Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeffrey Anthony, President, and CEO of Vino Vault, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Vino Vault exists to make wine and spirit storage hassle-free, more accessible, and more enjoyable. The finer things in life are meant to be enjoyed without limitations; our solutions enable our clients to optimize two of their most valuable assets- their collection and, perhaps, more importantly, their time.
Leveraging our suite of services, clients can store, manage, and even monetize their collection, guided by a team of industry experts who are passionate about the worlds of both spirits and storage. Representing both private and commercial collectors, Vino Vault offers a personalized and customizable relationship based on need, including:
- State-of-the-art locations in major metropolitan areas ensure that regardless of where you choose to store your wine in our network, its taste and value are safely preserved.
- A simple app that provides a full view of everything in a cellar, overseen by one of our cellar masters. Our team handles the mundane aspects of cellar management, identifying the ideal time to drink or sell any bottle and giving a clear, informative view of any collection.
- Personal relationships with every major auction house allow us to negotiate the best price for our clients should they choose to monetize – and we'll handle all of the fulfillment, packing, and shipping details.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in the storage business my entire life starting my own company in 1984 and then with a large international storage company for the past 25 years. I have been a wine collector most of my life, and when the opportunity to combine wine and storage presented itself in 2019, I jumped at the chance.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Developing and scaling much-needed products and services in the high-value storage industry. At Iron Mountain, we developed real technology breakthroughs across an international platform that disrupted the status quo in preserving one-of-a-kind media assets. Along the way, many of our team members advanced their careers and went on to be senior thought leaders in other industries.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having worked across many industries, I've had the opportunity to work alongside and lead brilliant teams and individuals. Through these experiences, I've learned that personnel is truly a business's greatest asset- and that goes beyond internal teams. Employees and customers are your biggest champions and supporters; there is always something to learn and grow from by knowing them.
One of the hardest things about leading a business is keeping this personal relationship or the proverbial "open door." As businesses grow and scale, or as acquisitions happen, there's a great deal of thought and effort that goes into a meeting, getting to know, and keeping up to date with employees and clients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be Smart: Do your homework, and know what you're looking to do. Starting something from the ground up takes a lot of hard work and passion, and knowing and standing behind whatever your end goal is should be your north star. Know who your audience is- translating the passion you have into a solution for your consumers.
- Be Resilient: If you're looking to go out on your own and don't like the word "no," I would reconsider. There will always be something that doesn't work out; you certainly can't expect to run and grow a business without any roadblocks. Thinking on your feet is a crucial part of the job for any business owner; the ability to pivot and find a solution with as little thrash as possible is a skill that takes practice.
- Fail Fast: I liken running a business to parenting- there is no handbook, and most of us are simply flying blind. You are bound to fail at some point, and much like being resilient, it's the ability to bounce back that matters. The only thing you have to gain from failure is learning, which is another huge piece of a business- especially growth.
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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