Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Justin Lokitz, founder and CEO of Plantfully Systems, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Plantfully Systems, we formulate plant-based supplements to enable anyone and everyone to elevate their game no matter what they want to achieve.
Tell us about yourself
I started Plantfully Systems because, as someone who’s been thriving on a purely plant-based diet since 2013, I found myself continually searching for different ways to enhance my everyday performance, brain function, mood, and overall sense of well-being. Over the years, I’ve literally tried hundreds of various products from every well-known brand out there. And what I found was this: while there are plenty of great products on the market, the goal of most is to deliver parity — or sameness — with everyone else. But why would I want to be the same as everyone else?! My goal has always been to create a better me, you, and the people and planet around us. And that’s what we’re doing at Plantfully Systems.
So, in the middle of a global pandemic, when many of us were searching for something to help lift ourselves and our families, Plantfully Systems was born to do just that. Every product we create is 100% plant-based, non-GMO, and in most cases, organic as well. We formulate our products to enhance our body’s natural abilities from the inside out. From brain function to energy boosters to overall wellness, we constantly thrive to provide ways to not just dial it to 10 but to crank it to 11. Every product we develop is part of a larger system of products. All are meant to work together, enabling you to personalize your own formula based on your unique life goals.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is conceiving of, designing, and launching Plantfully Systems during the pandemic, when hope was at its lowest...and I wrote about the journey as I took it. I believe having done so not only helped me (and my morale), it helped others to know that when your chips are down, there's always a way to create more value.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is learning to stay on top of things while also trusting in others to see your vision through as you conceived of it. And when people provide that they are not trustworthy or don't hold the same vision as you, you must let them go immediately, whether they're employees or partners.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First and foremost, you MUST seek to understand who your customer is and what they want and need. You cannot do this by simply assuming you know what they want/need because it's what you want/need. Ask your customers open-ended questions and really listen to what they have to say. Do not pitch your product or service. Just listen and ask more questions.
Once you believe you understand what your customers need/want, find ways to test your value proposition with them before spending a lot of time and money developing a product or service. This can be as simple as creating some imagery and tag lines to put in front of your customers to solicit their objective feedback. And, just as above, this is about listening to and watching how they respond to what you're offering. Use their feedback to help design your product/service and value proposition.
Finally, don't underestimate what it takes to brand and market your product/service properly. The world is a BIG place, and your customers are literally inundated with millions of choices. You must find ways to get in front of them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I LOVE critical feedback! It helps keep me sharp, and we use it to re-design current products and design new ones.
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.