Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ella Chesterman, CEO of Zotlok Inc., located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Zotlok is a business consulting company, and its customers are businesses that are struggling to grow. A percentage of our customers are Start-up businesses that are unsure how to start a business.

Tell us about yourself

For many years I had my own locksmith business, and I was, 20+ years ago, the only woman who put on a pair of coveralls and went out and trained technicians in the trade. I grew the business, so we did business all over western Canada.

In 2012 I sold the business, and business owners just started calling me asking me to help them with their businesses. Never advertised, just word of mouth. What I love about helping business owners is the moment the stress of whatever they are dealing with vanishes and is replaced with, OH, I GOT THIS.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Raising three successful daughters as a single mom and somehow growing a business. Today my accomplishments and joy are in other Business Owners' growth personally and business-wise. In order to grow your business, you have to grow as a person. My strength is in both these fields.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Finding someone who will tell you the truth. Everybody is trying to sell a business owner something. Finding that rare person who politely says, " I disagree, and here's why, or have you thought about this?"

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. If you are just starting, it is very important to have the right bookkeeping and accounting people in place. This can make or break you because they will help you with your taxes and link your point of Sales, dispatching systems, etc., into your accounting system. You need accounting information to know if you are making money.
  2. To Run a business, finding the right people will be your biggest challenge. If they are not right, let them go ASAP. It costs you money every day you keep someone who is not a good fit, but if you find the right people, support them and help them to grow too.
  3. To Grow a business, be prepared to grow who you are as a human being.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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