Member Spotlight on Marc Couvillion


Member Spotlight on MARC COUVILLION
Former President, Tiger Billboard Advertising
 
Interview conducted by Winnie Hart, Communications Director

Please tell us briefly about your company.
We owned and operated Tiger Billboard Advertising, a local outdoor advertising company, which we sold at the end of 2006 to Lamar Advertising.

Why did you join EO and how long have you been a member?
I felt alone in an extremely competitive business, and simply needed to discuss complex business and personal issues with a group other than my family. I've been a member for eight years.

When did you first realize you were going to be an entrepreneur? 
When I received my first dollar from selling  greenback turtles I caught when I was seven to the local pet store. Every now and then I would find a turtle with a brown and black shell, and I convinced myself and the pet store that it was rare... and sold it for twice as much!

You recently sold your company 'Tiger Billboards' - was it something you planned to do?
Green as can be, I started the company not knowing anything about a sale or exit strategy.  After a huge business lesson/mistake learned from being so "green," I realized that our company would eventually be worth something substantial. With this knowledge, we grew our company much smarter, knowing our big day would eventually come.

How much money did you have to invest to start your business?
Hardly any. I borrowed $185,000 from my father.

What are your current annual revenues and number of employees?
We have terminated all of our employees, and our office is closed.

What can you share with us about selling a company?
Even though we knew the sale was an absolute event in the future, we weren't prepared when our buyer called. Luckily, our extremely competitive relationship made the transaction happen fast (2 months). My advice is to start preparing right now. First, get your books in order, get overly organized, create your growth plan, and get aggressive even if you don't plan on selling anytime soon. Secondly, I would suggest having your retirement planned out as best you can (finances, spare time/hobbies, next line of work, etc.). Lastly, make sure your eventual buyers know your name!

What's next?
Once I can get comfortable that I can start and run a new business with less stress, I will start a new gig. I hope to act on the hundreds of ideas that pop into my ADD head each day, with goals of obtaining patents and launching new products.

Why do you think you have been successful?
I'm very passionate about my work. I'm hard working, persistent and extremely competitive.

What do you do for fun these days?
Play golf, duck hunt, fish and lots of relaxing.

Who has the biggest influence on your life?
My Grandfather was an inventor and could create anything, and my Father who gave me my work ethic and realization that hard work does pay off.

If you could spend an entire day with one person, who would it be?
Steve Jobs.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Work hard and take risks.


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