During this period, she always held a dream to operate her own business. It started with taking over Island Chemicals with her husband, Roddy Willis. Then she started Kays Wholesale. Having two businesses gives them the ability to share resources and expertise.
She believes her strong work ethic came from losing her father while young and learning that if you want something, you have to work for it. As a child, she excelled at selling Girl Guide cookies and was even chosen class Valedictorian in high school.
The more successful my customers are, the more successful I can be.
She can often be found on the job seven days a week if that is what her customers require. She is hands on and expects a lot from her staff, but nothing she wouldn’t do herself.
Since it is a low margin industry, they do not embrace credit cards. Transactions are either cash or customers can open an account. Her focus is to be continually building the business, streamlining processes, and improving service.They currently have a 13,000 sq.ft. warehouse and plan to substantially increase that soon.
By representing over 7,000 small firms, they can offer buying power for small Island businesses. Kim does acknowledge there are competitors, but none offer her level of personalized service and flexibility. She wants the best staff, but discovered that the best is not always the most educated, or the most experienced. Her employee philosophy is posted on her wall. It lists these things that require zero talent:
- Being on time
- Maintaining high energy through the day
- Being open to coaching
- A consistent work ethic
- Using positive body language
- Showing customers a positive attitude
- Doing more than expected
- Putting in honest effort each day
- Being prepared for the unexpected
Kim’s advice for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur, stop thinking about it, just jump in and do it and continue to invest in your own personal development along the way.
My question for business owners:
How have you structured your business to bring maximum value to your Island customer?
For valuable tips and strategies for building your own extraordinary team. Subscribe to this monthly newsletter today.