Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniel Brinker, Owner of The Plant Dads, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Plant Dads is an online greenhouse featuring fast and free two-day shipping nationwide. We also provide local, next-day delivery to the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Tell us about yourself
I had spent two decades working in the bar and nightclub industry, from bartending to owning my own bars. I had always hoped to leave that world and do something a little calmer, and the pandemic provided the perfect excuse to do just that. I created The Plant Dads with my partner as a little side idea, but it quickly took off. Within a couple of months of launching, we had orders come in weekly (which, at the time, was VERY exciting). I decided to make The Plant Dads my full-time career and focused all of my energy and free time on the endeavor.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Receiving positive reviews is always such great validation that you're doing something right. Making a sale is one thing, but having a customer take the time to leave a nice and detailed review of their experience is never lost on me. It definitely makes me feel like all of the hours that I've put into this company are worth it.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's amazing how many different roles you play when owning a small business, especially in the early stages. There's literally never enough time to get to everything I hope to do in a day, and my to-do list seems to only ever grow. From interacting with customers and responding to messages to updating the website and improving SEO, to running the social media pages and managing advertising, to actually packaging and shipping the orders, it seems like there's no end to the work. I like to tell myself that eventually, all of that hard work will pay off in the end.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't expect your life to change overnight. It's so easy to feed into the hundreds of YouTube videos that claim you're going to be so successful if you just do this or that. There's no truth to any of it. It's going to be hours and hours of hard work and, at times, frustration, and there's certainly not an easy way to become successful outside of just putting in the hours.
- You have to take time to appreciate the little wins along the way. Your first sale, first positive review, or first repeat customer are all great accomplishments that show you're on the right path. It proves to you that what you're doing is working.
- I think taking breaks from work is crucial to your success. You're your own boss, which means you can work as little or as much as you want. I have an issue with feeling like I need to be working all of the time, to the point that it is arguably unhealthy. There's no one to tell you that it's time to clock out but you, so make sure to set an intention for yourself that certain hours or days are for you to be "off the clock" and stick to them.
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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