. If you treat your business like a hobby, it is going to fail.

How would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur?
Growing up in a family-owned business, I had the opportunity to learn how to grow a successful business. Because of that training and the training I received working in the telecommunications industry as a financial lender, the journey to having my own business was just an extension of my growing up years.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, when not working?
Exploring my cultural heritage, ethnic baking and cooking, gardening and spending time with friends

Do you have any advice to offer new business owners?
Make sure that you have a business phone number in place before you print your marketing materials and web site. Privacy is important. Do not give out your personal cell number.