Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maciej Duszak, Co-Founder of Hard Beans Beverages, located in Opole, Poland.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hard Beans is a coffee technology hub focused on turning research into technology and business solutions. We roast coffee and produce cold brew machines, beverages, and cosmetics out of coffee grounds. All that using directly traded specialty coffee sourced and processed in a sustainable way.
Our clients are both B2B and B2C. We supply cafes, restaurants, offices, and other roasteries, just to name a few. Our customers are aware connoisseurs who seek high quality but also the story behind the product - how was it made, what's the impact of their choice on the environment, etc.
Tell us about yourself
I got fascinated with coffee since I was a teenager. In 2010 I started to study law but wanted to find a part-time job in a cafe. It quickly turned out that coffee is way more fascinating than law, so I became more and more focused on this career path. Step by step, I dived into the specialty coffee world as a barista, trainer, consultant, educator, and now a business owner.
Coffee is a great product to work with - almost everybody likes it, and there is still a wide space to grow consumers' awareness of high-quality products in that sector. What drives me often is also the fact that we work directly with producers in the origin countries - there is no better feeling than seeing happy customers enjoying the cup you have sourced yourself. Knowing how much impact it makes on the producer, drinking specialty coffee is actually changing some people's lives for the better.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think it was turning our dreams into reality - coming up with an idea that nobody else had before and turning it into an industry-standard solution. It was a long path and a big effort for our whole team, but we proved to ourselves that aiming high and working hard can lead to some success.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Responsibility. For your employees, brand, and relationships with clients and suppliers. Each decision makes an impact, and you have to think holistically to understand the complexity of your actions. Especially in tough and unpredictable times when all you do aims to survive rather than thrive. When you're on your own and fail, that's just you. When there is a whole team looking up to you, it's a much different game then.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Work hard - nobody else will do it for you.
- Be patient - building the business is a long-term game.
- Be humble - seek more knowledge, and don't think that the world owes you anything. If your business does not succeed - it's mostly your fault rather than anyone else's.
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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