Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sue Delegan, Co-Founder and CEO of Brutus Bone Broth, located in Sunderland, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is Brutus Bone Broth - all-natural, human-grade bone broth for dogs. I had a rescue dog Brutus who lived a longer and healthier life than most thought he would, and we always said the secrets to his longevity were love and grandma's bone broth! We've created high-quality and accessible bone broth products that are fortified with nutrients for pet parents and dogs across the U.S.
Tell us about yourself
As mentioned, Brutus Bone Broth was created and named after our family dog Brutus who lived almost 13 1/2 years old, which is very long for his breed and size - he was 135 pounds! On Thanksgiving day in 2016, our family was chatting about Brutus's longevity, and the idea was born to bring our family bone broth recipe to market, knowing that so many other pet parents could benefit from all that bone broth has to offer for their dogs. We have seen amazing growth in just a few short years, and my Co-Founder (also my sister) and I are motivated every day to continue to be innovative in the pet industry, create products that can help pets live healthier lives, and make sure that pet parents everywhere have access to our products.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are so many moments and accomplishments over the last few years that we're proud of - but probably the biggest would be the fact that we are now available in over 5,000 stores across the U.S., including Target and Petco, and many regional grocers like H-E-B, Wegmans, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, and more. It can be so hard for emerging brands to find their way onto shelves at retail, so we're proud that our product is one that so many retailers are excited to carry.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are daily challenges that are associated with being a founder - some, of course, are bigger than others, but generally speaking, we are still a very lean, small team working to continue to grow and build the brand. There are only 4 full-time employees, so there is always a lot of work to be done, and we each have to wear so many different hats.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- When challenges present themselves - and they certainly will! - you can't let them stop you. We have faced challenges of all sizes and magnitudes, and we've had to take each one head-on and collaboratively work through solutions.
- Be scrappy - when you're starting a business and for as long as your business is still considered a "small business," you will have to be scrappy - innovative, creative, collaborative, and more. Entrepreneurship just requires a level of scrappiness!
- Do your research - spend the time researching your product, the marketplace, your consumers, and more. If you jump into a business without laying a solid foundation of research and analysis, there's a higher chance of more initial missteps or spinning your wheels - the last thing any entrepreneur needs!
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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