Welcome to Founder x Founder, a series where we get to know some of the incredible entrepreneurs in our community through quick Q&A interviews.
In this series, we have one founder — local writer and Startup Sioux Falls storyteller, Andrea Van Essen — asking the questions, and another sharing about her entrepreneurial journey. Today, we’re chatting with Kendra Cersosimo, founder of Kendra Cersosimo Creative and one of our CO.STARTERS graduates. Kendra was also featured on our Start Dakota podcast a few months back — give it a listen here!
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Tell us about your business! When, how and why did you embark on this venture?
Kendra Cersosimo Creative works with businesses to elevate their brands through professional graphic design, social media and other marketing services.
The business started in 2020 by working on one-off graphic design and social media projects for clients. Shortly into this venture, it became apparent that many businesses have logos and a brand identity, but either do not have a marketing employee on staff or their current marketing team is looking to offload graphic design and social media work. Because of this, projects like recruitment billboards, social media posts and even business cards get put on the back burner or are completed by team members who don't have the necessary time or expertise.
That's where Kendra Cersosimo Creative comes in! I am passionate about helping mid-size businesses on recurring graphic design, social media and marketing items. I have formed amazing relationships with clients and their brands and enjoy creating deliverables that serve their audiences well.
What has been the most challenging aspect of starting your business and how have you overcome it?
Understanding and finding resources for tax help, health insurance and financial planning. I did extensive research, reached out to local professionals and asked a lot of questions.
What resources were most helpful to you when starting your business and what resources do you wish existed?
Once I found a health insurance agent in town, that connection was extremely helpful. I wish I would have received a list of local insurance agents, financial advisors, tax experts, etc. earlier on. This would have saved me a lot of stress and frustration in the early days of my business.
What has surprised you about entrepreneurship?
Once I joined the Sioux Falls community, I was surprised by all of the people who offered to meet up for coffee. In my short time back, I have been to coffee with more people than I can count, and each one was so enjoyable. I could not believe how many people are cheering me on, referring me to others and sharing their advice and experiences with me. I am beyond grateful for all who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to share their stories with me!
What’s the #1 piece of advice you have to offer other founders?
Never stop learning! Try to say yes to opportunities that are outside of your comfort zone, sign up for the masterclass, listen to the podcast, read the book, join a local workshop, etc.
What is your most useful hack or tool?
If you’re overwhelmed with posting on your business’ social media pages, there are many tools that are inexpensive or free that allow you to schedule your posts.
Tools like Meta Creator Studio, Buffer, Later, Sprout Social or Hootsuite allow you to create your social media posts and schedule them. This saves my business and my clients’ businesses time through content batching (creating a bulk amount of post captions and images at once) and scheduling them to post weeks in advance.