Central Ohio business owner offers advice on starting a business.

By Cody Warren


The call to start a business can be a powerful one-but there's plenty to be scared of. Luckily, being a business owner in central Ohio has many benefits, including the kindness of neighbors, a burgeoning startup scene, a multitude of local small-business focused events and the family-oriented nature of the city. Building brand partnerships and working with other local businesses has led to the discovery that Columbus is a city full of talented entrepreneurs who care about building lasting, solid relationships with the other businesses in their community.

Here are some pieces of advice either received from mentors or learned the hard way-and some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Don't build it if you can't scale it. There's no point in building a business if you know it won't scale once you grow any larger. Make sure the foundation is solid so that you can expand operations once you become a success.

Invest in people. Treat employees like equal parts of the team- they are the ones helping an entrepreneur bring an initial vision to life every day.

Invest three years in marketing. For those first three years, investing in marketing may feel like a scary thing as you might not receive instant ROI. This is an important period where the word is being spread, you're building your brand and working out the kinks.

Engage your local community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, attend startup nights and networking events. You can and should invest in paid marketing, but grassroots marketing and building relationships is a priceless asset.

Be ready to lose the work-life balance. There are long nights of working and sleepless nights of worrying. But if you love what you do, then you'll be too busy having the time of your life to notice.

Cody Warren is the founder and CEO of Two Men & A Vacuum, a top residential and commercial eco-friendly cleaning company based in central Ohio and Cleveland. He graduated from Bowling Green University and then moved to central Ohio and worked for the Go Big Network before starting his business.