Welcome to the first edition of our woman-owned small business spotlight series. This edition highlights the safety solution company Visual Workplace, Inc. The company’s CEO, Rhonda Kovera, shares her story and advice for other woman-owned small businesses.
I always had an inspiration for improvement and realized that there were not many product solutions in the marketplace for this [lean and safety solutions]. I tested the ideas with the company I had been currently working with and found there was a tremendous need. Using my industry experience, I built a sales organization to fill this need.
When working for others, it was sometimes difficult to see how others managed. I felt that if I ever had the opportunity to lead a company, I would make sure that I was objective, fair, and would not ask anyone to do something I would not do. Having the opportunity to start this company allowed me to fulfill a market need and run a business differently than I had ever witnessed.
What is your proudest moment for Visual Workplace?
Buying our facility was a very proud moment. It was a tremendous endeavor but provided a great return on our investment. It was similar to buying your first house – it can be very scary, but you adjust to the mortgage payment and begin to build equity.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome with your company?
Determining when to take risks and when to hold tight has been my biggest challenge. Financing typically plays a role in risk, but when it does not and you have the opportunity to grow, expand, or invest it can be frightening. You should get the best advice you can and follow your instincts.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Build an advisory board! You need to have a strong team of people you can rely on when you have questions, ideas, or difficulty. It does not necessarily have to be a formal team, but find resources that you trust for advice and honest feedback. Include individuals from sales, human resources, operations, and finance.
Do you have any advice or resource suggestions for woman-owned small businesses?
Always keep your word! Be conservative if you have to and try to under-promise and over-deliver. This is important for your customers, employees, banks, and especially you.
To learn more about Visual Workplace, visit their website at https://www.visualworkplaceinc.com/.