Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverages but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Harris, owner of BombShell Sweets, located in Hayden, ID, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business, BombShell Sweets, is at its heart the world's best cotton candy company, which is why we say, Cotton Candy...Perfected. While that might be a lofty statement, we believe it's absolutely true. As kids, we all liked cotton candy, but as we matured, our taste buds became more sophisticated, and plain sugar wouldn't cut it. BombShell Sweets takes the nostalgia of cotton candy but gears it towards a more adult palette. We have over 80 original unique flavors, like: Mojito, Cherry Tootsie Pop, Lemon Basil, Caramel Macchiato, and our legendary Ghost Pepper Punch. The single most important criteria with any food are flavor, and there simply isn't anyone else out there that has better flavors than us. While we ourselves still do events, the biggest leap forward for us has been our licensing program. We license out our brand and ingredients to individuals all over the country to start their own business. Think of it as a mix of franchise and a gig job... Low start-up, high margins. We currently have 15 licenses in 8 states in just the last two years.
Tell us about yourself
I have done a little bit of everything; I worked in radio as an event promoter, done sales jobs from petroleum equipment to fireplaces, and even made a couple of micro-budget independent films. So in one form or another, I have always done sales on some level. Both of my parents owned their own business, and I always had the dream of starting my own, just never had the means or that killer idea. Even with BombShell Sweets, it was just a side hustle I started back in 2018 that grew to the point that it was very obvious there was something big here. Unlike many other businesses, we have bootstrapped from day one, which brings on its own myriad of challenges. At the end of the day, though, I am very thankful that is the path we have taken. Not having a deep pool of resources forced us to be very creative and find the best, most economical solutions to each hurdle we have ever faced. Each day I wake up knowing we are building to something big. Also, I never ever think about the finical goal at the end. That is not the goal... what drives me every single day is that we are simply the best cotton candy company in the world, and every day we have to go out there and prove it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The fact that we are still in business after the last two years of COVID, in fact, we grew in the last two years. Also, we have bootstrapped from day one. We didn't have a huge investor or take out any loans. We value each and every single thing we have, and we deeply value each and every single customer we earn.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Self-doubt. While it's very easy to verbalize how great we are, it still gnaws at me that I am not a great business person. But I also think that is what drives me. I don't have a safety net to fall back on. Each and every single day is a battle to grind to more one more step forward.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do not take out any debt if you can. Bootstrapping makes you better.
- Vet the people that want to work with you and get everything in writing.
- Treat each and every person you interact with like they are precious. A handshake is always better than an email.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
So much attention in the business world seems to revolve around tech and the coasts. There are is an immense entrepreneurial spirit all over this amazing country we have.
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 email@example.com; 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.