· By Carley Sheehy
3-Year Anniversary... Can I get a "woo-hoooo!"!?
This April marks Global Grub's existence for a fast and furious three years. Global Grub has come a long way. Just look at the concept packaging from October of 2011 compared to today's real packaging.
When I first started this business, I remember speaking to two different entrepreneurs who admitted if they could do it again, they probably wouldn't. I chose to ignore that statement but I have to admit, now I kinda understand. This biz keeps me on my tip-tip-tip toes. I might even venture to say running this biz has been tougher than being a Mom... well, that definitely adds to the toughness equation (read about my thoughts on being a mompreneur here). But, but, but, this biz has also been so rewarding and challenging, in a very good way. The highs are so high. And I wholeheartedly believe in my products. At the end of the day, more than anything else, the promise of its success is way too exciting and motivating to give up on. I am happy to report no big regrets here.
What keeps me going on those days that kick my butt? Of course sales and checks help. Also at the top of the list: random acts of kindness in the form of customers reaching out to me to tell me how much they enjoyed a kit they tried. To think that I've helped someone have such a positive experience that they want to reach out to tell me... well, it warms my heart and keeps me going. Another extremely rewarding aspect is the Meal for a Meal charity program. I'm proud to share Global Grub's successes (every kit!) with the local community.
While I am by no means an expert and I still have a long way to go to grow this business to the magnitude it deserves, I do think I have some valuable advice to offer to anyone starting up. If I had to pick three:
- Think BIG. No matter how small you are. And in every aspect of your business. And as early on as possible. Are you creating a product, brand and packaging that has legs to grow like crazy today, tomorrow and down the line? This will help set yourself up for success (not saying it's ever too late, but you'll just save yourself a lot of time... and time is money).
- Ask for advice. I tend to be shy about asking people for help, not wanting to bother or burden other people; however, I've come to the realization that people in the biz don't mind lending some advice. They can relate and pay forward some mentorship they were likely given by someone else. And there's nothing like getting advice from someone who's actually been through it
- It's all about the customer. They're your bosses. You need to constantly get feedback from them and evolve as you go. To get this feedback, host focus groups (with WINE), do tastings/demos/events yourself, just ask and listen to anyone who is willing to share. As I'm writing this, I'm reminded that I need to do this more!