I was delighted to join the “How Women Do Business” Breakfast Team this week for an amazing talk by Caroline Creswell, Founder and Owner of Carman’s Fine Food and for the opportunity to meet a great cross section of local businesses.
Mayor Nam Quach hosted the breakfast and talked about a lot of the plans the City Council has for small businesses. It was so inspiring to hear that so far this year over 3000 new businesses have sprung up in the area. I am so passionate about people being able to follow their dream and start their businesses in an environment that nurtures and supports creativity. Running your own business is a tough slog and it’s easy to forget that we are incredibly fortunate to live in a city that provides so much support.
Caroline Creswell’s talk was a fantastic insight into the overnight success of Carman’s that was 20 odd years in the making. She had such a fire inside her about her business and where it was going that it was easy to see why she had made it to where she was and to picture how far she would go. Caroline was motivated by passion and pride in her product and wanted to share it with the world. She embodied every core value of her business, or in actual fact – she had crafted a business that held dear all the things that she did.
Creating a company that mirrors your personal beliefs and value structures sounds like the easiest thing in the world until you actually have to do it. How many of us work hours that we wouldn’t dream of doing at our old jobs? Put ourselves under such pressure and deadlines that if we were an employee for someone else we’d walk out and never look back. You are your first employee and you need to make sure that the work environment you create for yourself is a healthy one. Not just for your own sake, but for your customers.
Carman’s is a brand that prides itself on being caring, nurturing and healthy. Hearing about the company’s team lunch and POETS Friday policy it’s easy to see that being approachable and open to communication is something that filters through to their customers in the newsletters and award winning customer service teams. This makes it a great place to work and an even better place to do business with. Investing in your staff, even if that staff member is just yourself, will shine through to your customers.
So a big thank you to Caroline Creswell for sharing your story If you put the right foundations in place, you can make sure that your business is the most enjoyable place you will ever work and then it just doesn’t even feel like work. After all we’re the lucky ones – we are building our dreams!
And in case you were wondering…Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday – POETS.