In 2017, Innovation Destination Hartford met with dozens of entrepreneurs from all types of industries and all stages of growth. Here’s what 8 of them have to say they learned over the course of the year.
ASSOCIATION OF PERSONAL PHOTO ORGANIZERS (APPO)
I learned patience this year. I started 2017 with a set of goals to achieve, including rebranding, creating a personal website and completing a book, and thought those tasks would be completed by mid-June. Well, none of that happened until late December, but by waiting and holding ourselves to excellence it was worth the wait.
— Cathi Nelson, Founder
Providing customer value is most important. This year we decided to begin baking so we could provide the freshest baked goods possible. This required an investment in new equipment which, in no time, paid for itself. Happy customers = more sales.
— Andréa Hawkins, Co-Founder
IDH INTERVIEW: Startup Concept Cyber Café Promotes Community Building
FOLLOW: Facebook and Twitter @berkinsblend
CONNECTICUT PHYSICAL THERAPY SPECIALISTS
Stay focused. Do not let the political or social drama of the day distract you from taking action on your plans to attain your business goals.
— David Bostic, Founder
IDH INTERVIEW: Successful Physical Therapy Startup With 3 Locations in Connecticut
FOLLOW: Facebook and Twitter @callmyPT
GOLDEN EGG CONCEPTS
The greatest lesson from my standpoint is learn how to delegate/let go. It’s a hard lesson for a business owner, but so critical as you grow and expand. You can’t do it all. You’ll kill yourself trying.
— Lindsey Mathieu, Owner/Principal
IDH INTERVIEW: Connecticut Woman-Owned Business Finds Marketing Niche
FOLLOW: Facebook, Instagram goldeneggconcepts, and Twitter @GoldenEgg_AEC
POSH (PERSONAL ORGANIZATION SOLUTIONS FOR THE HOME)
As cliché as it sounds, follow your dream, take the plunge, do what makes you happy, and success will follow. Your passion for your business will shine through, gravitating people to you.
As someone told me, “my geekiness about organizing” shines through as I talk. I’ve been a pharmacist for 30 years, and when I talk about that I’m not excited. But when I talk about my organizing business, my personality changes—my face lights up, my body starts to bounce, people can tell I love what I do. I always said the thing I loved most about pharmacy work was helping people, and now as a professional organizer, that’s what I get to do all the time!
— Leslie Raycraft, Founder
IDH INTERVIEW: Entrepreneur Launches Organizational Solutions Startup
SNAPSEAT PHOTO BOOTHS
I’ve learned there is no substitute for human capital in business. Having great people and a great team may be the difference between success and failure. The best idea and the best business plan mean nothing without a team to execute on it.
— Jonathan Johnson, Owner
IDH INTERVIEW: Entrepreneur Runs Successful Hartford-Area Photo Booth Company
FOLLOW: Facebook, Instagram snapseatbooths, and Twitter @SnapSeatBooths
SUDOR TAINO FITNESS STUDIO
I have learned that my gifts and blessings are to be shared to inspire people to see the hero in themselves. Labeling myself a “vessel” enabled me to share more freely without the fear of being judged.
— Karla Medina, Owner and Founder
IDH INTERVIEW: Entrepreneur Founds Innovative Variety Fitness Studio
FOLLOW: Facebook and Instagram sudortainogroupfitnessstudio
The greatest lesson I learned in 2017 is to collaborate. Work with as many people as possible who can help you get your word out, they are most likely doing the same thing and trying to build their own audience. Show true value to the person or business you are trying to work with. There needs to be a disproportionate amount of upfront value you provide to get people to want to work with you while at the same time expect nothing in return. Show good will through your interactions and more times than not, people will reciprocate—but be patient!
— Jeff Lovanio, Founder
IDH INTERVIEW: Startup Launches Mobile App for West Hartford Events