In preparation for his Residency, which runs from March 1, 2023 – June 30, 2023, we asked Kevin Schumacher a few questions in order for you to get to know him better.
What do you most look forward to doing as part of your residency with the library?
My one-on-one meetings with new entrepreneurs, or those who are considering the leap. I truly love sharing any experiences, good or bad, that can help someone else in their entrepreneurial journey.
How did you begin your present career/profession?
I have been an entrepreneur most of my life. Mowing lawns at 12. Helping my parents with their franchise in high school. Launching a local coupon business in college. Rebuilding a mobile home park with my father after college. Launching a bigger coupon paper here in Columbia. Buying and growing a local t-shirt printer into a southern apparel company selling in 20 states. After selling this last business in 2016, I have spent most of my time working with other small or startup businesses, helping them in any way I could.
Was your career something you always wanted to do or did it develop over time?
I always knew I wanted to run my own show but kind of stumbled into each business I owned.
If you could sum up your company's goal in one sentence, what would it be?
Create a product that customers want and always look out for their best interest.
What are the top three challenges currently facing new small business owners? Established small business owners?
New Small Business Owners:
1 - Financing is getting more difficult and expensive
2 - With a possible recession, it's even more difficult for new business owners because they haven't established a strong base of customers yet.
3 - Focusing on one target market
Established Small Business Owners:
1 - Finding and retaining employees
2 - Keeping the flywheel moving. If you aren't moving forward, you are moving backward.
3 - Deciding each day, What is the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Then prioritize that one thing over everything else.
As a small business owner, why is it important to have a mentor?
Too many small business owners feel they have to present an image of strength all the time. A mentor allows entrepreneurs the chance to be vulnerable, to share their fears and flaws with someone who understands.
What's the best business advice you've ever received?
Pay yourself first, before all other expenses. It makes you work harder to earn your salary.
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