Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Perinaz Avari, Founder of Simply Bhonu, located in Belmont, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Simply Bhonu is a woman-owned business where contemporary Indian cuisine comes to life for a global audience. You will find premium handcrafted Chai Tea Blends, virtual cooking sessions for corporates and individuals, plus my food blog 'Peri's Spice Ladle' filled with simple Indian recipes and tips. The word 'Bhonu' means food in my native language.
Tell us about yourself
Chef, entrepreneur, food writer, and avid tea-drinker, I'm a Mumbai, India native with over two decades of experience in the professional food and hospitality industry. Starting with India's Taj Hotels, I have managed state visits of high-ranking dignitaries and international celebrities, promoted Indian food in China, and, most recently, founded food businesses in California's Silicon Valley. As a Parsi Zoroastrian, which is a minority community of Persian immigrants settled in western India since 800 CE, I love sharing the nuances and creations of my lesser-known native Parsi cuisine. I have a simple philosophy when it comes to food. My aim is to preserve the soul of the original Indian culinary creations while sprinkling them with a contemporary touch!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, every small step feels like a big accomplishment. Each time I launch a product or a corporate experience, I give myself a high-five. When customers write to me with positive feedback on how I brought delicious and healthy Indian cuisine choices into their kitchen, that's music to my ears.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Prior to starting my businesses, I spent years in the corporate food and hospitality industry, and it's much simpler to make decisions when you have a company's resources at your disposal. As small business owners, we have to don many hats and be personally responsible for every expense. Identifying your business's priorities and purpose and staying focused on the things that truly matter is one of the hardest aspects.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Identify the 'why am I doing this' for your business before you do anything else. If the 'why' is only about making money, I rarely see those small businesses succeed. The profits will follow once you are driven by your purpose and passion.
- You can't do everything! So get the help you can afford at each stage. Initially, try outsourcing instead of hiring to maintain cash flow. You may be a solopreneur, but you are not alone. Network and connect with people in your industry and aligned areas.
- Just start! You will rarely get it right on the first try. Be ready to pivot and trim the excess stuff as you move along.
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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