Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samuel Rodriguez, founder and owner of Point Two Vending, LLC., located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Sam Rodriguez, founder, and owner of Point Two Vending, LLC, a micro-market service provider, specializing in bringing top-notch service to small & medium-sized companies. My target customer is a company or office of between 75 and 200 employees that are looking to provide the morale-boosting benefit of drinks and snacks for those who work there. I bring a market that looks to bring the lowest cost to the company, the highest benefit to the employee, and the opportunity to cater my product line and service to the specifications of the employees that make up the company.
Tell us about yourself
I have long been a corporate-world accounting/accounts payable professional with entrepreneurial aspirations but never found the right "push" to launch. In 2019, I worked for a company that went through a merger and opted to go with another manager. At that point, I made the decision to launch into the micro-market world. One of my biggest tasks was a company name that captured my company vision and motivation.
After weeks of brainstorming, the name Point-Two came to me. As a veteran of 4-marathons (3 in Houston and 1 in Boston Marathons), there was often the running joke among those of us training for the big race (26.2 miles) that we were ready for the 26 miles but unsure about our preparedness for those final .2 miles. The .2 miles always seemed to represent the "over and above," the "summit," the place that can either make or break you and your race. After much consideration, naming my company for that part of the marathon, the final "Point Two," seemed in line with my company's focus: to provide not only a micro-market that is convenient and broad in its product offerings but also a level of service, attention, and responsiveness that is unmatched and unable to be duplicated.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner, as odd as this may sound, is achieving that feeling of actually being the owner of a real business. In my younger years, I started an Amway business and had toiled with a few other ideas throughout my career, but never hit that feeling of "Wow...I own a real business, with real customers to whom I provide a real set of goods and services." As a parent, I encourage my kids to take and feel full ownership of all aspects of their life... their attitudes, their successes, and failures, etc. The ownership that comes along with taking control of a business's success and growth has been the greatest accomplishment and benefit I can put my finger on.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It's difficult putting my finger on one "hardest thing" that comes with being a business owner. There's the marketing aspect, as I've been an accountant all my life, and selling my services has never come easy to me. In a micro-market business, there is the anticipation of what will and won't sell and in what timing before there is spoilage. There's introducing a new item or new fresh food option and the stress that comes with how well the customer will receive it. But if I had to choose one thing, the hardest part is the removal of the "decision" to do business on any given day. In a regular day job, some days are more productive than others...you can call in sick when necessary or take vacation days as you see fit. Long and short, each day, you can decide whether you're going to be "on" or whether you're going to be on "cruise-control," so to speak.
As a business owner, the concept of the daily decision is thrown out. I've found that the more times you have to make the decision to be on your A-game, the more opportunities you have to choose NOT to. You make one decision...to start and build your business. That one decision to launch decides for you that you will be "on" every business day. THAT has been the hardest thing...especially on those days I don't want to be "on."
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
To anyone looking to start and grow a business today, assuming they have the idea and are now deciding "should I" or "shouldn't I," I would say these three things:
- Only invest in the start-up items needed to launch. You can put yourself in a bad hole by over-investing to start off and make the mountain seem insurmountable on the way to becoming profitable.
- Determine a friend, or friends, that have entrepreneurship in their life as well, and make regular contact with them. They can help keep your mind in "business building" mode simply by talking with them in regular intervals. Comradery cannot be underestimated.
- Have faith. Faith is the belief in things not seen, and often as you grow your business, faith will be needed to carry you through when doubt creeps in. That might be the most essential tool in your tool belt...Faith. In yourself, in your business, and in the outcome you are working towards.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The last thing I'd like to say is that you need to take time to celebrate the small victories. Small victories are important...as a collection of the smaller victories is needed to build you towards the larger ones. Ignore the failures, other than the lessons you should gain from them. Spend the energy that the average person would spend on complaining and being self-destructive on celebrating your successes, no matter how small or how infrequent.
I love associating with entrepreneurs and other like-minded folks who seek to reach for the best and maximum that they can achieve. Starting and owning a growing business has opened my eyes and mind to so many things and introduced me to so many great people. Being able to share my thoughts on business ownership is an honor and privilege. It is quite humbling, and I thank you for the opportunity.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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