3 Must-Do's to Set Yourself Up for Success

Follow Upward Projects’ lead through the peaks and valleys of a quickly expanding company.
May 28, 2016

Lauren and Wyatt Bailey and Kris and Craig DeMarco didn’t have a grand plan for their business. Armed with a love of historic buildings and great food, they co-founded their community-based restaurant business, Upward Projects, in Phoenix.

“Our goal with each restaurant is to find a strong neighborhood community and become an important part of the people’s lives there,” says Lauren.

3 Must-Do's to Set Yourself up for Success

More than 15 years later, Upward Projects, named one of Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2015, boasts five industrial wine cafes, a neighborhood pub-style restaurant, an ice cream shop, an artisan pizza joint and two scratch-kitchen taco houses. The company focuses on reusing historically and architecturally relevant buildings that are integral parts of local neighborhoods.

Related: What Does It Take to Be a Successful Entrepreneur?

3 Must-Do's to Set Yourself up for SuccessA member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Bailey says she knew she needed a supportive group of peers to encourage her and help her persevere through the peaks and valleys of a quickly expanding company.

Upward Projects opened its first restaurant outside of Arizona in Denver last year and plans to keep expanding. Her advice for hopeful restaurateurs: Know what you’re getting into. “[Running a restaurant] is not hanging out with your friends at a bar. It’s a combination of exciting, fast-paced fun, incredible risk, long hours, penny-pinching, creative thinking, navigating regulations and having an undying quest for consistency.”

3 ways you can set yourself up for success, too:

1. Learn about the industry you’re getting involved with before you dive in.

2. Get creative about your spaces; just because a building is old doesn’t mean it’s useless.

3. Immerse yourself in the community before you open shop. The surrounding businesses could be your biggest supporters—or your biggest obstacles.

Related: Do These 4 Things to Avoid Losing Your Mind as an Entrepreneur


This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


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