Below you will see a case study of a Servicecoach.biz reader. This is not a testimonial, just another inspiring story from one entrepreneur to another. Thanks again Alison for the great story.
Service Coach: How did you get into the painting business?
I was a single mom and started dating a painter, before long I was painting with him while I was going to University. He died in 1999, I hadn’t finished my degree and I thought I would try running a company for a year until I found out what I really wanted to do. While running the business I ended up going back to school to finish my degree and I also took a certificate to teach English. I took 6 months off and went to Italy to teach and then returned to Canada and continued with my company. Here I am in my 13th year…
Service Coach: What challenges did you face along the way?
Oh My goodness LOTS… At that time there was not much support for women in the trades so I was met with a lot of opposition but I also met some incredibly supportive people who cheered me on. It was tough being a single mom and trying to find my way. I didn’t know anything about running a business and while I knew how to put paint on a wall I knew very little about paint. Staff was tough (and still can be a challenge) I was not always the best boss but I think I might be starting to get a decent handle on it!!
Service Coach: What did you and your company do to overcome those challenges?
I asked a lot of questions, I went through a lot of trial and error. I was fortunate that the economy was good so that my mistakes were lost in the craziness. I hired a terrific office manager, I learned how to delegate, I learned that my way is not the only way and I have constantly refined what I am doing and always searching for a better way. I try to treat my staff in such a way that they know they matter, that while this is a job I understand that life sometimes takes precedence.
Service Coach: What was the result that you achieved after you overcame these challenges?
My company has a really good reputation, I have had a good income for quite a while (some years obviously better than others) I got to choose how I spent my life. I got to bring integrity to a business that is often lacking and I get to take care of my customers and staff in a way that I am proud of. I got to go to every one of my son’s basketball games, travel and buy property.
Service Coach: Any tips for aspiring Entrepreneurs looking to build a business and take their one man/woman shop and turn it into a business?
Ask A LOT of questions and when you think you have the answers, tweak and tweak some more. Bring your own sense of morality to what you do and stick with that. If you do what all the others are doing you will get what they get… be better, be bolder, be brave.
Alison Donagheywww.sonshinegirlspainting.com British Columbia, Canada
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