Member Spotlight: Ilyana Benson
Founder of NeoSol
NeoSol is a brand activation marketing agency with full service bilingual capabilities. We partner with brands for both new and existing product campaigns. We specialize in targeting the Hispanic and multicultural consumer and we’re experts in campaigns for products and services, both large and small
Ilyana Benson is a Southern California Job Creators Quest Grant recipient and a graduate of the FastPath Accelerator Program.
Can you please introduce yourself and your business and the date it was founded?
Hello, I am Ilyana Benson, the Founder and CEO of NeoSol Marketing. Our journey began in 2005, and since then, we have continuously evolved our range of services. We initially ventured into various fields until we found our niche in promotions and events. However, our evolution did not stop there. We have continued to grow and adapt, which has been a fascinating aspect of my entrepreneurial journey. This constant evolution has enabled us to maintain a successful business and stay ahead in the industry.
How has your identity as a woman latina business owner impacted your journey so far?
It has been challenging, and there was a time when I refused to believe that it was slowing me down. But once I acknowledged and accepted it, I realized I had to work with it. This is what’s happening. It became easier when I experienced a funny moment during a meeting with a client. We were presenting a proposal for the Malik clinic during the holidays. A 60-year-old gentleman confidently said, “I’m going to tell you how to do it at Malik’s, and this is how you’ll run the promotion.” Listening to him made me realize that I’m not the ultimate expert in the field, but I deserve respect for my efforts to sell this promotion. I came to present it because I have confidence in pulling it through. After that, I understood that if I don’t confront these challenges head-on and prepare myself, I won’t be able to overcome them. That’s why I was able to overcome them.
Can you share any challenges you have faced as a business owner and how you have overcome them?
I believe the biggest challenge I’ve faced is effectively conveying my point and ensuring that others understand it. Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain something that is inherently complex. I try to articulate my vision and earn their trust. Once we establish a certain level of trust, even if they don’t fully comprehend or follow my proposals, they believe in its potential success. Overcoming this initial hurdle usually takes about two years, as it requires time for them to witness tangible results. They observe improvements in sales, phone calls to customer service, and even positive feedback from customers who express their satisfaction with our product. This is how we gradually build trust. Ultimately, I believe that developing a strong and trusting relationship with our clients is crucial.
How has the Founders First accelerator program supported you in discovering new avenues for growth?
Everyone involved seems to be well-prepared, but what really stands out is the one-on-one time with the coach. During these sessions, you have the opportunity to discuss and address your specific challenges or goals, and the coaches possess impressive knowledge in their respective areas. The experience was amazing.
Can you offer any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting their business journey?
Entrepreneurship is a challenging endeavor that requires wholehearted commitment and dedication. It demands your undivided attention, leaving no room for half-hearted attempts. To embark on this journey, you must invest not only your time but also your passion. The key is to give it your all and embrace the process with joy. This has been my personal experience, and I believe the ultimate reward lies in conquering the hurdles that come your way. It’s about constantly pushing forward, persistently seeking solutions, and embodying the essence of entrepreneurship.