ARES Sportswear, Mike Campbell
Screenprint and embroidery. Custom apparel.
I did not want to work for anyone else.
We are fast and we give white glove level account management to our customers.
High Points: Growing from 0 to 15 million in annual revenue over the years. Finding, helping, and supporting long-term employees. Helping business partners become financially dependent. Providing for my family. Being able to learn life lessons by owning a business with employees, partners, vendors, customers, challenges, and rewards. Low points: Most of the basic ADHD entrepreneur challenges: Growing 50/50 partner relationships and then watching them break over unaligned ambitions. Lost money because we scaled up operation flaws when we scaled up revenue. The head-fake that comes from poor accounting. Putting green people into important positions w/o support because I am inherently cheap. Bank problems, vendor problems, financial problems.......employee problems. Serious problems. Ransomware and COVID have not been a walk in the park.
A conversation with my father in law.
My SCORE mentor helped me come to terms with the fact that I am a naturally unfocused communicator.
She is ruthlessly focused. She listened and figured something about me out and then got to work. The business was not going to get fixed unless I got fixed.
Start it when you are young and broke or old and can afford to lose what you put into it. Be VERY WARY of 50/50 partnerships. Don't put green people in charge of important unsupervised responsibilities. Don't be every contractor's first customer. Save money for a rainy day. Hire slow, fire fast.
Humility. Vulnerability. FOCUS. PATIENCE. How to make a plan. How to execute a plan. How to prioritize. I learned how to better communicate with people. Lastly, I am learning how expensive "risk" is even if you never pay a dime for it.