Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Drew Henson, Founder and CEO of TOQi Technologies, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Twenty2b, we focus on creating products that are designed at the intersection of art and technology. We help individuals and organizations looking for guidance along the product design journey (both hardware and software).
Our customers at TOQi are retail partners and direct consumers looking to maximize their cannabis experience with the latest technology.
Tell us about yourself
I founded Twenty2b after five years of delivering action cameras for Drift Innovation. Formula One racing has always been one of my passions and one of the pillars of inspiration for the products I create.
I knew I wanted to have my own company and be my own boss, so I carved a path for myself rooted in innovation. One of the main motivators for me each day is the desire to see my creations drive positive change in the world. I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I see my products' impact on people's lives. I also enjoy each minute of my day with my family, friends, and team. This sense of camaraderie and support is invaluable to me and keeps me motivated to continue working hard and formulate solutions that cater to our customer's needs.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am grateful to have the ability to wake up and spend every day creating and innovating. Additionally, I'm proud of being able to walk my dog Shabba to and from work. It may seem small, however, for me, it's an accomplishment to be able to create a business that allows me to have a healthy work-life balance. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a supportive family, and spending adequate time with them is a measure of success.
I am also very proud of the impact that I have had on others. As a business owner, I've been able to empower my team and provide opportunities for others to grow and succeed. Being able to help others achieve their goals is a tremendous motivator for me, and one that I hold dear.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, one of the biggest challenges is making honest money. It can be difficult to resist the temptation and cut corners by taking shortcuts and compromising the quality of a product to increase profits. However, I strongly believe in maintaining integrity and providing the best experiences through my creations.
Over time, I have learned that the key to success is to learn from your mistakes and grow while evolving as a business owner. By surrounding myself with the right people, I have been able to build a strong team and impart strong values and a commitment to doing things the right way. With the support of my team, I have been able to navigate challenges and overcome the difficulties that come along with running a business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top three tips for starting, running, and scaling a business are:
- Back everything up with numbers and insights. It's essential to have a deep understanding of the industry you're entering and to identify a unique value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. This will ensure that you're equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to hit a home run.
- Everything will cost twice as much —plan accordingly. When starting a business, it's important to leave room for unexpected costs and budget. There are always unforeseen setbacks that can impact your bottom line. By planning for these contingencies, you can avoid being caught off guard and can ensure that your business stays afloat.
- Be confident, but don't forget to deliver and follow through. Confidence is essential when starting and running a business, but it's equally important to back up that confidence with results. This means delivering on your promises, following through on commitments, and building a reputation for reliability and consistency. By focusing on both confidence and delivery, you can establish yourself as a trusted and respected business owner.
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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