Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anne Sullivan, Managing Partner and COO of Eye on your Brand, located in Torrance, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Eye on your Brand is a profit protection company that supports our customers' needs and fills the gaps in the areas of loss prevention, safety, risk management, operational standards, and food safety. We support a wide range of customers, including banking, various house of worship, high-end dining, single-unit startups, to some of the fastest-growing restaurants in the industry. Our customers are VIPs in our eyes and have unique needs and various levels of support they depend on us for.
Tell us about yourself
It's been more than 34 years since I caught my first shoplifter or landed my first fraud confession. Fast forward to banking, retail, supply chain, and the food service industries, with promotions from manager to director, to senior and vice president for multi-billion-dollar companies. I often look back and realize it was all just vocational training for my next chapter, Eye on your Brand.
I started Eye on your Brand in 2018 after working for major corporations that all eventually changed leadership and restructured to fit the "new vision." One day I thought, I'm over building teams who truly care about employee safety and ethics, only have headcount cut when the team achieves or exceeds the company's goals. Unfortunately, that is a reality of corporate safety and asset protection teams because many senior leaders do not see the work it takes behind the scenes to achieve a 1% shrink or 50% reduction in accident frequency.
What motivates me today is what motivated me to start Eye on your Brand 4 years ago. The ability to create a business employing proven industry leaders with a daily goal to deliver service that exceeds our customers' expectations. I work with the people I love, and every day we strive to better support our customers and their team members regardless of their size. Every Eye on your Brand customer is a VIP to us.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are two. One for our employees and one for our customers. First, our ability to provide our employees with jobs and customers they truly love to work with and who truly appreciate the work we do. At the same time, every employee has a broad life balance and flexibility to be great parents, care for aging relatives or just commit to self-health. Second, Eye on your Brand is the only profit protection company specializing in all areas of asset protection, safety, risk, and operational standards at an affordable cost. We give every business owner the ability to have loss prevention support, a safety manager, a risk department, food safety reviews, or an unbiased lens on their business operations. In the past, only large companies and corporations had that type of support.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I would probably say it's all the hats you have to learn to wear in the beginning. In corporate, I had access to an admin, finance people, training, etc. When you start a business, it ultimately falls on you to make sure it all gets done. As it is, our customers or industries never have an average or normal day. Monday can bring a violent robbery, Tuesday is a foodborne illness breakout, Wednesday is managing a claims review for a customer paying a million dollars to be much in premiums, and Thursday can be a CEO being extorted or threatened. Then add COVID, payroll, taxes, meetings, etc. It was a little crazy the first couple of years.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- There are no "small customers." Every customer experience should be your best!
- Listen to your team and industry partners. It's okay to bounce ideas, and it's okay to be flexible.
- Always under-promise and over-deliver. If you are wrong, own it and do better next time.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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