Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Karen Conroy, Founder of Fundraising For A Cause, located in Tampa, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are the largest manufacturer of awareness products in the world. We sell our products to not-for-profits, companies, and individuals who are trying to fundraise for a cause.
Tell us about yourself
My sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2005, and I saw how many people and organizations struggled to raise money and awareness for different causes. I came up with the idea of selling awareness products as a way to generate money for these organizations. I launched Fundraising For A Cause with 10 products out of my home, and today it has become the largest manufacturer in the world of awareness products. Helping people raise awareness and funds for causes is enough motivation. It is an incredible feeling to see how many people we have helped. My sister and I say all the time that god had a bigger plan when he gave her breast cancer.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving COVID. When COVID happened, nobody was fundraising or having events where they needed products. It is by the grace of god that we made it through that tough time.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Dealing with employee issues. I am lucky to have several employees that have been with me 10 plus years, but it is hard to find and keep good employees.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you have plenty of capital to get you through the first year. I didn't even pay myself the first year.
- Turn to the SBA (Small Business Association). They have a ton of free programs to help you, from developing a business plan to advertising.
- Find other business owners to become friends with. You will soon find that people who don't own a company can not help, listen or sympathize with you. Some of my closest friends own businesses. Getting together with them for a glass of wine and talking about problems etc., is priceless. You need to build a network of close fellow business owners.
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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