Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ted Loewen, Owner of Loewen Design Studios, located in Fonthill, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We build hardwood tables for customers across North America. Many are standard sizes, but lots are custom too. Dining tables, kitchen tables, board room tables, desks, it's surprising how many surfaces we need in our life, and we get to help out with beautiful hardwood solutions.
Tell us about yourself
I love new ideas, and I've found that working for myself and with family in a small business allows me to explore new ideas quickly and easily. I was fortunate to have worked for a large furniture business at the start of my career and do lots of different things for them. That provided me with a solid foundation for branching out on my own.
I love puzzles. I play puzzle games on my iPad, and we build puzzles on the dining table at least two or three times a year. What I love about our work is that every day it's a new puzzle. Customers come to us with ideas, and we get to help them figure them out. Finding solutions that meet what customers want in terms of design, quality, price, and delivery timeframe can be really challenging.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Josh and I launched the business together while he was at University, and watching him develop and mature are very rewarding. He challenges me to be a better person every day.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As with any small business, as one of the owners, you get to wear a lot of hats. The world is changing fast, and keeping up with that change requires a lot of time commitment. We've all been blessed with just 24 hours in a day, and there are lots of conflicting priorities. Taking care of customers is easy when you have a good team, so the big challenge is managing the team. Staff put a lot of trust in our family, and keeping them properly challenged and rewarded is not easy.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
It's never been a better time to start a small business than it is today, both for you and for your competitor. The tools available, the training, the access to financial resources, and the access to customers are unparalleled. If I were to provide three tips to a would-be entrepreneur, they might include the following:
- Love your customers. They will give you some, if not all, of your best ideas. They'll ask you for stuff that you have never thought of, but that is close enough to your core business that they thought it was ok to ask. Listen, and deliver.
- Be willing to put in the time. If it was easy and fun all the time, everyone would be doing it.
- Be willing to turn the page and let go of yesterday's solutions and products, and ideas; the landscape is changing fast.
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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