Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in engraving but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steve Mount, Founder of Red Dot Laser Engraving, located in Thornburg, VA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Red Dot Laser Engraving is an online-only custom engraving shop that specializes in laser engraving a select and limited assortment of gifts, including our popular engraved wallet cards. As a veteran-owned and operated business, our company takes pride in offering quality products and services to customers. Our customers are those who are looking for unique, personalized gifts for themselves or their loved ones. We also serve individuals, businesses, and organizations looking for promotional items or gifts for employees or clients.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Steve, and I am a USAF Disabled Veteran. I am the creator, owner, and operator of Red Dot Laser Engraving. I started this business in 2014 as a way to combine my passion for laser engraving with my desire to support my family. And, of course, being my own boss is a huge plus as well! What first got me started working on this business was my love for creating unique, custom gifts for my friends and family. I quickly realized that I could turn this passion into a business and offer my services to others who were looking for personalized gifts. What motivates me each day to do what I do is the joy that I see on my customers' faces when they receive their custom-engraved gifts. Knowing that I have created something special that will be cherished for years to come is extremely fulfilling. Additionally, being able to support my family through a business that I love is incredibly rewarding.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, I have had many accomplishments, but I would say that my biggest accomplishment is building a successful business that has a loyal customer base. It brings me great pride and joy to see repeat customers and to know that my business is helping people celebrate special moments in their lives with personalized gifts. In addition, I am proud of the fact that my business has allowed me to support my family while doing something that I truly enjoy. Being able to turn my passion into a successful business has been incredibly fulfilling, and I look forward to continuing to grow and expand Red Dot Laser Engraving in the future.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the constant need to make difficult decisions. As a business owner, you are responsible for making choices that will affect your company's success and the livelihood of your employees. These decisions can range from financial decisions, such as setting prices and managing cash flow, to operational decisions, such as hiring and firing employees, and strategic decisions, such as expanding the business or entering new markets. Making these decisions can be challenging because there is often no clear answer, and the consequences of each choice can be significant. Additionally, as a business owner, you have to be able to take calculated risks and be comfortable with uncertainty, which can also be difficult at times.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Great question! Here are my top three tips for anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today:

  1. Be Passionate: Choose a business that you are passionate about and that aligns with your skills and interests. Starting and running a business takes a lot of time and effort, so it's important to choose something that you truly enjoy and can see yourself doing long-term.
  2. Focus on Your Customers: Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it's essential to focus on their needs and wants. Take the time to understand your customers and their preferences, and use this information to develop products and services that meet their needs.
  3. Be Willing to Adapt: The business landscape is constantly changing, and it's essential to be willing to adapt to these changes. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and be open to new ideas and approaches. Being flexible and adaptable will help you stay ahead of the competition and position your business for long-term success.
  4. Bonus Tip: Don't be Afraid to Fail. Failure is an inevitable part of starting and running a business. It's important to remember that failure is not the end but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things, even if they don't work out. The most successful business owners are those who learn from their mistakes and use them to improve their businesses.

As an example, Red Dot Laser Engraving was not my first attempt at starting a business. Over the years, I have tried several different business ideas, some of which were successful, while most others were not. While these failures were difficult at the time, I was able to learn from them and apply those lessons to my current business. Without these experiences, I would not have been able to build a successful business like Red Dot Laser Engraving.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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