By Peg Corwin
Meet Heather Morrison, owner of MAP Strategies and Featured Business Owner at SCORE Chicago this week. Learn how she started, and what tips she has for your success.
What is your company’s elevator pitch?
MAP Strategies focuses on creating strategic compliance plans for large architectural developments in Chicago. We procure city permits and licenses, integrate code consulting at the design stage—earlier than it is usually done—and streamline the development cycle of a project.
What inspired you to start your business?
Working on many large projects, I’ve seen how city technical review can slow the process down and cause expensive delays for developers. When we integrate compliant design into the development process, we can significantly reduce technical review time, and I believe this also creates smarter designs for better-functioning built environments. That’s my passion.
Who are your clients, and give an example of how you served that person or business?
Our clients are design teams, real estate developers, and construction managers. For one recent client, a hotel chain, we developed a licensing strategy that reduced the number of required city and state licenses and also the time it took to obtain the licenses.
What is your biggest business challenge?
It’s a specialized service, so reaching the target audience and explaining how we can help them can be a challenge.
Mentor name, and how they have helped you in your business?
There have been many, but probably Tim Artman, who I met while working on the Lurie Children’s Hospital. He has reviewed hundreds of permits for the city, and he walked me through several complex permits and was instrumental in helping me pursue this specialty. Ezzy Dabbish from SCORE really helped me clarify my message and got me started finding legal, tax advice and other infrastructure.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
Find a hook; find what it is that distinguishes you from your competition.
What is your website for further info?
Our business mentors can help you, too!
Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.