It’s a different feeling when you’re the one being interviewed instead of being the interviewer.
As the host and creator of the podcast Good Food Marketing with The Virginia Foodie, I am used to being the one behind the microphone, leading the conversation, and asking questions to help my guests communicate their Good Food mission. But the tables have turned, and this time, Team Subkit interviewed me.
Subkit is an all-in-one platform that claims to be the world's first collaboration network for subscription businesses. It’s a platform designed to help solopreneurs and small businesses connect with customers through collaboration, bundled offerings, and cross promotion to other brand’s communities. It’s an interesting take on audience building and to quote them, “Your future customers are on someone else's email list.”
In this interview, Team Subkit and I talked about a few important things I thought I’d also want to share with you.
My Own Good Food Mission
I launched my own consumer community, VAFoodie in 2015 with the goal of connecting small Virginia food brands to a larger audience. But I’ve been in the industry since 1998, helping packaged food brands find their way to their target customer’s dining table. I also had a stint as a consultant to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, assisting business owners with their pitches for their products for export.
VAFoodie was warmly received and through the community we created, I was able to establish a consulting business where I have taken the tools, tips, and tactics I use with big names in the food industry and packaged them into manageable tools and training for emerging food brands. My Marketing Made Easy group provides manageable marketing practices to overwhelmed brand managers. And for 2023, I started an online training program at good-food-marketing.com. These DIY courses are geared to help small business owners and brand managers deepen their understanding of marketing tactics to help them achieve a higher return on their investment.
Achievements and Struggles as a Business Owner
The best thing about my work as a Good Food marketing coach is that I get to collaborate with many food brands and help them find solutions to the day-to-day problems they encounter in managing their businesses. It’s extremely rewarding to see the growth of every brand I’m working with.
But just because I am a coach who teaches the 123s of Marketing, it doesn’t mean that I have no challenges managing my own business. Like the brands I work with, day-to-day operations demand so much attention that it’s hard to see the big picture at times. It’s a common struggle faced by many business owners, especially by solopreneurs or small business owners. So my advice: as soon as you are able, find people who can support you and to whom you can delegate other processes in your business. It’s hard to grow at scale if the brand owner is also the delivery driver!
Some Valuable Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Start their Own Business
I offered the top 3 of my go-to tips for those who are about to start their journey in the Good Food industry or to those who are already here but are still struggling to find their path:
- Define your end goal clearly. And when I say clearly, I mean you have to get granular with everything that you expect and want to achieve in your business. What I always say is that you need to create a strategic content marketing plan as detailed as possible so you can map out your goals and expectations. If you want to learn more, you can listen to this podcast episode.
- Commit yourself to regular schedules. What I find useful is to plan my schedule ahead and block time for specific tasks. You can also try to apply the same with your business so you don’t get overwhelmed by tons of tasks that would greet you everyday. I discussed more of this in this episode.
- Remember to network. I always emphasize the importance of network and referrals. As a business, you do not exist in your own bubble. You need to make connections that could also connect you to your target audience. Know more about creating network and marketing by listening to this episode.
If you are in the early days of your business, Subkit has some helpful articles. Their platform can be a place to start when you’re still clueless about networking.