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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.