Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cody Pepper, CEO of Bee Healthy Cafe Franchising, located in Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our company is Bee Healthy Cafe, and we are on a mission to make it easy to be healthy. Our customers, whom we cheekily call busy bees, are folks who value health and life. They are typically parents who have careers they love, kids in activities, love to cook but don't have time to do it every night, so they value restaurants that allow them to eat food that is good for them AND tastes delicious.
Tell us about yourself
I learned what an entrepreneur was in my 3rd-grade class when Mrs. Lewis taught us that I could run a business that improves people's lives and make a good living without having a boss. Something about that appealed to the nine-year-old Cody. Today, I'm still motivated by the mission of our company. Knowing that what we are building here will change people's lives gets me out of bed in the morning.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The best part of business ownership is creating a place where people want to work. It feels pretty tremendous building something that changes the lives of our customers by making it easy for them to be healthy and creates careers for our team.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is probably similar to the biggest accomplishment. Knowing that the decisions I make directly impact the livelihoods of all of our teammates. That is a pretty big challenge. It certainly keeps me grounded and focused on making well-through decisions.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first piece of advice I give is what was given to me before I opened my first company, "Don't do it"! Until you have to until you can't stop thinking of it, and beyond any reason, you just have to do it.
Advice number two is, when you decide to do it - go all in. There are no halfway measures in entrepreneurship. You have to be committed to seeing this through. If you aren't (see advice 1), don't do it.
Finally, from the start, know why you are doing it. And it can not be money. The compelling why must be so overwhelming and compelling that you lean on that on the tough days. You have to understand how to communicate it to others because you will need others to join your mission. They have to be just as motivated by the 'why.'
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There is no one way to run a business. Lots of different people with lots of different approaches can be successful, so if you feel 'different' than other business owners, that's ok. Also, success doesn't mean one thing. It can be different for different people. I strongly encourage you to define what success means for you so you don't get caught up in chasing metrics that others use to define 'their success.'
You may want to create a billion-dollar company that you position for a significant exit, or you may want to open something small and unique that is a lifestyle business for you to work in for your whole career. Both can be considered success depending on what you are looking for. So take time to understand what you want and align your decisions with that objective.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.