Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Derek Law, founder of Slackers Brewing Co., located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Slackers Brewing Co. is a family-owned brewery dedicated to craft, creation, and inclusivity – a brewery for everyone. A place where craft beer is approachable, adventurous, and all people can gather.
Tell us about yourself
Slackers have been a dream of mine since I was in my 20s. It started in my head as a bar with live music and as my life has evolved, so has that dream. I began brewing beer in 2010 and so turning it into a brewery just made sense. Once I met my amazing wife Haley and had kids, the dream evolved even more into what it is now. A place where families and friends can come gather, drink great craft beer and coffee, listen to live music, play, and share their life experiences.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Keeping it all together week after week as obstacles were constantly put in front of opening this business was one of the hardest things I have done. It took a lot of stubbornness, perseverance, and a touch of believing the impossible was possible. You truly have to be a bit insane to keep moving forward, but it's worth it.
The truly best thing I have done as a business owner was hiring incredible people to work alongside me. Brendan, my general manager, has taken this business to the next level and has taken on any role that was needed at the moment. He's smart, persistent, friendly, and doesn't let anything stop him from getting the job done. Our beertenders have been praised daily by our guests for how friendly, attentive, and professional they have been. They are constantly finding ways to make the business better. I am so grateful for the passion they have for Slackers.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Making the hard decisions that can sometimes be at odds between your staff, guests, and what the business needs to continue and move forward.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start. You will never open a business if you try to get everything in order before beginning.
- Be prepared to pivot. No matter the level of planning you do, the plan will change significantly. It will cost more, take longer, and develop in ways you never expected. You have to stay agile every single day.
- Read every book from other business owners, especially in your industry, and gather as much information as you can. You will make a ton of mistakes, but learning from those that came before you can help you avoid plenty of the early ones.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We need more small businesses to keep everything from becoming homogeneous and boring. If you have an idea, work through it, and see what comes of it.
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.
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