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My Toughest Challenge: Merrilee Kick

The CEO of Southern Champion/BuzzBallz on keeping up with rapid growth.

Merrilee Kick with some BuzzBallz product.

“We’re growing like crazy. We have 100 people on staff, but that’s not enough. When we started out, our equipment was going at 40 cans a minute, and now we’re up to 1,500 cans a minute—and I still need another line. I ran out of space in our original warehouse, which I thought would be bigger than I’d ever need, so I bought the rest of the building to expand. I think what’s most important with any startup—or any young business, for that matter—is being able to see what’s ahead. Are you going to need more space? Do you need more equipment? Do you have the correct number of employees? Trusting your instincts and believing in your decisions is key. You won’t always know if you’re making the right decision or not. But your gut will tell you, ‘Don’t take the chance’ or ‘Do take the chance.’ And you’ve got to jump on it.”

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