Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kerry Cooke, Founder of TailChasers LLC, located in Carlsbad, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ours is a small mother/daughter-owned pet company. Our product, the Spleash, is a handle that holds 12 oz of water, sprays at least 14 ft, and attaches to any standard-sized leash. We create products for pets and the people who love them.
Tell us about yourself
This entire venture began a few years back while I was on a walk with our family dog. She is a black lab mix, and we live in Southern California. So she was always overheating. I wanted a way to carry water for her to drink that wasn't a hassle to bring on walks. Thus the Spleash was born! Now we use ours every day on walks. It has become a part of our daily lives, as well as a constant reminder of my goals and what I have to do to reach them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This is a difficult one to answer as a fledgling entrepreneur because there are so many hurdles you must overcome, and new heights you must reach, that even the smallest feat can feel like the biggest accomplishment. All that is to say, we are proud of the many things our small company has accomplished so far. Between getting our patent last year, being featured on the Today show, and winning the title of "Best Dog Travel Product" from Pet Business Magazine, we had a hard time choosing which made us more proud.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a new business owner is never having been one before. Jumping into the waters of entrepreneurship without ever dipping a toe in previously is quite daunting. There is no exact road map for you to follow that will guarantee success. You can only read so many articles, papers, and advice columns to help get your bearings. Eventually, you just have to dive in and do your best to keep your head above water.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- My first tip for anyone looking to start or run a business today is to make sure you do your Product Market Fit research before you go into production. Do several focus groups, reach out to a variety of audiences, and make sure to pick those who will give honest feedback, even if it's not exactly what you were hoping to hear. As a founder, it is all too easy to keep seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. You need someone who will poke holes in your plan so that you can plug them all in before launching your business.
- My second tip, be flexible. We started to launch our company right at the beginning of the pandemic, meaning we either had to become very flexible or go down with the ship. The world of entrepreneurship is constantly changing. You have to adapt very quickly and always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
- Now, my third and final tip, have a backup plan for your backup plans. You never know what the world is going to throw at you, so it's best to prepared and then some!
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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