Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jim Galovski, Founder, CEO, and President of Guardian Pet Food Company, Inc., located in Needham, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Guardian Pet Food makes really tasty, all-natural pet foods and treats. Most of our products are freeze-dried, which means they are lightweight, minimally processed, nutrient-dense, and super digestible. We don't use any artificial or synthetic flavors, colors, or preservatives, and you definitely don't need a dictionary to look up our ingredients! Our NOBL Canine Food Bars are patented and perfect for active and "on the go" people and their dogs. We also make NOBL3 which is the same formulation but in a small "cubed" product. This is perfect for everyday feeding, as a topper or mix-in. We make it easy for anyone with a dog to feed a better, more healthy food. We are also one of the lowest cost-per-day feeding freeze-dried foods on the market. After all, what good is food if no one can afford it?

Tell us about yourself

My family always had dogs while I was growing up. In college, I spent a summer as an intern working with Ralston-Purina, and my "big project" was on educational panels for their new (back in 1990) Purina ONE Dog Food. I've worked for 3 of the "Big 4" pet food companies and consulted for a dozen others. Each change of company happened because I thought there was more that could be done for pets than what any particular company was doing at the time. The impetus behind Guardian was to have everything start and end with what was best for the pet's health. My goal has always been to help pets live longer, more active, and healthy lives. When the analytics on our food shows that it performs better than what's out there, it is exciting. When we hear from people that our products are really making "a world of difference" for their pets, it is inspiring. I started Guardian with the hopes of changing the current pet food industry trajectory by one degree just one. If everyone in the industry would pay a little more attention to pets' health over the company's profits, we could do some amazing things!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There have been so many that it is hard to pick just one. We were awarded a patent (USPTO no. 11,206,852) for our NOBL Canine Food Bars. We earned B-Corp Certification with a score of 106.8 ("passing" is 80), making us one of a small handful of pet food companies in the world with that designation, and all of the calls, texts, and emails from pet parents/owners that tell us how much our products have done for their dog. I'm proud of each and every one of those accomplishments!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Something that I tell anyone that is thinking about starting a business is that you must be ready for 100 "pop quizzes" each and every day with subjects ranging from finance to logistics production to sales and from sanitation to business strategy and investor relationships. You need to be prepared to wear every hat in the organization and to be ok with not having all of the answers when the questions are asked. You risk burnout or having things fall through the cracks. It is critically important to know your "North Star" and to find good people to join you on the journey. Being true to the principles that created the business makes "hard decisions" easier, and people make it less work and more "fun."

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Understand corporate finance. At least the very basics of it. Pay attention to your expected monthly "burn rate" (how much cash is going out the door), and make sure you add 50% to it as a start-up. There will always be overruns and unexpected items, and even if you are staying in your field/industry, you will have forgotten something. It doesn't take a lot to get sideways on expenses.
  2. Take your time. If you don't have time to do it properly now, you'll have to find time to do it again (and again) later. Don't buy into the need for speed, especially when it comes to business processes, safety, and employees. These things take time, and they will often make or break you in the long run.
  3. Surround yourself with good people! People that are knowledgeable, courteous, and kind. With people that are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and can take direction just as easily as they can give it. These are the people that will make the long days and the hard days (and believe me, there will be plenty) bearable. They will pick you up when you get down, and they'll be the ones that knock you down when you've gotten "too big for your britches"!

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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