Knowing How to Grow

It was a packed room on the evening of Thursday, July 17 at MIGHTYminnow in Oakland for Working Solutions & the Alliance for Community Development's Know How to Grow networking event and panel discussion.

In case you missed it, here are a few of the most memorable comments from panelists Carrie Shores of Larson Shores Architects, Nona Lim of Nona Lim Real:Simple:Delicious, Kristin Long of MIGHTYminnow, and Bilen Mesfin of Change Consulting, LLC.

What strategies for growing your business worked the best for you?

Carrie: “Multiple revenue streams worked the best. Our company was dependent on service fees only. We became resellers for cabinet lines that fit our design sense. We now also resell flooring and window treatments.”

Nona: “We had to commit to quality in the product and how we ran the company.”

Kristin: “Focusing on my ideal client and letting go of the prospects that don’t feel right from the beginning.”

Bilen: “I started to think about myself as a business owner not the technical public relations expert.”

What are your number one suggestions to successfully grow a business?

Kristin: “Figure out what you are not good at and hire someone to do it – especially bookkeeping.”

Carrie: “Take decision more slowly and get input. Don’t rush so much on gut feel.”

Nona: “Decide to do the business right based on data. Rebrand if necessary.”

What is different in managing the business at $80,000 to $100,000 or $250,000 compared to being at $500,000 or $1,000,000?

Carrie, Kristin and Nona: “At the higher levels of revenue the management of people becomes the biggest issue. Remember the rule of thumb: Hire slow and fire fast.”

What was most surprising during the loan process and doing financial projections?

Carrie Shores: “Projections were like educated guesses. We reached the financial goals but the cash flow came from other sources than what was originally projected.”

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