Editor’s note: For our Women in Business issue, we invited women in our local business communities to share insights they’ve gained through their work in Western North Carolina.
Laura Walton is the owner of The Crunchy Baker.
Xpress: What is the best advice you were given about launching your business?
Walton: No. 1: View other local businesses as partners rather than rivals. We’re all trying to make money and do awesome things within the same industry; we do best by supporting each other. No. 2: It’s OK to make money and lots of it – you can use that money toward causes you care about, and to strengthen your business to do so. No. 3: Hire an accountant — it’s worth the money.
What is the best advice you’d share with someone just starting out today?
Take a business class. You’ll get accounting resources, and it’ll force you to think about and plan the many facets of your business, both present and future. It’s also a great way to connect with other people just starting their businesses and form early partnerships. And seriously, hire a good accountant — it’s worth the peace of mind to have your numbers right.
As a woman, what unique challenges have you experienced within your industry, and how have you overcome these obstacles?
It can be difficult to take risks and know when the risks are worth it, especially with money. For me in particular, I have a hard time seeing money as something to invest, rather than something to let sit in a savings account “just in case.” However, I’ve learned that it’s worth spending a little more to make things easier, or prettier or tastier — it means more money comes back my way to keep investing in my business! I’m thankful that my industry is dominated by women, especially in the farmers market and festival sectors, so I get to see and discuss other women’s successes through their risk-taking and build my confidence in doing the same.
Editor’s note: Laura Walton is married to Xpress News Editor Daniel Walton.