Today we are highlighting business owner Rhonda McDonald. Rhonda is the owner of CreekStone Homes in Colorado Springs. CreekStone Homes was established in 1995. As a woman in a predominately male-driven industry, Rhonda has a unique advantage over her competition: she knows precisely what women want in a new home. It’s this unique insight that’s helped Rhonda build a track record of over 1,600 satisfied customers, while earning the respect and admiration of her peers. Today, CreekStone Homes is a successful family business dedicated to delivering quality craftsmanship at affordable prices. And Rhonda still designs every home.
What experiences in life and work led you to open your business?
I love homes. I love designing floor plans. I love creating the interior finish options. I love helping families purchase a house with the features that make it a home! After spending many years working for various homebuilders, I felt that a better product and a better experience could be offered than what was available to the buying public.
Did you start the business from home?
I started CreekStone Homes in a 10’ wide 60’ deep office space that used to be a dry cleaners in the middle of a retail shopping center. My rent was $300 per month. Since that time, I’ve designed and built a building, sold that building, and purchased a building for the corporate offices of CreekStone Homes in Colorado Springs.
What outside resources or people do you consider a must for those preparing to start a business?
An accounting/CFO/money guru type person is an absolute must! In business, it’s all about the numbers. It is fun to create, but if the numbers don’t work, the business will fail. Make sure YOU can read a financial statement.
Tell us about your best day or best experience in business so far.
I can’t really pick one day. I will say that my best experiences are the number of people who step up and say “I have faith in your ability – let’s make this (regardless of what “this” is) happen! It’s an amazing rush when “this” comes together!
How has the experience been different than what you expected from the beginning?
It has been much harder than I ever imagined. There are so many factors that are not within “small business environment” control, that it makes it difficult for a business plan to work the way initially envisioned. Things change everyday.
Best piece of advice you can pass on to women of all ages considering taking the leap and starting their own business.
Be realistic. Be certain you have the capital to back the endeavor for the amount of time it will take to be profitable. Surround yourself with good people – inside and outside your company. Have a positive attitude. Your gender is irrelevant. Your energy level is VERY relevant.
Learn more about Creekstone Homes at http://creekstone-homes.com