Interesting article from CNBC:
Key to small-biz success: Letting go to let it grow
Candymakers Pete and Allison Behringer were stuck in a corner … literally.
The co-owners of Sweet Pete’s were building their inventory out of a small Victorian home in Jacksonville, Florida.
“So the kitchen we had was a kitchen that a house would have,” Pete Behringer said of their old-fashioned, handmade candy business. “We cooked caramel on a kitchen stove and we had a lot of limitations.”
But those limitations didn’t stop them. For what they were lacking in equipment and staff, Pete and Allison made up for in passion to create this business.
“I don’t think that you can be a start-up and not have complete passion for what you’re doing,” said Allison Behringer. “Because you have to come through so many obstacles, that you if don’t love it and you’re not completely driven by your passion, you’re not going to succeed.”
But sometimes passion can lead to tunnel vision, something that serial entrepreneur and host of CNBC’s “The Profit,”Marcus Lemonis helped the couple alleviate.
With Lemonis’ investment, Sweet Pete’s was able to expand to a new downtown location and upgrade its candy-making equipment.
“It has been freeing because we can do so many things that we weren’t able to do before,” said Pete Behringer. “Just having a basic piece of equipment to help you fill orders more efficiently, is huge. And that’s freeing, freeing to just to be able to market ourselves in our business and grow it with resources that we didn’t have before.”
With increased efficiency came an increased capacity to fill orders but Behringer said he still struggled with delegating the workload.
“Our candy is made just the old-fashioned way. A lot of things are still made by hand. We hand pull lollipops the old-fashioned way, on a hook,” he said. “As we grew, it was hard for me to step back and let other people make candy.”
But Behringer soon realized he had to let go for the health of his own business.
“Marcus once said that if you’re trying to do everything yourself, you’re pushing your business down. You’re kind of constraining it and you need to look at things from a different perspective and not try to do everything,” he said.
Behringer said it was a process for him to learn to let go and let others step up.
“I think it’s tough for anybody in a small business that’s growing,” he said.