The reading level for this article is Novice
Were you the founder of the company?
What is the legal structure of your company?
California Corporation – Sub Chapter S
How many employees does your business employ?
Me, 2 planners/assistants, 2 chefs, plus freelance: managers, servers, production people, lighting people, etc.
How was the business model of the company developed?
I did a SWAT analysis.
Was your company financed by venture capital, private investment, loans, or personal funds?
Loans and personal funds.
Do you feel your company has a distinct corporate culture? If so, would you describe it?
Yes, the culture is casual but efficient, focused, challenging and creatively inspiring.
Describe some of the obstacles you have encountered along the course of building your company? How were these overcome?
Finding dependable, talented people who share my vision is one obstacle. I try and overcome it by not “falling in love” with people too quickly. Also, I don’t use those people in the future if the match isn’t there.
A huge obstacle/challenge is cash flow. It’s a constant battle, but I do my best to set goals, focus on and evaluate the profit & loss statement regularly, and adjust my strategy accordingly.
How important do you feel the proper advisors are in ensuring an young entrepreneurs success?
Having advisors is not essential, but extremely important and helpful. Advisors can definitely give you an advantage over the competition if you maintain the relationships with them.
Have there been any organizations that have helped your business grow? If so, what are they?
Yes: YEO (Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization), the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, ISES (International Special Events Society)
What have been the keys in bringing your company to the level it is at today?
Tenacity, focus, goal setting, comparing goals to performance, networking, getting up in the morning.
How have you kept your edge over competitors fresh?
Yes, by staying ahead of the trends and networking with peers, vendors and potential clients.
What are the marketing methods you have used with the most success?
Bulk mail postcards that we design.
What books and resources would you recommend for young entrepreneurs?
Emyth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
How important do you consider networking and building contacts to be for an entrepreneur’s success?
Networking and building contacts are absolutely crucial. So much of success, entrepreneurial or not, depends on who you know and how easily you can access your network when the need arises. You cannot wait until you need something to build your network, yet until you need something, your network
seems relatively unimportant. I guess it’s just about discipline.
If you could pin it down to just one thing, what is the one most important thing you have learned about business?
It’s not as easy as it looks.
Any final advice for young entrepreneurs or businesspersons just getting started?
Make sure you are so passionate and excited about your career that you are jumping out of your skin. That passion is the only thing that will get you through the inevitable valleys in your journey. Finally, remember that cash flow is king!