Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Byron Stithem, founder and CEO of Proper Sake Company, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
PSC is a fermentation company specializing in Sake and Beer with a focus on beverages that are driven by a foundation of umami and are exceptional pair-ability. I truly believe we make something for everyone; no sake experience or sushi is required to have a good time.
Tell us about yourself
My background is in hospitality, culinary science, fermentation, and I think sake ties these three concentrations together famously. I'm driven by a quest to create beverages that highlight any situation and are effortlessly enjoyable.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Considering 50% of businesses fail in the first five years, being in operation for 5+ years (especially given the hurdles of the last couple) has been both a journey and a joy. It's hard to believe it's gone by so quickly. Also, last year we won Best in Show at an international wine & sake competition which was not only a huge surprise but a major boost when I needed it most.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As the only full-time employee, balancing all of the demands of the business while having a family can be tricky. Both of these jobs seem to carry pretty irregular hours, so time management is paramount to sanity and success. Fundraising is also an ongoing challenge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research - apprentice, stage, offer your services in exchange for knowledge before starting. Most importantly, give yourself the opportunity to figure out if you can thrive with your life being overtaken by the specific endeavor you're researching.
- Make sure to raise enough capital. It's difficult to go back to the trough when you aren't yet profitable but have undershot your runway to get there.
- Find a Mentor - Someone you trust without financial stakes in the business.
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.