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 Kenan Pala , Founder at Kids4Community:
What does your company do?
Kids4Community is a 501 c(3) and its mission is to help kids help the community. We want to help children and their families give back to their communities in a meaningful way. To do this, we work with charitable organizations to develop programs that are specifically meant to engage children from five years and up so they can be introduced to the concept of charitable work early in their lives.
We host various types volunteering events such as disaster relief events, dinner servings at local shelters, sandwich making, stocking stuffers, etc. We started Kids4Community a year ago in January 2017 because we saw that kids who were passionate about volunteering had trouble due to age restrictions, mandatory orientations (that interfered with school hours), etc.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am an 8th Grader at Francis Parker School and the founder of Kids4Community. I love my role in Kids4Community. As the founder, I work on organizing events, building partnerships with organizations, fundraising, grant writing and communication. I get to experience every aspect of running a small startup and even do my own bookkeeping.
I especially enjoy being able to organize fun volunteer events and participating in them to help the more significant cause. Being able to see kids volunteer that otherwise could not because they were "too" young is a heart-filling experience and is one of the reasons I love my position so much. The way I see it is that if someone has the passion for going out and looking for places to volunteer they should not be turned away because of their age. I truly love my role as the founder of Kids4Community.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Fundraising. Our non-profit is completely supported through grants and donations and the more we can raise, the more programs we can offer. I have been really lucky as most of the grants we have applied to have funded us. San Diego is a great city, and everyone has been so supportive. We even received grants from the Walmart Foundation and the Prudential Foundation.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
There's not much business advice a 13-year-old can tell to a younger version of his or her self. However, what I would say to a younger version of me is to put your focus on getting others to help you. You can work on a project for 24 hours by yourself, but if you spend a couple of hours getting others to help and then working on the project for the remainder of the 24 hours, you will accomplish more than working by yourself. Teamwork is what makes it happen. It takes a village.