Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle O'Brien, Owner of Aiyana Nutrition, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our healthy, prepared meals are designed to add ease to your day. With our simple online cart-to-doorstep delivery service, Aiyana exists to provide moms, women, and families with nourishment, no matter how busy life gets.
The Aiyana team has designed the ultimate meals and snacks that are as healthy as they are flavourful. Our selection of nutrient-rich prepared meals is made from ingredients that are essential for the maintenance and replenishment of energy, and while women's health is at the heart of our menu, everyone can benefit from Aiyana.
Tell us about yourself
I saw a void in the food-delivery market for families and busy people. By launching Aiyana, I became committed to supporting and nourishing our customers with healthy and delicious prepared meals and snacks. Since the launch of Aiyana, I have received countless messages and notes about the ease of our service and the comfort of our product. It brings me great joy to see that I can lighten the weight during a busy or stressful time, even just a little bit.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment is maintaining the integrity of our food and brand and getting recognized by customers as a valuable service. When I have a customer I've never met comment on how delicious they thought something was or how our meals saved their week, that means the world to us. It's accomplishing exactly what we set out to do in the first place.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult things that comes with being a business owner is setting boundaries. With both a new business and a young family, there are so many responsibilities and things you need to check off the 'list.' If I didn't set clear boundaries, I could be working 24/7. I try and set aside specific hours during the week in which I focus on work, family, and of course, me time as well. A big balancing act, which doesn't always go smoothly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you find the right people. Be it a business partner, assistant, or retailer. Make sure you are on the same page, and they will help you grow rather than hold you back. Finding the right people who are as passionate as you about your business could be just what you need to get to the next step.
- Have a clear business plan. This is something you can always refer to and come back to when you need to. It outlines your goals and can help you assess your successes and what might need more attention.
- You will experience failure. Take failure as a learning experience and try and grow from it. It is easy to get caught up in a negative experience/situation. It can be easy to take a failure personally (when it is your business!), but try and look past that and figure out why it didn't work and how we can make it better.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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