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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Punxsutawney Phil calls for more winter. We call do-over!

Groundhog Day Do-Over Do Over: What Do You Wish You Had Done Differently? Take Two.

KC Startups weigh in on what they wish they had done differently.

This is part two of KCSourceLink's Groundhog Day Do-Over blog. We had so many entrepreneurs and small business owners respond (yes!) that we couldn’t possibly contain them all in one blog post (thank you!). This is your Groundhog Day Do-Over Do Over: Take Two.

(Wait. What? Part 2? Catch up on Groundhog Day Do-Overs Part One featuring ClaimKit, Video Fizz, Rex Pet Health, and The Green Van Dry Cleaning.)

What do you wish you had done differently when you opened your business?

In a nutshell, anticipate spending more money than you think you will, one size does not fit all and understand what your services are worth.

Brad McCleary, Bodies Health & Fitness
“I guess hind sight is always 20/20 but if I had to do it over again I would have SAVED more money because it always costs more than your projections. Each time we expanded or grew our business we thought we had enough capital or that we'd earn revenue quicker than we did. We have been very blessed to survive our growth, but it sure made for less sleep and more stress!”

Kimberly Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., Play-it Health
“I wish I had had the wisdom and confidence to be more adherent to our vision and assess our own strengths and then sought advice from those with experience in our field.
Moving into the entrepreneurial space from the medical space, there were many things that we did that may have been the right moves in some markets but that were entirely not necessary or ill-timed in our market. We did a lot of things just to chase local investment when it should have been spent on the business.”

Travis Pflanz, Web Works of Kansas City
“I wish I started with a higher price-point for services from the beginning. Rather than charging what the services are worth, I charged as if I was still another company's employee. After gradually raising service rates to 3 times where they were when staring out, I now get much higher quality clients—and clients complain LESS about the rates.”

What do you do absolutely right?

Live your business values, know your vision inside out, connect with the right clients and the rest will follow.

Brad McCleary, Bodies Health & Fitness
Even when we didn't have our mission, vision and values clearly defined our team still knew exactly what was important to us (Jen and myself) and how we wanted clients treated. I think that speaks to us living by example and our team taking intuitive to learn.”

Kimberly Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., Play-it Health
“Our vision for our product and the product/market fit has been spot on from the beginning. Our inability to obtain serious funding has definitively slowed our efforts, but we are still competitive entirely due to having such a strong domain experience and understanding of the market needs before we started. We may end up supporting our business with revenue prior to getting serious funding, which is almost unheard of in our space.”

Travis Pflanz,
Web Works of Kansas City
“The thing I do best is vetting potential clients. My business is all about building long-term business relationships, so finding the RIGHT clients is a crucial part of the process.”

What do you continue to struggle with?

Keep everything in perspective and be flexible with your game plan.

Brad McCleary, Bodies Health & Fitness
“Balancing family and business. My family is the most important thing and the whole reason I have a business. I don't always demonstrate that when I'm thinking or working on business when it's family time. My family is very understanding and supportive, but I want to make sure that I don't take advantage of that. Remember what's important and keep it first!”

Kimberly Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., Play-it Health
“We constantly struggle with where we should focus our energy and time.
In reality, understanding the perception of your product is a big part of this decision, and I think we are more prepared now than we were several years ago to be able to make these decisions.”

Travis Pflanz, Web Works of Kansas City
“I still struggle communicating to some clients that the success of their project requires just as much effort from them as it does from me. Digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies cannot be successful when the business hires an outside agency and gives no input.”

Your turn.

If you were stuck in a Groundhog Day time warp what would you do differently with your business?

Make KCSourceLink and our 240+ Resource Partners part of your resolution team. Reach out to us and let us know what you want to make happen in 2016. Odds are good we know an expert, a program or an event that can help you get there. Call us at 816.235.6500, email us at or visit our tips, events and resources specific to your entrepreneurial type, whether you're innovation-ledsecond stage, microenterpriseMain Street or a startup

This post was written by Lauren Caldwell, wordsmith, social media nerd and newest KCSourceLink team member. You can connect with her on Twitter at @missuglyshoes.

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