Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Josh Ahadian, Co-Founder & Director of Marketing of Shimmerwood Beverages, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Shimmerwood Beverages produces a line of nonalcoholic CBD-infused seltzers. Our goal is to provide customers with a unique beverage they can drink straight from the can or create novel cocktails and mocktails. We want you to be a CBD Mixologist.
Tell us about yourself
After receiving my master's degree in Music Business, I reconnected with a friend of mine that I met at a music festival, and we started talking about our next venture. We noticed that at the music festival, there were a lot of people either drinking or smoking. There really wasn't anything in the middle, so that's when we decided to create Shimmerwood Beverages. Being in control of my business is my motivation; I remember working corporate jobs and making recommendations to improve my superiors' performance, but nothing would happen. I was tired of running on autopilot and having my ideas shut down, now I am in control, and the company moves at my pace.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It may sound menial, but seeing my product in restaurants, stores, dispensaries, etc., with a real barcode and nutrition label on them and watching customers purchase and enjoy this unique product is the biggest accomplishment. Learning about everything it takes from concept to on the shelf has been so valuable to me. I tend to tell people that I went to grad school because I missed learning and once I received my master's degree, the only logical next step for me to continue learning was through starting a business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Self-discipline. The company only moves as fast as you. If you take a day off, the company takes a day off, and that can be hard to balance. Aside from all the financial hurdles, managing time wisely and keeping organized can make or break a productive day. From an external point of view, the hardest thing about my business is selling the idea to potential customers with preconceived notions of what they think my product is and navigating all the rules and regulations for CBD-infused food/beverages.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient; it all takes more time than you think. You could have the perfect business plan and best product in the world, but gaining trust from potential business partners and customers takes time and nourishing.
- Don't neglect self-care. You can easily get run down by working endless hours in the hopes that you'll catch a break sooner rather than later. Avoid the crash and burn. Give yourself time to step away from your business. In many cases, the time off can be very enlightening and bring new ideas on how to operate your business.
- Learn from your mistakes; there's no one way to run a business. Sure there are general practices you should follow but know that you will make mistakes, and it's all part of the process. The trick is to learn from those mistakes, so that as your business grows, you don't make the same errors that could have a larger negative impact.
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.
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.