In 2010, Sarah Kauss started the company S’well. Her focus was to bring water bottles to the market that could rid the world of disposable plastic bottles. She wanted to make sure that her bottles had both style and utility in order to boost their appeal. Her family, friends, and mentors provided her with a level of guidance, but she still lacked the professional network needed to find solutions to the difficult nuanced problems of business.
For her, the solution was found in the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. She was introduced by another woman business owner. The program exists to help women find the keys to their success and to help them grow their business faster. Sarah Kauss says she was hesitant at first. She considered a women focused business league to be a cliche, but she swallowed her pride joining the program. In the program she learned several key approaches to business practices that many novices gloss over.
Have Your Pitch Ready
Kauss reflected that she used to think that she could never learn to pitch her company to a CEO of a major company, but with help from the program she memorized her elevator pitch. She learned to throw her pitch out at every available opportunity to anyone who would listen. Being bold with her pitch seemed unfitting, but it served to build her confidence.
Communicate Your Challenges
One of the keys to growing a company swiftly is to work on your business rather than just in your business. A good team is essential to making a business grow rapidly. In 2014, 2 executives left S’Well at the same time, and the company was on the brink of catastrophe. Kauss made sure to use her professional network to connect her to highly skilled candidates for the positions. Her network helped her avoid catastrophe.
Kauss says that she finds if hardest of all to make sure that she takes time for herself. It is a common problem for entrepreneurs to get swallowed by their jobs. Kauss says that having a network of professionals can help make finding that time easier, because it provides you with a group of like minded people with similar schedules.