Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ross Jacobson, Brand Manager of Royal Brew, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Royal Brew is a company that allows consumers all over the world to elevate their coffee experience at home. We are bringing the coffee shop to people's homes so they can skip the lines, the hassle, and the outrageous prices. Our main products are kegs and growlers that let coffee lovers infuse nitrogen or nitrous oxide into their cold brew to create a smoother, better-tasting coffee commonly known as a nitro cold brew.
Tell us about yourself
I'm the current Brand Manager for Royal Brew, and my main motivation is to make people's lives better through the little things. If people can make better coffee at home, that allows them to be more productive at work, spend more time with their family, and do more of the things they truly want to be doing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is being able to meet a consumer need that the market had not previously been satisfying. There are two major trends happening in the world right now cold brew coffee and working from home. Before Royal Brew, no company was able to adequately serve those who wanted coffee-shop quality nitro cold brew at their home. Much like at-home brewing kits changed how people thought of homemade beer, we are trying to do the same for cold brew coffee.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Meeting the needs of a diverse group of customers. With coffee especially, everybody has individual preferences and tastes, and it can be hard to satisfy. For instance, some people want more foam in their nitro cold brew, and others want less. Some want a sweeter taste, and others just want it to be more smooth. Some people want a smaller keg to take up less space in the fridge, while others want a larger keg that enables them to make more coffee at once.
You cannot be everything to everyone. Figuring out which consumers you want to serve and how to serve them is imperative.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Put the consumer first. They will tell you exactly what you need to know about how your product is functioning and what it might need to do better. If you create a product they love, the rest will fall into place.
- Iterate and experiment. Business owners are not geniuses. The most successful ones are willing to fail but fail fast. Eventually, you will find the right price proposition, advertising strategy, etc.
- Fight. You will face roadblocks and uncertainty. The best business owners do not think of these hurdles as permanent. They find ways to remove them. It can often be hard, especially when dealing with large retailers or government agencies. But you must find a way to persevere.
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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