Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Aaron Argueta, Co-Founder of Bailey’s CBD For Pets, located in Costa Mesa, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Aaron Argueta, and I am the Co-Founder of Bailey’s CBD For Pets in Costa Mesa, CA. We are notable as one of the first CBD-focused companies on the market to make products exclusively for pets under the advisory of a well-respected Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Robert J. Silver, DVM. Our customers are pet owners who usually either want calming and stress support, mobility support, or proactive health and wellness support for their pets. Because we make products formulated specifically for dogs, cats, and horses, our brand is able to cater to a vast majority of pet owners in the United States, as well as Japan and Panama, where our products are also distributed.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been a business-driven, entrepreneurial-spirited individual ever since I was a young teenager. And I’m also a musician as well. I’ve played bass guitar since I was 12 years old. As a teenager, I started a few different music projects while in high school, where I was also the booking agent and manager for the bands. When I was 16 years old, I booked, managed, and played my first Summer tour with my band at the time. After graduating high school, I was offered a few touring musician gigs that eventually led me to be introduced to my business partner with Bailey’s, Jay O’Keefe. Jay and I maintained being friends for many years after this. Being so entrepreneurial and business-driven, I saw that being a musician in the music industry was financially not the best decision for me at the time. I wanted to own assets and build a system of business that could be scaled, and ultimately help me not have to depend on a W-2 income while at the same time having the freedom to build something on my own and be able to be driven by my own self-motivation and the will to win. This led me to become a licensed tax professional when I was 19 years old. I wanted to learn the tax system and all of the incentives that knowledge brings with it. By the time I was 20, I was teaching tax courses at a Liberty Tax franchise in Huntington Beach, California, on off-season while attending college, where I was taking as many business classes as possible. During this time, I was also helping manage artists for a music management company in the California Reggae industry. In 2016, Jay began sprouting the idea of doing a pet-focused CBD brand named after his pug Bailey. He knew that I had the business-driven skills and motivation to bring a project like this to life and ultimately make it successful, so we partnered together shortly after this to establish Bailey’s CBD as an official LLC business, where we started with enough raw materials to make 100 CBD oil bottles. Knowing that we are the underdogs in the industry and having the mindset to win motivates me every day to strive to do my best to keep growing the company.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Considering where we started as a business, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being an employer who can provide a living wage for our five employees. During the first 3-4 years of business, Jay and I had minimal help, outside of the help of friends and family, every once in a while when we’d have some extra cash to spare. That accomplishment is right there, along with knowing that our products serve value in helping pets in need. With over 1,000+ 5-star reviews online, it’s always motivating and reassuring how hard we work when we see pet owners expressing how much our products have helped their pets. Another accomplishment is the fact that we are still here as a business six years later. Many brands that started around the same time we did have gone out of business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is having the weight of all of the responsibility on your shoulders, especially when you start small as we did. There’s a lot to balance when you’re a business owner, so listing all of the items that need to be maintained and allocating responsibility to your team is very important to make sure that everyone is on the same page and the vehicle is moving at a consistent pace. This is also why mindset is extremely important. How you look at things and how you respond to adversity will ultimately determine your long-term success in business, and sometimes it can be tough to maintain the mindset needed to overcome the obstacles faced, especially if you’re not experienced in the matters at hand. This is why staying true to your values and having a clear “why” is an essential foundation for being a business owner. That way, no matter what you face, you can work diligently to help navigate what actions you need to take to find your solution. Because as a business owner, you are going to always have to make decisions, your mindset is always going to be your biggest obstacle.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make friends with other business owners and operators who are also putting in the hustle. Many businesses face similar obstacles and decisions that need to be made. When you have a source of support from other business owners, you won’t feel so stuck all the time because chances are your friends have also faced this issue. So having relationships like this can be priceless and stress relieving.
- Run lean and mean. We’ve seen many brands go under by over-extending themselves and out-spending their revenues while depleting reserves. If sales aren’t there, dedicate every waking moment to figuring out what you need to do to reach your revenue goals while at the same time doing as much of the work as possible before outsourcing to any agency or adding any employees.
- Never pass the buck. It is your business. It is your responsibility. This is also why running lean and mean is important because, ultimately, you’ll realize that at the end of the day, it is your business, your baby, and no one else is going to put in the effort as much as you are.
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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