Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristen Bene, Owner of West Village Provisions, located in Boxford, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
General Store and cafe, serving breakfast and lunch, coffee, lattes, baked goods, and more. The store carries essentials like milk, bread, and eggs, as well as groceries, gifts, local-themed items, and lots more.
Tell us about yourself
I was a homeschool mom, and my kids were starting (high) school. I was looking for something to do, and the opportunity to buy the store presented itself. I decided to jump in. This was in Oct 2019. Once the pandemic hit, everything changed. We pivoted, and I'm proud to say we remained open. Serving our community is what motivates me every day. We have so many lovely regular customers, so many that thank us daily for being there.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to stay open throughout the pandemic. I'm very proud of that. Also, I host lots of fun community-wide events. We started having live music last summer and offer a summer music series. We started that again this year but extended it by starting in the spring. We also host author events.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not having enough time in the day for all the different jobs I need to do. I don't have a partner, so I do everything from working in the store, cooking, baking, ordering, shopping, scheduling, and everything in between. I do have a very supportive team, and my family is very supportive, and I am very grateful to them all.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Build a supportive team and utilize their strengths.
Make sure you love what you do and believe in your purpose.
Remain open to learning, adapting, and putting in the hours. Be prepared for very long days, but remember you get out what you put in.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Owning a small business is very hard work. It's unpredictable and can be scary, but it's also fun and rewarding. Make sure to take breaks when you need them to avoid burnout. That's easier said than done, but it's important to know when you need a breather. It's much easier to tackle anything with a fresh outlook.
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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