6 Decisions That Could Change Your Business

Founders share the one choice that altered their company's path.

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6 Decisions That Could Change Your Business
Image credit: Pete Ryan
3 min read

This story appears in the January 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

1. Asking for advice.

I hired a business coach seven years ago, and it helped me propel my company forward. As an entrepreneur, running a business feels like something you should be able to figure out on your own, but investing in a coach helped me raise the bar in every way. Not only was I able to shift my behaviors to identify and overcome self-imposed roadblocks, but it allowed me to be more engaged and hold myself accountable.” -- Katie Conovitz, founder and CEO, TwelveNYC

2. Hiring for keeps.

Early on, we hired agencies and freelancers with experience launching a consumer health-and-wellness brand. But it became clear that we needed full-time people who were 100 percent dedicated to our success. So we hired key team members who have been instrumental in the growth of the business, helping us scale and innovate rapidly. We still use outside talent, but bringing key roles in-house has been a game changer.” -- Rachel Sanders, cofounder and CEO, Rootine Vitamins

Related: How to Handle Star Employees With Bad Attitudes

3. Risking it all.

It was when I understood that in order to grow my business, I needed to invest in inventory. I decided to take out a mortgage on my house and purchase goods on spec. I had to believe they would sell. By taking that risk I was able to broaden the product offerings to my current customers as well as attract new ones. In turn, it allowed me to quit my full-time job and commit to MyTagalongs full time.” -- Nicole Authier, founder, MyTagalongs

4. Staying put.

It was deciding to keep my company rooted in Indiana, where I was raised. Many podcasting peers suggested moving to Los Angeles or New York, but I committed to growing the podcasting community in the Midwest. Staying in Indiana isn’t only financially beneficial; it’s also allowed me to cater to Crime Junkie’s OG fans -- and in doing so, I’ve been able to stay true to the brand and to myself.” -- Ashley Flowers, president, Audiochuck, and host, Crime Junkie podcast

Related: Six Ways to Get Your Productivity On Track

5. Changing course.

I closed down our wholesale model of selling rugs through carpet dealers and showrooms and instead decided to build a brand that sells directly to the trade. This move enables us to focus on what matters: natural ingredients, original design, and craftsmanship. We began investing in our own manufacturing, which now accounts for 50 percent of our total revenue, as opposed to just 5 percent five years ago. We’re gaining ground.” -- Catherine Connolly, CEO, Merida

6. Getting help.

For us, it was outsourcing fulfillment. We grew very fast, and without outsourced fulfillment, we wouldn’t have been able to scale as fast. Taking on large accounts like Hallmark, the Paper Store, and Nordstrom -- in addition to high-volume web orders -- would be challenging with an in-house team. Plus, our product is seasonal. By outsourcing, we don’t have to worry about hiring temporary help during peak season.” -- Aysel Gunar, founder, MantraBand

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