A Small Business Success Story

As part of our profile on small business series, this time we are heading to Calgary, Canada to have a deeper look into the success of The Silk Road Spice Merchant. This business managed to defy the odds and grow from a 2 person operation to 2 locations and more than 25 employees in just a few short years. Owners Kelci Hinds and Colin Leach didn’t come from retail or food service backgrounds in fact Kelci was an RN while Colin worked in digital marketing.

Outside the office and the hospital they did have one shared passion and that was the love of good food. Both love to cook and bake and constantly explored different recipes and cooking styles. But, even in a fair sized city like Calgary finding the right spices for different recipes wasn’t always possible. That’s when they saw an opportunity.

Find a Need and Fill It

Spices have been around for thousands of years and absolutely every culture in the world uses them but they barely merit much more than a shelf in the grocery store. There is very little variety and they are at the end of the aisle along with some other sundries. Kelci and Colin decided to give them a little more respect and attention.

Starting Out

The doors to their shop first opened back in 2008, along with an eCommerce website so that you can order their spices online at any time. The store isn’t a fancy boutique, but it has done a brisk business that has allowed them to expand and open another store in Edmonton. They have a complete product line of herbs, spices, and flaming hot chilies sourced from all over the world. In order to maintain the high quality and freshness, they are known for still keep orders from suppliers small so the spices stay fragrant.

Quality has been their selling point throughout their business. Many of their spices are ground in their shop, never seeing a warehouse. No cheap filler ingredients are used so their customers can count on the same quality with every order. This same quality and the availability of some hard to find spices are what keeps customers from all over the world ordering again and again.

Challenges Along the Way

They have faced challenges and slow periods as the economy changed just like any other entrepreneur. They are both first-time business owners and the biggest challenge they struggled with was with management skills. Neither had ever had to hire or fire employees or manage time. Thrown in the deep end they both learned and adapted rather quickly and their business is thriving because of it.

Where Can I Get a Merchant Account for My High-Risk Business

Risk assessment, decision to accept business result in uncertainty, unpredictable situation concept, cube wooden block with alphabet building the word RISK.

High-risk business can be an exciting prospect, especially for someone looking to expand into a new industry. The old sentiment that greater risk leads to greater reward attracts many individuals to seek out this sort of challenge, but logistics can often push them away on a different path. One of these obstacles that new high-risk businesses face is setting up a merchant account.

When a prospective business owner is looking to get the financial system in place to accept payment, he will often find that merchant service vendors are hesitant to work with these high-risk companies. Those in the adult industry, law firms, online gambling, credit repair or debt consolidation, or a variety of other business may find that these merchant account services are more trouble than they are worth. Despite this, they are necessary to get started in the business, which makes the question arise: where can they find these services?

The Innovative Always Find a Way

There is an old sentiment among business owners and entrepreneurs that innovation will always find a way to overcome adversity. When looking to set up a high-risk merchant account, going through one of these companies will ensure that your business can accept the necessary forms of payment without worrying about losing valuable customers due to a lack of payment processing.

Of course, some of these companies that will offer to set up a high-risk merchant account look to charge fees and penalties that simply make it impossible for a new business to pay for the services. Because these companies need the valuable merchant account services that are being offered, it is necessary to pay these excess fees, often at the price of a difficult and rocky start financially. Fortunately, companies like USABancard offer an alternative to these high-risk businesses in the form of reasonable fees and free quotes for merchant account services.

A High-Risk Merchant Account Doesn’t Have to Mean High Fees

With USABancard, the idea is that just because you operate a high-risk business does not mean that you have to pay absurdly high fees to counter this risk. Instead, it will work with you to give a free, custom quote based on your business needs. With over 45 years working with high-risk and international business entities, USABancard has a reputation for finding options that work for all parties involved in the process.

Instead of settling for high fees and slow process times, companies that look to work with USABancard will find they receive all of the necessary services without any additional hassle. They enjoy swift processing turnarounds and a variety of account options. Most importantly, this gives them the opportunity to receive all of the merchant account options they need without paying the absurd fees that many in the industry charge.

Some Entrepreneur Advice

Potential entrepreneurs refer to people who have thought of starting their own business venture but could not do so because of some legal or technical difficulties or people who have actually started off with their own ventures but have failed at it miserably. Often, it is the first case which stops people from following their dreams. There are plenty of hurdles which dampen the entrepreneurial spirit of the people. These enthusiastic people could do well with some basic entrepreneur advice.

Describe your idea to yourself first – This is the most elementary entrepreneur advice. For a business venture to succeed, it is important that one can explain the products and services to clients effectively. For that to happen, it is de rigueur that one can do so to one’s own self. Put your business model on a paper and try to explain it in the most concise way possible. Often, people do not have much time to listen to others. Hence, it is important that the description of your product is succinct.

Give Time to each and every aspect of your product – This is another entrepreneur advice worth taking note of. It is important to make your product as complete as possible before you go out to seek a loan. Before selling your product to customers, it is very important that you sell it to financial backers because eventually, they will be the ones who would be supporting you in your initial stages. Having a half-baked product would not help the cause one bit.

Be Ready for Failure – You must have heard about this entrepreneur advice a zillion times but it is actually the hardest to implement. It is important to understand that failure does not mean that the product is bad or you are not as good as an entrepreneur. Failure means that you made a few mistakes. It is important to learn from these mistakes and come back with a bang. If you can practice this entrepreneur advice, you can succeed for sure.

Networking – Networking is an important aspect of business and a worthwhile entrepreneur advice. Get to know people, socialize, be active in the online world and do everything that could help you network with potential clients as well as your peers. Networking with peers is important because one gets invaluable advice and ideas from one’s peer group. There is a good company in the network marketing niche called Level Thrive that is doing really well and their products are pretty top notch.

Keep a track of progress – Once you have started off with your venture, it is important to keep a tab of various activities and take remedial action wherever necessary. This is the most logical entrepreneur advice and most people know about it. The problem is in the execution stage. Most of the entrepreneurs are so busy setting up a strategy that they fail to implement this entrepreneur advice properly.

Keeping the above things in mind and working passionately towards the goal can help anyone become a successful entrepreneur for sure.