Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Sutherland, Founder and CEO of Canine Biologics, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Canine Biologics provides specialty nutrition systems for dogs to support them when battling cancer and for dogs and cats when they are in critical care situations. So, both 'pet parents' and veterinarians are our customers.
Tell us about yourself
Before being in pet nutrition for over a decade, I had been an IT consultant. After having my dog be affected with terrible GI issues even when fed a range of 'super premium' commercial dog foods, I began feeding her real food (that I made at home) with additional vitamins and minerals needed by dogs. After making the switch, her years-long battle with GI problems (some very severe) completely cleared in one day and never returned over the next decade. Seeing the power of great nutrition for both our furry companions and us is what gets me out of bed!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Developing two products from zero and bringing them to market in the face of COVID and the Avian flu - which greatly affected our supply chain - has been my biggest accomplishment as a business owner. We invented two new products, branded them, and got traction in the challenging veterinary pet nutrition market.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Dealing with the constant challenges from every angle, like suppliers, regulatory agencies, funding, marketing, sales, etc., especially when your business is still small.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a partner that complements your skill set - don't go it alone.
- Build your best business plan with the most refined financial model you can - determine your need for capital - and then multiply it by two and a half to three.
- Surround yourself with people that are the smartest, most experienced you can find - make yourself the dumbest person in the room and be willing to learn from everyone else!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If the business you plan to start doesn't coincide with a deep passion, then don't do it.
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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