Business Week presented by DAPCPA ended with an extraordinary panel of entrepreneurs. During the session each shared their stories and expressed to attendees their primary survival tips gained from their individual experiences.
Lexi Garrett, owner of Alexis Drake - Shared that she was "weird" in a good way growing up and realized it was because she was always destined to be an entrepreneur. Some of the challenges with growing her business has been working to maintain the quality of the products, while still having to meet the expectations of customers. She has done this by hiring more talent, being full-time in the business herself and working on customer care from day one. Many of the decisions she has made for her business comes from her own personal instincts. She reinforced that entrepreneurs need to listen to those feelings, they can lead to great things!
Carman Hess, owner of Wyoming Home - Unique to Carman is her relationship with the founders of Wyoming Home. Carman was an employee of Wyoming Home and worked under the previous owners. They continued to give her more responsibilities and upon their hope for retirement, they asked Carman to purchase the store. Being a downtown anchor, Wyoming Home is a staple for many local shoppers and is a location that is often suggested to tourists when in town. Carman has carried this legacy forward and has made it her own. They offer any array of great products and all of which embody the Wyoming culture. Challenges shared by Carman has been related to parking for customers. The parking garage was a great addition to downtown and has been very helpful but more ways to increase access to downtown businesses through convenient parking is a priority of Carman's. Further advice provided by Carman was to surround yourself with solid mentors and be a role model for your employees. She referred to the old adage, "first in and last to leave." A motto she encourages every entrepreneur to live by because it shows your employees and your customers how much you care.
Dennis Humphrey, owner of Capitol Roofing, Inc.- During the panel event Dennis, shared his personal trials and tribulations as a business owner. He expressed how he had to really treat his employees fairly and make sure they were a priority, as well as knew they were his priority. With roofing, a volume of the work is seasonal and this comes with its own obstacles, but as the employer if you show you care about your employees, they will understand these times. Another lesson shared was making sure that you are able to stay true to your culture and ensure that you are not trying to do something out of character. At one time Dennis talked about how they were getting "bigger than their britches" and this not only had caused tension at the work place but at home. He found solitude in reading Jim Collin's "Good to Great." This book explained how you can really elevate your leadership if you take the time to listen and more importantly if you are willing to learn.
Overall, being an entrepreneur is fun and it really is a way to see your passions flourish but it also comes with responsibilities. Those who are willing to take on those duties, work to maintain their character and develop their leadership, should definitely consider being an entrepreneur, if they are not already. The world needs more of them and Laramie County definitely needs more! If you are interested in starting your business or are a business owner but looking to take it to the next level. Give the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce a call (307) 638-3388. We are ready to assist you!
Annually, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce rallies behind shopping locally and does this through various programming. One upcoming opportunity is Shop Small Business Saturday. Businesses can sign up at CheyenneChristmasParade.com to be a participating location. We will get the word out to the community and get folks excited about shopping locally on Saturday, November 30th. If you want to learn more about this too, please call (307) 638-3388.