Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Ingrid Sanden, Co-Owner and VP Communications at Boolean Girl:
What does your company do?
Our company provides tools, curriculum, and inspiration for girls to become computer programmers. We provide after school clubs, summer camps, and special events for girls ranging in age from 3rd grade through 12th grade. Our free, online curriculum encourages girls to work at their own pace, track their progress, and create their own projects. We also produce the Boolean Box, a build-it-yourself computer kit that inspires girls to build, code, invent, and animate.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m a co-owner of the company and I also direct marketing, messaging, and social media outreach. I love everything about my job and the company. I'm constantly challenged, the work is creative, and the company is small enough to be very nimble. I love knowing we are making a direct impact on young girls, and giving them a way to explore their interests - even if computer programming isn't a field known for it's friendliness toward women... yet!
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our biggest challenge is scaling our program, as well as our product. We are working with school districts and universities outside the Northern Virginia area to bring our programs to a wider audience - but that takes buy-in from the community, passionate partners, and money. We are also hoping to increase production and sales of the Boolean Box throughout 2018 in order to bring our cost per unit down.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I don't have a background in business or start-ups. I wish I would have known that the word of startups is FUN. Risky, yes, but also fun, creative, and rewarding. I also wish someone would have told me it's okay to make mistakes, partnering with people who are smarter than you is not a sign of weakness, and my experience and education (while not business-focused) is valuable in a company.