Sean Rudner | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Sean Rudner

Background:  

StockPKG is an online discount business supply distributor based in Dana Point, Calif. The company offers more than 30,000 packaging products.

The Mistake:  

I started out in a division at Tyco, which was run by the financial sector. The way I was raised in the business, you’d go out to get customers to help the company grow. Later, I started a company called Desert Plastic.

The packaging industry as a whole is run very old-school. It has a mentality of: “How do we grow our company and not worry about the customer?”

Initially, we had growth, but we had such a small percentage of the market. 

I realized, “OK, I have to make the shift. How do we create what we’re looking for? 

"How do we make the customer experience just that much better?" 

We’re still putting pieces in place. Based on feedback from our customers, we’re in the process of building a 400-page catalog. We’ve been working on the catalog for six months. Initially, we said we’re a green company, but this is a good example of listening to our customers so we can continue to grow our business. We realize that we have multi-generational customers and we have to adapt to them.

See what solutions you can give your  customers,  because that will grow the business.

The Lesson: 

You’ve got to network and learn from other people’s philosophies, whether you use it or not. How are we going to revolutionize this industry? How do we deal with smaller clientele and help them out? How can we be a resource to any company, large or small?   

It was really the culmination of talking to a whole lot of people across multiple industries. They all had different messages, but they all boiled down to the same thing. The ones with the highest growth all had a theory of how do you give the customer the best experience or make them the focal point. Go out there and see what solutions you can give your customers, because that will grow the business.  

Follow StockPKG on Twitter at @StockPKG.

Pictured: Sean Rudner. | Photo courtesy of StockPKG.

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