10 Tips for Keeping Your Head in the Game as You Build Your Business
Last week we talked with Loren Brill, take-n-bake-cookie renegade and founder of Sweet Loren’s, about how she managed to break into the entrenched food-retail and supermarket industry and how her courageous battle with cancer at age 22 started her down that path. Loren’s super inspiring story and trajectory as the CEO of a small yet successful young company is one for the ages; be sure to check it out. Below, she shares ten tips for staying focused while you’re busy building your empire.
1.) Have a healthy habit in the morning that sets your day off right. For me, it's thinking about what I'm grateful for—taking a couple minutes of mindful thinking or 20 minutes of meditation when I have time. Then I game plan my goal list for the day.
2.) Exercise! Make sure to get in the routine of finding something you love to do that's physical. Firstly, strength is a great tool, both mentally and physically. Working out on an almost daily basis is non-negotiable for me. I live for the combo of power yoga, running, and cycling. It will increase your endorphins, release stress and build stamina. Plus, it helps me balance out the taste-testings for my cookies!
3.) Surround yourself with mentors, quick. I surround myself with the best in the industry that I can learn from, lean on, and be inspired by. Grade-A people hang around grade-A people. The intros I've gotten from these successful mentors have been game-changing and hugely important to the growth of Sweet Loren's.
4.) Create a mantra of what inspires you. Why did you get into your industry in the first place? Make sure you have a mission and clear goal in mind so that you're always working towards your end-goal.
5.) Keep going. Change is hard to create and only happens over time. For example, in my experience, I’ve learned that the food and supermarket industry can be archaic and hard to navigate, plus unbelievably expensive. Being a female has only been a plus. We've gotten out of expensive slotting that most retailers charge because we are a minority—a woman-owned company. Yes, I am in the room with mostly men as the decision-makers, but I know our audience and customer better than anyone because I've created a product to fill a need in my own life. That knowledge is powerful; it helps with smart marketing and innovation.
6.) Keep in mind that quality is key. For my industry, this means taste. I don't care how healthy or cheap or pretty the packaging is. If it isn't delicious, you can't win.
7.) But remember, packaging is super important, too! Make sure you know your target audience and create something that pops (that's why we went with bright magenta for ours!)
8.) Hire an A Team. You can't scale without a great team.
9.) Get into digital marketing. It is the future. Reaching millennials and geo-targeting our audience is one of the best ways we can be competitive with huge corporations.
10.) Commit to excellent customer service. People are touched by the little things, like having humans answer any/all inquiries to us, and the fact that we write handwritten notes.