Creative Estonia asked a small business owner Kaydi Tomson how she became an entrepreneur and what advice she would give to other women who want to be entrepreneurs.
How did you start your entrepreneurial career?
My company, Lahendaarium was born out of a desire to help small creative businesses to get their marketing right. I used to map and train creative businesses in Pärnu County at the Development Centre and realised that they had poor product photography and websites that were not customer-friendly and therefore not making a lot of sales. My creative industries project ended, and it was a good push to start my own business, which I had been dreaming of for a long time.
What have been the main obstacles or barriers you have encountered in your entrepreneurial career?
There have been no obstacles directly, rather I have always focused on solutions. The name of the company says it all…it means solutions!
Which professional success are you most proud of?
My biggest success is starting a business or fulfilling a dream. I started doing what I know and enjoy. Getting involved in different projects, different people and different companies. Seeing and feeling how happy customers are with the results you can achieve in a short time. A happy customer is the biggest win.
My work experience is related to a charity project where children from ‘broken families, from different backgrounds, wanted to find adult support persons who would be there for the older brother or sister and just be there for the child to talk to and discuss things of the world (usually these were families where there was no connection with the parent). As nothing was known about such a possibility, we did a marketing campaign in cooperation with a company, which was also close to the topic, and disseminated the information through different channels. We received a lot of feedback and people willing to be good friends and conversation partners for the child. Projects like this go to the soul and can never be measured in money.
What knowledge do you think you should have had or wish you had before starting a business?
I would have liked to have been taught entrepreneurship, finance, investing, etc. in secondary school. Today, I have the opportunity to help to run a student company and have mentored, supported and inspired young people for years. They are the entrepreneurs of the future and the earlier they are in it, the more likely they are not to have an entrepreneurial company.
What professional advice would you give your younger self?
Be active, take part in inspiring events, surround yourself with entrepreneurial people, test ideas, take risks, and be brave. Nothing to lose, but experience to gain and new friends to make.
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start a business or has just started her entrepreneurial career?
Join a community or interest group to share ideas and experiences. For example, there is a women’s entrepreneurship group in Pärnu with around 600 women. From time to time they get together and have meetings. It’s exciting to hear how others are doing and that there are always opportunities for cooperation. It’s not worth staying on your own, find others like you and network.