Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jason Nichols, Owner of New Kings Coffee, located in Bristol, Somerset, United Kingdom.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
New Kings Coffee supplies a variety of single-origin ground coffees from around the world. Served in a brew-in-the-cup coffee bag, we provide consumers with a choice of different strengths, tastes, and aromas, all wrapped up in a quick, convenient, and mess-free way to make a great-tasting cup of coffee. All of our coffee is Fairtrade and Organic, and our packaging is eco-friendly.
Tell us about yourself
I launched the business in September 2017 after becoming disenchanted with my corporate career. But it was during my corporate life that the idea for the business was first born. I used to attend hotels and conferences and, for refreshment, be presented with a beautiful selection box of black, white, and herbal teas BUT alongside an anonymous flask of fairly average coffee. Why wasn't there a selection box of coffee? I thought to myself. After all, there are as many varieties of coffee as there is tea. So I went on a mission to create the coffee selection box - and to create a business that customers would be delighted to buy from. Also, work for a company I and others would be proud of.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Single-handedly creating the business - the brand, the product, the sales and marketing platforms, etc. And still being here after 5 years, despite the regular ups and downs you inevitably face as a startup business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Mindset. Particularly as I don't have a business partner or co-founder to bounce ideas off, share wins and challenges, etc. All decisions, doubts, and actions sit with me, which sometimes is an uncomfortable place to be mentally.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know the problem you're solving - too many 'businesses' have an idea for a product or service without fully understanding the problem it solves. People buy solutions to their problems.
- Know your customer - go to great lengths to fully understand who your customer is. Their problems, fears, frustrations, etc. This information will be invaluable when marketing your product/service.
- Get help! Whether it's a mentor, coach, business partner, or co-founder. Going it alone is hard, and you're more likely to be successful if you have someone else supporting you.
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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