Imagine turning your passion into a full-fledged career. Well, that is an achievement in itself. One such woman entrepreneur, Kelsey Pettus is an ideal example, who turned her interest into a full-time profession. So, let’s learn more about her exciting journey.
Starting A Purpose and Passion-Driven Business
Kelsey Pettus has always enjoyed planning events for friends and family, so arranging charcuterie boards for small gatherings was quite the norm for her. It turns out that these boards became so popular that friends and family suggested she took it to a different level and start selling similar boards to others.
After receiving much appreciation from her loved ones, she decided to take the plunge and started her business during the pandemic. At that time, people were looking for something that could be ordered online for pick up or delivery, but at the same time, they were looking for something unique that could take their minds off of the difficulties at hand. Hence, CHS Coastal Charcuterie was born.
Meet the Customer’s Needs
CHS Coastal Charcuterie is a customer-driven organization. To meet the needs of their target audience, the organization is open to learning about the market and their in-house customers. Kelsey believes the two key and essential pointers for growth are:
- Ask for feedback: By simply asking questions to both the existing and potential customers, Kelsey has gained information about what her customers are looking for. It also indicates to them that she highly values their opinion and take their likes and dislikes into consideration.
- Strategy Makeover: If Kelsey runs the same content over and over, customers lose interest and are less likely to respond. For this reason, she appeals to her target audience by “shaking it up”. She likes to do things in such a way that is different than what they expect. Whether it is a social media ad, magazine article, workshop, or customer loyalty program, change is always good for business.
The Start of Success
Having started the business during a pandemic, Kelsey Pettus never thought that it would grow at the rate that it has. This business was started as a “side hustle” and quickly evolved into a full-time business. She is truly blessed to be able to do something that she enjoys, and she is thankful that it provides enough revenue to be her sole career.
Spearheading as a Women Entrepreneur
As a female small business owner, Kelsey Pettus fulfilled all the roles needed to make this new business work. She manages all the roles including sales, marketing, accounting, IT, and innovation. However, it doesn’t mean that she excels in all of these areas.
In a short period, she has learned what her true strengths and weaknesses are. With that being said, the difficulties of maintaining a work-life balance are real. Recognizing and prioritizing responsibilities in other areas of her life have kept her focused and grounded.
Kelsey’s Leadership Principles
As a leader, the way one operates their leadership roles and defines its principles is crucial for the success of the business. Hence, here are a few of Kelsey’s leadership principles:
- Communication: I frequently communicate with my employees with clarity and precision. Communication with customers is presented in a multitude of ways to get the desired result.
- Honesty: Being transparent and fair is important to me. When a customer knows that I am true to my word, the level of trust strengthens.
- Flexibility: Being flexible in the workplace is crucial. Being able to handle change easily when a new challenge presents itself is far more productive than spending that time being stressed out about it.
- Building Relationships: Having a good relationship with both employees and customers makes my job much more enjoyable. We, as a team, are more productive and the relationships developed now will help to further the company’s success in the future.
- Persistence: There are often unforeseen circumstances that could cause one to throw their hands up and quit. Having persistence keeps me working through difficult situations.
The Ticking Clock
As a small business owner, Kelsey Pettus wears many hats. Her biggest failures have been in conjunction with time management. For example, right after she opened CHS Coastal Charcuterie, she accepted an invitation to host a large event. The event was flawless, but it was somewhat chaotic behind the scenes. At that point, she learned the importance of pacing herself.
At the beginning of each week, she writes down everything that needs to get done in a notebook. This notebook is her lifeline now. Time Management is a fundamental aspect of the growth of the business. Hence, she prioritizes her tasks based on due dates and how long it will take to get them done. As the week goes on, she revisits and reassesses to ensure that she has accomplished her goals in a much less “chaotic” manner.
Also, Kelsey Pettus defines success in different ways. She measures a successful day by whether or not she has reached the goals she has set for herself and her employees.
Welcoming and Integrating Ideas with Open Hands
Kelsey Pettus is constantly searching for new and fresh ideas for her small business. Whether it’s networking with fellow business owners or listening to feedback from customers, she is always open to change. She has learned the ins and outs of building a business from the ground up and will continue to implement new ideas as the company grows.
Views about Kelsey’s Leadership
Kelsey’s Leadership style is direct one leading by example. She adds, “As a business leader, she enjoys the freedom of owning her own business entitles me to. But, at the same time, I dive into every aspect of this business so that I thoroughly know my trade and have a clear, in-depth understanding of the business.
It helps me to develop my skill base while working alongside my employees. For example, I have made videos for my employees that demonstrate exactly what I am looking for. I have received lots of positive feedback regarding these videos.”
The Ultimate Vision
For Kelsey Pettus, success is not an isolated event. It is truly a journey. It’s the start of something or vision, that must be followed through to the very end. She remains acutely aware of the daily choices that she makes. She is mindful of where she is and where she wants to be. The choices made today will determine the direction of tomorrow.
Kelsey Pettus believes that one characteristic every leader should possess is Integrity. It is the foundation of a strong leader. A company cannot run successfully without it.
For Kelsey, it is important to stand for her beliefs. Situations in business can be difficult, however, a great leader must not compromise but inspire others and remain ethically and morally strong. It has huge paybacks in the long run.
The Father’s Advice
Kelsey often looks up to her dad for advice. Her father has thrived as a small business owner for 20+ years and is always encouraging. The best advice she has given is to treat everyone with respect and dignity. Applying the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done to you” just makes sense!
Treating the employees fairly means that they will strive to provide excellent service. Treating their customers right means that they will be happier and be more likely to recommend their business to others and become repeat customers themselves. This is a standard that Kelsey considers invaluable in her decision-making process.
Fulfilling a Bigger Purpose
A question to ask any small business owner would be, “How do you give back to the community?” Kelsey often hosts events where she can choose an organization to donate a portion of the proceeds. She has also donated her time and services to local non-profit organizations.
A Growth-Driven Future
Kelsey Pettus does her best to plan for sustained growth. After she has worked through the immediate needs of the business, Kelsey Pettus considers how her ideas will unfold over the next several years. Establishing CHS Coastal Charcuterie with one idea has expanded quickly. Maintaining the growth takes a thoughtful, forward-looking strategy.
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