Julia MacGregor, founder of Global Safety Management (GSM), which is a GrowFL 2017 Florida Companies to Watch honoree, is a serial entrepreneur who launched five ventures before GSM.
"I tell people I have this disease called entrepreneurship," she said. "When I see a problem, my mind automatically starts working on a solution. Sometimes they're viable business opportunities and sometimes they're not. I've been an entrepreneur all my life. I can't help myself. It goes back to my first business, Hamsters Unlimited, which was a hamster distribution company when I was eight."
GSM's mission is to ensure employee safety by simplifying chemical regulatory compliance.
"We're a SaaS-based compliance company that is fundamentally changing the way companies handle chemical and product safety information," MacGregor explained. "It's such a new way that industry leaders are calling it disruptive and a paradigm shift. With our system, our clients can create a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in a fraction of the time they used to, in minutes not hours, and without having regulatory expertise."
SDSs are mandatory product safety documents required by OSHA for manufacturers and distributors.
"As we moved from managing the documents to authoring them, we looked for technology solutions to make authoring them easier," MacGregor said. "We found the existing way was difficult and expensive. That was the genesis of our patent-pending method of creating and distributing these documents."
MacGregor is grateful on two fronts to be recognized by GrowFL as a Florida Company To Watch in 2017.
"It's absolutely an honor," she said. "What I like about Florida Companies To Watch is it really highlights what we're doing here in Florida. Everyone thinks great ideas and companies only come from Silicon Valley and what GrowFL does is helps people both in and outside of the state see there are great things happening in Florida and that's a big deal. It's also a big deal to us as a company because we feel honored to be included in that group of companies that are making a difference in Florida for our communities and our economy by creating jobs and opportunities."
MacGregor's experienced advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to make informed decisions, work hard and work smart.
"Do your research," she said. "Not all ideas are viable business opportunities. Once you find one that is a true business opportunity, focus on the execution for that business. You have to know yourself to so you can leverage your strengths and backfill your weaknesses. Above all, have a plan."