Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Rosol, co-founder, and VP of Operations of Free Range Beehives, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Free Range Beehives is a corporate beekeeping company that hosts honeybee hives on private properties. We use these hives for the benefit of the organization hosting them by giving educational presentations, workshops, and hive tours to the tenants and employees of the client. In having hives on their property, our clients are bolstering their employee wellness, increasing their ESG deliverables, and helping the threatened honeybee populations in Colorado (which in turn helps the environment).
Tell us about yourself
I went to college for ecology and evolutionary biology. I was on the path to becoming a field ecologist when my father approached me with this business idea. He had been caring for honeybees for years at this time but wanted to find a way to spread awareness of their plight and make some money doing so. From then on, we started working on Free Range Beehives.
I love this job because I get to educate people about these amazing animals and the honeybees and really take an active role in conservation and sustainability. I'm also hoping that by running this as a successful business, we can start to change the way people think about conservation and sustainability. Rather than approaching large corporations for funding with the sole motivation of altruism, we should go to them with an opportunity that benefits the client and the environment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My first educational presentation to one of our large clients, to a room of close to one hundred people, felt like the culmination of all my efforts. It was proof that this business is successful and that we really can make a difference and spread awareness. Getting that many people in a room all deeply interested and, hopefully, invested in conservation is a massive accomplishment for both Free Range Beehives and me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As with any startup, cash flow has been a significant hardship. We have been funding Free Range Beehives ourselves, which makes money even tighter, but gives us the freedom to focus on our passions. Rather than being beholden to investors and shareholders, we can concentrate on the bees, the environment, our clients, and the things that really matter to us as a company.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you're passionate about what you are working on. Starting a business is fraught with hardships. Unless you're truly invested in your product, it can be hard to find motivation.
- Properly define and write down your company's theory of change. A clearly defined mission, target population, objectives, and more can help you to clarify your own position and keep things focused as you move forward and grow.
- Plan as far ahead as possible. The more you plan for the future, the better prepared you will be, and the more you can give attention to the details and issues that come up at the moment.
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.
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