Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Butts, founder, and CEO of Sprinkle Pop, located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Sprinkle Pop, we create designer sprinkle mixes to top your cakes and cupcakes. These aren't the everyday sprinkles you find in the grocery store. These are curated blends with custom colors, shapes, and textures to create a one-of-a-kind look that is sure to wow your guests!
The great thing about our product is that you can be a complete novice at baking, and our sprinkles will take your treats to the next level. Sprinkle Pop is an approachable way to create professional-looking baked goods and treats.
Tell us about yourself
While I have a finance background, my passion since high school has been baking and cake decorating. In fact, I have nearly 20 years of experience in cake decorating. My original goal was to quit my job in oil & gas and do cake decorating full-time, but when I got the idea for Sprinkle Pop, I quickly realized that there was a path to build this business.
I have always been a very driven and self-motivated person, so running a business, while stressful at times, feels very natural to me. Every day is different, there's always a problem to be solved, and I also get to flex my creative side by designing the sprinkle mixes. It's truly a perfect fit for me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel like being a business owner is not about the big accomplishments. It's about the series of small achievements that get you to those bigger goals. For example, buying a forklift for the business was huge at the time. It allowed us to completely change the way we were storing our raw goods, which then allowed us to purchase in more inventory and thus scale the business larger.
Buying a labeling machine increased our productivity leading to more scaling. Every new task that I delegate off the desk gives me a sense of accomplishment, knowing I can focus my attention on bigger picture items.
However, If I had to pick one accomplishment that truly stands out - it would be when I got to move into our current production facility in May of this year (2021). Moving into a facility that was built out just for us felt like I had truly arrived.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Logistics is and continues to be the hardest part of running a business. Planning for inventory and then managing the issues that arise with delays and carriers - it's a constant struggle. But, it's also like a puzzle that I'm constantly trying to solve, so it keeps me on my toes!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Hire earlier than you think you need to. There is nothing more stressful than being busy, understaffed, and then having to spend time fielding applications and interviewing people. Business owners are constantly looking at their bottom line, and sometimes making hires goes against their instinct when managing finances. Still, in my experience, every hire I've made has allowed me to make more money over the long term.
- DELEGATE! It is hard to give of tasks that you've held so tightly for so - long, but the truth is, some things really are below your "pay-grade" (Even if you aren't paying yourself yet). As an owner, your time is best spent focusing on big picture items and growing the business, not responding to Instagram comments, or in actual production...although... we all do what we have to do, am I right?
- Take time off! As a business owner, it can become nearly impossible to separate your personal life from the job. You truly never stop working. Because of that, it's important to intentionally set time aside to step away and rest or do something fun.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would just say that owning and running a business is not for the faint of heart. I think many people are disillusioned that you will get so much freedom from working for yourself. And, to some extent, that is true. But the reality is that you will work 100 times harder than you ever did for someone else. You have to be prepared to devote your entire life to work - your business becomes your child. However, with great risk comes great reward!
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.