Welcome to Chicagoland Business Stories
This podcast is an opportunity to hear about how businesses are actually built in Chicago. Not the huge mega businesses that have huge venture capital investment and make their owners billionaires overnight, but small and medium sized businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. I love hearing the stories of how these businesses are built and operated, and each story is unique and has its own twist. Talking to the business owners is what makes my job exciting and fun, and I am trying to share that with a broader audience for both enjoyment of the listener, as well as a support to budding entrepreneurs.
In addition, we ask each business owner why they have chosen to invest in energy efficiency for their business with Verde. I feel that there is a qualitative story that can be found by weaving a thread behind each of these decisions. Reasons that business owners decide to invest in energy efficiency range from the Return on Investment, environment mission, reducing maintenance, low cost for improvements due to utility rebates, to name just a few. I think that the more we can collectively understand what drives environmental action, the greater chance we can move the needle on action.
I think the most important thing I want listeners to take away is that running a business is hard - owners have limited time to make decisions. They often appear to focus their energy on the wrong activities - but the truth is that there are so many skills required of a business owner, that they can't be good at everything. They might be a natural at marketing, but lack in accounting and finance. They might be strong in operations, but weak in sales. Building a team is so important, and each person will choose to build a team in a different way. I think these stories can help us both respect and have empathy for local businesses, which can help our community be stronger.
Finally, in my own running of a company - I rarely get to do what I want. I think there is a perspective that business owners play golf all day long, or vacation a ton and pay themselves a lot. In my experience of meeting and talking to thousands of business owners, that is rarely true. However, I love talking to these folks and decided that if I enjoy it, I will carve out an hour each week and make it happen for myself. Recording and sharing the podcast is an opportunity for me to do what I want to do, and gain a bit of control in my own day to day operations.
If you have a business story you'd love to share, please shoot us an email and we'll be in touch with you soon!