The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce wanted to know first-hand what it take's to be an entrepreneur in the Brookings community. From start-up to what they would have done differently, we asked local business owners to share their experience with us. Check out what they had to say!
You don't know what you don't know until you know it. I've spent money on things I shouldn't have, took too much time on certain projects, and have made all sorts of silly decisions, but at the time, I didn't know any better. There are plenty of things I would have done differently looking back but I try not to focus on them. Instead, I learn and move forward.
-Kirsten Gjesdal, Carrot Seed
Looking back nine years later, I can’t believe my family took this giant leap of faith with as little preparation and research as we did. Our staff spends countless hours on training and certification, but actually running a business was not as much of a priority when we started out. We truly wanted to offer a service to the community, but didn’t focus on keeping that business running while we did that. By the grace of God we not only survived, but thrived while we were working backwards – creating a business plan to fit our passion instead of the other way around!
If I could go back in time and do things different I would definitely do my research and prepare a business plan but I’m not sure I would change anything else. I was 24 years old when I opened the doors at Wildfire and so much of this journey has been just growing up and the knowledge you gain along the way.
-Casie King, KCK Wildfire Cheer
LD: Not that I can think of.
DS: I wish we would have had a bit more confidence in ourselves and our idea before it took off and in the initial stages after it launched. If we had, I think we may have not hesitated on approaching restaurants in Brookings sooner. We needed to keep in mind that we had a solid service that people demanded, and that it was a win-win for the restaurant partners. That kind of confidence and knowledge makes our service an easy sell to any restaurant we approach today.
- Luke Davidson & Daniel Stratton, Zip Dish Delivery
There is no crystal ball. My magic formula for success consists of persistence and perseverance. There have been amazing highs and equal challenges that come, but each has brought a lesson to be learned, shared, and reflected upon. I wouldn’t change how anything has turned out--I’m living my dream and sharing it with as many people as I can run across the street to meet! I’m hopeful it will be you someday. Together, we will find better health for you.
-Dennis Willert, Willert Wellness & Chiropractic
I can’t think of one thing I would do differently. Each challenge has been a learning experience which creates growth individually and as a business.
-Carrie Kuhl, Hitch Studio
Never look backwards!
-Jerry Miller, Winks Jewelry
I don't think so. Each success and failure made me better at what I do. I took a leap and have never regretted it.
-Jenna Friedrich, FarmHouse Fancy
Honestly, no. Of course there are always things that could be done differently, but then you can’t learn from those mistakes. I like to plan five years at a time, and roll with the punches as they come. Just try and prepare yourself for challenges you may face, and have fun. Starting a business can be like paddling a boat upstream with a 20 mile an hour head wind. It can be really difficult, but when you get to that next stop the feeling is fantastic. You only have one life to live. Make it count.
-Nick Schmeichel, Sideline Productions