LEAD BY EXAMPLE: When people at school noticed that I ate differently and really clean, they would: a.) think I was weird or b.) applaud my seemingly large sense of self control. I get excited whenever people want to talk about health and well being and I try to spread the message of having a clean diet and the power of food.
DON'T BE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY: One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to let go of my insecurities and doubts and just go out there and talk to people, possibly get told no, and not let anything deter me from trying again. At the beginning of my business venture I was very timid and shy, especially when I had to ask people questions. I would get super anxious and all worked up, and sometimes missed out on awesome opportunities. Looking back on it now, it was when I finally let go of everything and just faced my fear of rejection and humiliation, that I started to truly have success and enjoy myself. Most of my concerns were mind games and only stopped me from moving forward. So my biggest advice that I can give is to let go of all reservations and self-doubt, as cheesy and cliché as it sounds, you really DO lose 100% of the shots you don’t take, so just take the chance and do something great.
GET YOUR SEED MONEY FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY FIRST: Since my startup costs weren’t too big, my amazing mom was able to loan the business money to get it up and running. As of right now happily, the business is able to be self sustaining.
FIND A MENTOR: Luckily my mom is very experienced in business, having owned several of her own, she has learned a lot of stuff which she has now taught me. I know that not everyone has this advantage, but I believe that mentorship is one of the most important aspects in youth innovation. Creating and understanding how to build a business is very intimidating even for adults, and when someone is younger this industry can seem impossible to be a part of. Good advice and encouragement is key in empowering younger generations.
SET CLEAR GOALS: Ever since starting this business venture I had a very clear and simple goal in mind: Create and share a convenient snack that is healthy, purposeful and enjoyable. People should care what’s going into their bodies but they should also love the taste too. I started selling officially in November 2015, but I had to do a lot of prep work beforehand, such as figuring out packaging, refining my recipes, setting up my website and social Medias, and more. So far, I have sold around 3,500 bars to places as far as Massachusetts and Michigan.
MAKE YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE CORE TO YOUR MISSION: When we promote our Cinnamon Almond bars, we say: ☀️ they are filled with nutrients and is sure to keep you energized all day long! ☀️ We also were very intentional about picking our product names, like BLUEBERRY BLISS, which communicates a deeply enjoyable experience.
FOCUS ON SCALING THROUGH EFFICIENCY: My ultimate goal for this business is to have my bars produced by a co-packer. Instead of making the bars myself, which is extremely labor intensive and time consuming, I would send my recipe over to a facility to have the bars made and packaged for me. This would allow me to move into bigger retailers and wholesalers and increase efficiency greatly.
FIND A WAY TO GET THE PRESS TO COVER YOU! Media has been a very useful and powerful tool that has helped me reach and engage with a lot of diverse people.
DREAM BIG: I would love to expand internationally so that I can reach as many people as I can. My products appeal to a wide range of people, even those who don’t really like healthy foods. They have a distinct taste and I believe they would fare well among the myriad of other healthy snack foods. My only concern about expanding would be having to risk the integrity of my products and adding preservatives or additives, which I would never want to do.