Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Goddard of the Craft Brand Company, a craft beer importing agency, in Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
We are a craft beer importing agency. We bring some of the finest beers from around the world to Canada.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?
I was doing some consulting work in the US for a global brewer who was in need of some sales and marketing help. Each month I was in a different state and discovering a ton of great US Craft beers that we couldn't get in Canada. I brought back some beer to share with my buddy (now business partner) and we decided that we needed to start bringing some of these tasty suds into Canada.
As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?
Building a business that I can be proud of. Our staff are amazing people, we brew great beer, we work with great brands and we do the right thing. I think running a business that makes decisions based on "what you should do" instead of "how much can I make" is how more businesses should operate.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an entrepreneur?
I think the hardest thing is work/life balance. My day takes me in a lot of directions and there usually just isn't enough time to get everything done. In my early days I would work all day and then head home and work all night which isn't healthy and doesn't set a good example for your crew. You need to find a way to maintain that balance in your life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
- Find a good partner - running a business is hard work and can be very isolating so I've found that having a great business partner helps to share the load. They can also build you up when you are down.
- Lean into what you are good at and find folks passionate about the areas you are weak in. This is tough with start ups since you usually don't have the cash to fill all the holes but it should be a priority to get there.
- Have grit. Starting a business is tough and if you don't have grit - the ability to grind through the tough spots, find a way to succeed or fail and then learn from it and do it all over again - this life will wear you down.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don't forget to give back - to your staff, to your community and to yourself. Respect your staff, pay them fairly and treat them well. Be compassionate. Don't forget to keep dreaming, disrupting and driving forward.
If you are starting a business, chances are you are doing it because you love it. If you stop loving it, try to figure out why and see if you can rekindle your love.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as an entrepreneur or business coach that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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