The Three Best Business Decisions I’ve Made in 14 Years of Entrepreneurship
To celebrate International Women’s Month and our upcoming 14th anniversary, we’ve asked our CEO, Kim Gans, to pen some business tips and advice for eager female entrepreneurs looking to begin their entrepreneurship journey.
As we lead up to celebrating our 14 year business birthday, during International Women’s Month, I’m reflecting on how we got here and how I envision our future growth. I don’t often pause to think about what it means to be a woman in business, or about how much harder I’ve had to work to earn my place, or about what that means for me and my mostly female employees who look to me for guidance and direction at every step.
I’ve had the good fortune to be supported by good mentors that have helped me overcome many of these barriers, and because of this, I have a strong desire to give back to support other business leaders.
I feel an immense honour to be the head and CEO of Sweet Flour. Being an entrepreneur means making some fiercely hard decisions, and after being tasked to share some business tips, I wanted to reflect on some decisions I’ve made that took the emotion out of the process and put the business, our team and our customers at the forefront.
Here are three business decisions I've made and would make again a million times over.
Investing in your team
Most entrepreneurs understand early on that your team is your greatest asset. Finding great employees can also be a time consuming task. We learned early on that the most important task is getting strong, passionate employees, and the second most important task is retaining them. We have developed some core strategies to help engage our team and ensure they feel a part of the process – from helping with new product development to innovative ways to share wins and successes. We’ve written more about our retention processes here.
Closing down our storefront
One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is making hard business decisions that take the emotion or personal desires out of the process. After six years of maintaining a storefront, we recognized that most of our profits were coming from online and bulk order sales. In order to achieve that next level of growth in those areas, it made sense to close the storefront so we could reinvest rent fees into a commercial kitchen and focus on increasing inventory at scale. In October 2015, we closed our store, and it was still one of the better business decisions we’ve made. You can read more about our strategy and decision here.
Taking an innovative approach to securing funding
Securing funding was perhaps one of the most strategic decisions I’ve had to make. How you manage cash flow and ensure you’re one step ahead of your business revenue goals means having backup systems in place should you need to secure funding either for an emergency or a proactive and timely business idea. I encourage all entrepreneurs to have a few strategies in place for securing capital quickly and have written some crucial tips to help you succeed.