We recently connected with Kathryn Smith and have shared our conversation below.
Kathryn, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What do you think matters most in terms of achieving success?
Success can mean something different to every individual. For me, it means meeting milestones I have set for myself. Focusing on my own milestones means resisting the pressure that society often imposes upon entrepreneurs and startups to grow a company quickly and make lots of money. When milestones make sense success is pretty much guaranteed; however, there are two other attributes I would say contribute to success: persistence and quality. Persistence means showing up on a consistent and predictable basis, and quality means providing a final product that excites your client and meets or exceeds their expectations. Set a milestone and chart a path to accomplish it, pursue it with all of the energy and focus you can muster, and commit to delivering exceptional service and top-notch results.
Kathryn, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I became a full-time entrepreneur in late 2019, launching Walton Birch during what I thought was a temporary break from corporate America. With an MBA in Business Analytics and a wealth of experience in marketing and communications, I envisioned Walton Birch being a Market Research firm serving mid-size businesses and enterprise clients. However, the universe had other plans.
Six months into business the Covid-19 pandemic hit and devastated small businesses in my community. Falling back on the website development experience I gained in my early corporate career as a web designer I decided to help local entrepreneurs stay in business by helping them build and launch online stores. At that point I discovered Shopify and the rest, as they say, is history.
Hearing many horror stories about businesses paying marketing consultants thousands of dollars for websites that never launched or were broken and underperforming, In 2021 Walton Birch officially pivoted to become an e-commerce consulting firm. Walton Birch currently provides a full suite of e-commerce and website services including Shopify store development, Woocommerce/Wordpress maintenance, copywriting, email marketing,
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and of course website troubleshooting.
We help entrepreneurs and small businesses that have been left high and dry by agencies or consultants and don’t feel they have options when it comes to hiring qualified experts to work on their websites. We create functional websites and marketing campaigns that make it easy for business owners to focus on their entire business, not just their website.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The best source of new clients for me has been word-of-mouth referrals. Whether from existing clients, friends and family, or networking contacts, word-of-mouth has proven to be the best way to get started on the right foot with new clients.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I feel like I have been pivoting continuously since 2019. When I started my business I was focused on freelancing to provide enough income to make it through a “break” from corporate America while waiting for health issues to resolve. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I was faced with the choice to give up entrepreneurship and go back to the consistency and security of a salaried job at the risk of my health, or double down on full-time entrepreneurship and focus on building a business, not just a series of freelance gigs. Deciding to build a business meant pivoting to a new business structure and set of services and also personally to a growth and stability mindset. Once that happened it seemed like opportunities came from every direction, and my business began to gain momentum. I’ve learned pivoting isn’t a bad thing; entrepreneurs pivot constantly. It is an important part of what it takes to survive in business.
- Website: https://waltonbirch.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/krs_consulting
- Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/kathrynrsmith
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathrynrsmith
1.) Cobb Chamber of Commerce 2.) Walton Birch LLC