Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Kirk Chewning, Founding Partner at Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP:

What does your company do?

Cane Bay Partners is a management consulting company focusing on the financial services industry. Our management consulting practice specializes in providing services to clients in need of sophisticated risk management models, debt collections organizations which require liquidation models and analytics, and portfolio management companies desiring service like risk analytics, marketing and portfolio management. We were founded in 2009 on St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands and we are a beneficiary of the Economic Development Authority’s EDC program.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I’m a founding partner but also still very active in the operations of the company and high level decision making. I continue to maintain strategic partnerships, oversee budgetary processes and the management of our technology processes. I’m a numbers guy and I’m very passionate about educating our staff on the core structure of the industry as well as the metrics that make our analytic tools and models so successful.

Every day is an educational experience as we develop new ideas, create innovative solutions and push our company to new heights. I also recently helped found a charity, www.canebaycares.org, for our home island of St. Croix, which was hit by two devastating hurricanes back to back. Together, my partner and I have committed to a $200,000 fundraising match to bring aid the island. We have delivered more than 75,000 pounds of aid to the island.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

In our industry, our biggest challenge has been navigating the regulatory climate and developing products and systems that can handle whatever the industry and market requirements are. We are very focused on compliance and we invest a lot of resources in order to navigate the regulatory climate and create a culture of compliance that protects us as well as allows us to grow and maintain profitability for our clients.

For our company personally, our biggest challenge thus far has been dealing with the devastating impact of two strong hurricanes that destroyed our St. Croix office and disrupted our employees lives as well as our business. Thankfully, we are now bouncing back and returning to normal.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Know your market and your personal capabilities, challenge yourself but also understand your limitations. Understand that you will make mistakes but don’t measure yourself by your mistakes but instead how you handle your mistakes. Building businesses takes risk, hard work, and capital. Celebrate the successes you have and look back at what behaviors caused them. Daily look at your tasks and ensure that they align to your short term and long term plans. If they don’t align re-prioritize accordingly.

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