We're excited to welcome Shennice Cleckley, CEO, Smart Cookie, as Richland Library's newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
We asked Shennice a few questions to help you get to know her better.
How did you begin your present career/profession?
Well… in my old profession of baking, I spent 15 years waking up early, standing on my feet and having flour in my hair...I loved every minute of it. Truthfully, it was time for me to evolve from student to teacher. I gained tons of real world and academic experience so God said it was time to pay it forward.
Was your career something you always wanted to do or did it develop over time?
It developed over time. When I first started in business, I knew nothing about business. I set out to learn as much as I could to help myself. That thrust for knowledge turned into a rewarding profession.
If you could sum up your company's goal in one sentence, what would it be?
To help entrepreneurs embrace the lifestyle they dreamed of with owning a business, being present with family and serving.
What is the biggest challenge currently facing local small business owners?
I would say exposure to their ideal clientele especially online. Many local businesses don’t have a broad enough digital footprint that will bring their ideal clientele into doors.
As a small business owner, is it important to have a mentor?
Mentorship is an important part of growth. Most mentors have been there and done that so leaning on their experiences will help a SBO to not repeat the same mistakes. Mentors are also encouragers. Being able to bounce ideas off someone who has related experiences gives a SBO insight.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
It’s ok to be different… so be different.
What do you most look forward to doing as part of your residency with the library?
Connecting with all the local entrepreneurs and seeing them prosper. I am excited to learn how the entrepreneurial landscape is helping grow Columbia.
EiR Shennice Cleckley's Favorite Small Business Book List: