10 Questions

by Noemi Kis, an EO San Diego member and president of Western RO, Inc.

Combining passion with purpose is at the crux of every entrepreneurial dream. For Noemi Kis, making a mark is a part of her day-to-day operations as the founder of Western Ro, a wholesale distributor of water filtration products.

  1. Who were your biggest supporters when you started your business?
    NK: My biggest supporters have always been my family, especially those in Hungary. My grandparents were entrepreneurs and owned a bed and breakfast that I helped operate when I was growing up. My grandmother and aunt have been my main sources of inspiration in business!
  2. How did you get your start in such a unique industry?
    NK: My idea for the company came from a friend who operates a similar business. He helped me get started, and I learned a lot from him in the first year. In this industry, it’s all about quick turnaround times and prompt customer service.
  3. Is being a female entrepreneur difficult in your industry?
    NK: Owning a business in a male-dominated industry has produced many learning opportunities. I’ve always felt I had to work hard in order to be taken seriously, and for my business to grow and thrive. That being said, I am seeing a rise in female entrepreneurs.
  4. What was your first job, and how does it help you in your business today?
    NK: My first job was in accounting. I quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for me, but I did learn many skills that I later relied on when starting my business. One of those skills is learning to plan weekly, monthly and annual goals, and to execute them on a daily basis.
  5. What are the most important characteristics that you look for in an employee?
    NK: I look for people who are dedicated and committed to the mission and purpose of the company. We have daily meetings, and ensure everyone is working with the same intention.
  6. What’s your favorite day-to-day activity in your business?
    NK: My favorite activity is measuring our success in terms of our KPIs, and seeing the progress we’ve made along the way. I’m all about results, and I love seeing the numbers go up!
  7. What has been your greatest accomplishment since joining EO?
    NK: Since joining EO, I’ve been inspired by my peers to start another revenue stream for our company. In fact, we just started the product-development process on a new and revolutionary water filter that we’ll be showcasing at the 2015 Water Quality Association trade show.
  8. How has EO helped you strengthen your business?
    NK: Being a part of EO has completely shifted my perspective regarding what’s possible for my business. Since joining, I’ve implemented new systems that I learned from Forum peers, one of which increased the efficiency in our sales process. And I often discover new ideas from EO events that I can take back to my business.
  9. What do you love the most about EO San Diego?
    NK: I love my chapter! We have amazing people, host fun events where we can build relationships and get to explore learning opportunities to raise our skills as business owners.
  10. What advice do you have for emerging entrepreneurs?
    NK: They need to have passion and persistence while pursuing their dreams. Building a business is an art and skill, and it takes a lot of practice and learning. An organization like EO offers the opportunity to learn from others who’ve been in their place at one point in time.

Categories: Interview members Women Entrepreneurs

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