On October 4, Trajectify’s Mike Krupit, who is a certified TAB Boards Coach and Facilitator, joined with The Alternative Boards Northeast Philadelphia (TAB Boards) for Organic Growth to Multi Millions, a panel of business owners who built their companies organically and saw their growth into the multi-millions.
Mike facilitated the panel’s discussion, entrepreneurs and CEO who shared their experiences, answering the tough questions, the no-holds-barred way TAB members learned to tackle challenges and attack opportunities.
The panel consisted of Dara Bortman, co-founder of Exact Solar, Adam Butt, Founder and CEO of Noticed, Orna Kempler-Azulay, President of Abington Speech Pathology Services, and Michael Risich, Founder and CEO of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.
There was a lot of knowledge shared, so capturing the learning from the night is a challenge.. I’ve gathered four take-aways from the program.
“Do something you love.” - Dara Bortman, Exact Solar
Dara discovered her passion for solar while in Costa Rica, and she and her husband started the business in the living room of their home and a family garage that doubled as a warehouse. She had her office manager, Sarah, working out of her home for three years before they ever moved into a real office. Her passion for her company allowed her to keep the dream alive, no matter how difficult or slowly things were moving.
“We have been very careful to grow in a very controlled manner. I am not trying to take over the world, just support my family and our employees families and do good work,” says Dara. Growing her passion into a business at a controlled rate allows them remain aligned to their mission, and helps the company and goals stay on track, never losing control on the situation and being equipped financially and supportively to handle any situation that may be coming. The pace and determination have paid off as Exact Solar has been able to nicely grow to multi-millions.
“You pay for your freedom.” - Orna Kempler-Azulay, Abington Speech Pathology Services
When Orna began her journey of starting Abington Speech Pathology, she started with nothing, using her own paycheck to pay her next staff member’s paycheck. “You have these moments that you struggle and hoping that in the next moment, it will pay off. We do what we want, when we want, putting in the long hours for our own success,” says Orna.
Orna adds that her passion for her business allows for her to live by this motive. In order to sell anything, you must believe in what you are selling.
As Orna began her journey with ASPS, she was working out of her home, with her children and dog waiting quietly upstairs as her patients came to her home. Orna made it a point to never answer the phone after 6pm even though she was working from home. Her “office” closed at 6pm, answering the phone after that time would be detrimental to her personal life at that time. Even though your passion has to be your business, it is important to make time for a life in order to keep your sanity.
“If it’s something you really want, eventually it will be what you want.” - Adam Butt, Noticed
A business does not succeed overnight. It is one of the toughest facts facing early entrepreneurs.
Adam shared, “Be aware that things take time. That was one of the biggest things that I had a hard time understanding when starting my business. I had to keep reminding myself that it will take time time, that it will catch you when you wake up one morning. That will help keep your sanity. If it’s something you really want, eventually it will be what you want.”
This tip continues to apply even once your business begins to grow. Keeping this attitude throughout your journey as a business is crucial, at each step, from the beginning, to finding and keeping customers, and to creating a company culture that attracts new employees and keeps them engaged.
“Once people realize it is fun, they start to enjoy their work, they want to stay, they want to win with the company. I didn’t learn that until I started to invest in my companies culture,” said Adam.
“If you think you can, and you think you can’t, you’re right.” - Michael Risich, Bolt On Technology
Most entrepreneurs start the process of creating a business with nothing more than an idea. It doesn’t hit you until you’re in deep that you may not have all the answers.
As for Michael and his team, he isn’t afraid to ask for help, a huge part of his company’s culture. Michael says,“I am very vulnerable in front of them. I tell them all the time that I’ve never had a team this large. I’ve never run a business this large. I need your help. If you see I’m doing something wrong, come and tell me. I’m not that smart, I’m just not that dumb.”
Growing a business is a learning process and understanding that not everything will go how you expect it is important to company growth. “Nothing ever happens at the speed you expect it to.”