2012 Year In Review

As 2012 comes to a close, The Metropreneur staff has been reflecting on the stories we’ve published this year− profiles about new businesses and old ones, tips from experts and how-to guides intended to give entrepreneurs a leg up, and interviews with local movers and shakers who grew their small companies into prominent brands.

As the website’s editorial director, all those pieces have come across my desk, leaving me enlightened and inspired on a regular basis. Below, I’ve shared more than 30 of my favorites from the last 12 months.

If those stories are any indication, Central Ohio’s entrepreneurial community will become savvier and even more diversified in 2013.

Thanks to an interview with Cheryl & Co. Founder Cheryl Krueger and a look at Goumas Candyland’s 100-year legacy, 2012 got off to a sweet start. In the new year we also acquainted readers with Square, a credit card reader that makes payments a breeze.

Funny enough, my favorite February stories are about food-based businesses. (Did you catch the alliteration there?) They are Layer, O’Chocolate, and Weiland’s Gourmet Market.

I’m calling 2012 “The Year of Beer.” Why? Check out this story about four microbreweries set to come online in Columbus alone. Also, I’m predicting that Natalie Monaco, the founder of Covermade, will be the next Sara Blakely (the brains behind Spanx.) Yet another woman entrepreneur selling a unique product is LifeBio Founder Beth Sanders.

Baking is another booming business in the ‘bus. (No more alliteration after this, I promise.) But don’t take my word for it. Check out this story about three busy independent bakers. ChatterJet is another business that’s taken off since its launch in April. And now a shameless plug for a story I wrote about a topic near and dear to my heart: media relations.

At The Metropreneur, we have a soft spot for  pretty workspaces like the one occupied by Cement Marketing. We also have a fondness for businesses that help other businesses. VenueSeen is a prime example.

Capital and a lawyer are critical to businesses big and small. Therefore, our story about crowfunding platform Fundable and a contributed piece about what your lawyer should be able to do on your behalf (besides representing you in court) are worth revisiting.

The men behind B.O.S.S. Fitness Studio and Robert’s Remedies have helped hundreds of people improve their health. Meanwhile, one woman, Nancy Kramer, has become a legend in the male-dominated advertising industry.

Adrian Burns has an affinity for antiques. Jim Grote has a passion for pizza. (I don’t know what is with me and alliteration today.) Both have used those interests to fuel entrepreneurial endeavors: Burns Auction & Appraisal and Donatos, respectively. Successful businesses require more than zeal, though. Exposure is also extremely important, which brings me to Google Business Photos. They provide interactive virtual tours of brick-and-mortars across the United States.

What do the Columbus Food League, Synergi Salon, and the Women’s Small Business Accelerator have in common? They are all headed by veteran women entrepreneurs.

Some things, such as branding and logo design, are best left to professionals. After all, pros are considered pros because they know what they’re doing. So who better to dish out wisdom and advice about how to achieve your dreams. That’s right: pros. Enter Huddlewoo. Essentially, the video conversation platform helps make the world a little bit smaller. The same can be said of Forewillow, a website that helps women shop each other’s closets.

Remember that old adage, “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”? Well, it’s something Columbus Startup Weekend’s Suzy Bureau, Donnie Austin founder of House Wine, and Ryan Cox, co-founder of cannon.fm probably agree with.

Though the holiday season has passed, opportunities for gift giving (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) abound. Have a music lover in your life? Check out Spoonful Records, which has more than 10,000 records for sale. Want to transform your Instagram photos into a keepsake? Snapstagram has you covered. Finally, if you’re a business owner planning to expand in 2013, keep these helpful hiring tips in mind.