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 Lisa Schulte, President at Quarks American Bento Inc:
What does your company do?
Quarks is an award winning, cutting edge concept dedicated to providing the ultimate in quick, clean, healthy fast food. We process our own premium meats, hand cut our veggies fresh every day, and make all of our signature sauces in house; making your food the freshest, healthiest and cleanest available. Quarks entire menu is 100% gluten free and there are no artificial ingredients, colors, binders or MSG. Build a better food experience at Quarks and you'll not only taste the difference; you'll feel the difference. It's food that loves you back.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
As a small business owner my role includes everything from Information Technology, Human Resources, Housekeeping, Bookkeeping, Customer Service, Marketing and everything in between. The most enjoyable part of my role is connecting with the numerous guests that come through our doors. It's a very unique privilege to get to know so many people in the community and be a part of the landscape that makes up this community. Managing a business and juggling the various roles that need to be filled keeps my days interesting and never the same.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our biggest challenges are managing cash flow, marketing on a nearly zero budget, and proving a new concept in a "meat and potatoes" area of the country. The restaurant industry is challenging in and of itself, let alone considering all of the other market factors that influence the success or failure of a business. Finding the time and resources to be creative in these challenges, instead of just throwing money at them, is ultimately what we face every day and ultimately creates experiences that we would not otherwise have.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Focus on creating and conquering small goals that will get you to the end goal; which may change as your vision and the market evolves. The journey never happens the way that you think it will or the way you think it should. Get comfortable with change and you will learn that it is required to be successful. Success comes in many forms and should be celebrated along the way otherwise you will lose ambition for the end goal.