Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer: Since 1964, CCSI International Inc has been a family run business located in Garden Prairie, Illinois. We are mainly a business to business company, specializing in manufacturing and selling products in the wet environment building industry. We started off almost 50 years ago with CCSI, where we made and sold pool enclosures to commercial and residential customers across the nation. Since then we've branched out to New Horizons, which sells car wash buildings and in 2009, started All Paws Pet Wash, which sells pet wash equipment.
We also have a letterpress printing company, Locust Street Press, which is now run by our owner's daughter. Locust Street Press is also primarily business to business as we provide commercial print services.
Question: How has your business changed since its 1964 beginnings?
Your Answer: It's been important to constantly evolve, change, and grow our business. In 2009, we saw an opportunity in pet wash equipment, and took the risk of adding All Paws Pet Wash to our small portfolio of brands. At the time it felt like a risk, but since then the pet wash equipment industry has really taken off and we have seen great success with it.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: Their are plenty of everyday challenges in running a company, but overall, the biggest challenge seems to be constantly coming up with what comes next for the business. It isn't easy predicting what will be successful and what will be a flop.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: Also the biggest challenge, I'd say that the biggest opportunity is coming up with what comes next. When you own a business you have the ability to come up with new ideas and ways to grow the business. It's the greatest feeling when a business idea becomes a reality and that reality becomes a success.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: The work day never ends! We find ourselves working (probably) much more than what we would if we worked for someone else. But we truly care about the business as it is our family's business and that seems to make the work feel a lot less like work. And you never know when a business opportunity might come up, so we are always prepared to have our business and contact information readily available.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: We've found that in order to be successful its crucial to always be willing to "change with the times," and be open to new business opportunities-- although they may be outside of your original plan. Set long term goals for your company, but allow these goals to evolve. Also in line with change is how we have seen technology grow since our humble beginnings. While today's technology can sometimes seem very complicated, by embracing it, you allow your business to become better.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: My best piece of advice extends from my previous answer - embrace change. Too many times I've seen small businesses hold themselves back because they were too afraid or stuck in their ways to change. Technology has given us more tools than ever to grow and market our business, so I recommend taking full advantage of the