Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Coline LeConte, founder and CCO of Tastefully Made, located in Los Gatos, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I craft brands for people who craft our food and drink. The whole puzzle of branding–strategy, design, photography, and messaging is in one place with Tastefully Made. By creating their brand, I connect passionate makers and doers with their customers to drive business growth.
My customers don’t just have to be producers, restaurateurs, or farmers. While I do know a lot about the small food business and the food industry, I like to extend my services to women-owned businesses of any kind. Brand strategy is a foundation for all businesses. If you’re a business looking for any kind of growth or just getting started, get going on your branding.
Tell us about yourself
Reminding myself that there are good people out there making good products that I know I can elevate keeps me motivated. These people and products are contributing to a thoughtful and sustainable food system that we need more of to counteract big ag. It’s really a good-for-the-people, good-for-the-environment, and good-for-the-economy position.
Tastefully Made began when I knew I could take my creative skills, critical thinking, and comprehensive experience to make a shift. My clients are happy because their products and communications look good and become relatable after going through Tastefully Made. Their customers are happy because we have created a brand they are able to fall in love with. I’m happy because I have people and products I’m proud to show off.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This is where you might expect to hear something like when my clients succeed, I succeed. And, yes, that is something I work toward on every project. But honestly, there is so much grit to have to stay above. The mountains can be high, but let me tell you, those valleys are very low. There is a lot of mental strength needed to run the business smoothly and profitably. It is an endurance challenge. So being able to run this business after those first few years feels incredible. There’s nothing like being able to say, ”I’ve got this. I can do it.” when it’s your own business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding balance with all the things juggled not only with the business but with life. It is not one-sided. You didn’t start your business to neglect everything else about your life. You started your business to give yourself the lifestyle you desire. You have to push yourself to make your business the best it can be and push yourself to be the best person you can be. Figure out your business development, sales, marketing, product (or service), and keep time for yourself to have healthy habits and spend devoted time with your family and friends.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand who you are targeting. The top mistake here is thinking that whatever you are offering is for everyone. Once you get over that hurdle, your business is more likely to succeed. Part of the brand strategy includes learning who your target audience is and what marketplace you’re in.
- Delegate. Thinking that you can do everything and do it well is another huge mistake. When you’re running all of it, you’re too close to it, and you become your biggest obstacle. You need to have people who are better than you for what needs to be done. That’s actually one of the best parts of being your own boss. You don’t have to do it. You have someone better than you to do it for you.
- Make a budget, or at least be willing to spend more than you want. You have to invest in your business to get it off the ground. The brands that get noticed have been heavily invested in.
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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