What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each, if possible.)
1) You have be able to self-fund your growth. Determine what profit margin earns you enough money to advance the cause, and keep the organization lean for as long as you can. We worked hard, for very little, knowing that if we kept reinvesting our profit into the company we had a straight line to the path we’re on now.
2) Don’t delegate too much early on. While the company is in it’s make-or-break early years the entrepreneur has to keep their hands on any and all controls that steer the ship.
3) It doesn’t have to be you against the world. Experienced individuals are willing to give you advice if you ask for it. If we had just brought in someone who had experience at a beer brewery, we could have become a lot more efficient sooner, with some very simple additions to our facilities.
4) I wish someone would have told me how to prepare for and nail a sales meeting in the grocery business. I was our first salesperson and was gung ho about growing our business, but looking back I didn’t know what buyers really cared about in a sales meeting. I’m lucky I had a good story to tell and an even better product.
5) No matter how small you start, dream big.
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