If you’re like me, then networking and talking up your business feels like an entire job in itself. Jessie Reider, Finzi co-founder, has big plans for the her booch boutique, and she sharing her networking insights—mainly, don’t be afraid to do it! This is advice I definitely needed to hear.
Don’t be afraid to use your network, and to talk to EVERYONE you meet about your business. If you are passionate about your business, your enthusiasm will be contagious and people will be drawn to your company.
Tell us a little about yourself and the road that led you to becoming an entrepreneur.
Where did the idea for Finzi come from? In some ways, Finzi was an overnight idea and in other ways it had been percolating for years. In my “real” job, my 9-5 job, I have watched so many other people start successful businesses and it always starts with a need—something that was missing and makes life easier. I had recently gotten really into kombucha and discovered there are thousands of brands/flavors of kombucha. I wanted to try them all (#allthekombucha), but was spending my weekends driving around LA to half a dozen grocery stores, buying one bottle of kombucha at each place. I wondered aloud whether there was a delivery service that would drop off an assortment of kombucha and then spent some time researching it. Turns out, no such thing existed. My business partner and I started talking about it, first in the “why doesn’t a kombucha delivery product exist?” sense, and then in the sense of “is this something we can really do?” We reached out to some kombucha manufacturers to gauge the interest, and Finzi was pretty much born overnight. It turns out that I wasn’t the only person that was interested in tasting a variety of different kombucha brands and flavors.
What was the biggest obstacle to starting your business?
The need to make the decision to take the business from an idea on paper, to a business with a bank account into which money had been invested. Its easy to talk about the business and brainstorm ideas, but it was so much harder to make the decision to bite the bullet and put money into the business, before we had any customers or any revenue. There are still days when the need to invest in the company is scary.
What was and is the most exciting part of being a business owner?
Watching our ideas take shape! I can spend four hours brainstorming and researching different ways of using social media for marketing, but when we actually execute an idea, and see it reach our customers and potential customers, it feels great. There is not much else like it, to be able to see the entire progression of an idea or strategy, from conceptualization to completion.
What do you see in the future for your business, and how will you get there?
I really see the business expanding from a delivery service to a retail location. We would still have the delivery aspect of the business, but would also have a storefront where we would serve and sell kombucha. Los Angeles needs a kombucha bar showcasing all different types of kombucha. I need to get a little more comfortable in the ins and outs of running a business, and put myself in a position where we will be able to raise the funds for a retail location, and then its time for Finzi, a Booch Boutique, opening soon near you!
What the best piece of advice for women who are interested in starting a business?
Other than the advice to take the plunge and do it, the best piece of advice would be to not be afraid to use your network, and to talk to EVERYONE you meet about your business. At the beginning, I was afraid to use my network and afraid to ask for advice. Even if it was someone that had asked me for my professional advice in the past, I was concerned that asking for a favor would be an intrusion on their time. Since Finzi was launched, I have learned that it is okay to ask questions and ask for favors. That sometimes means cornering an accountant at a party, or sending unsolicited emails to a marketing expert, but it has led to some great (free) advice and a wide range of different options to consider. And, talk to everyone. Tell the checkout person at the grocery store, the nurse at your doctor’s office, your Uber driver about your business and what you offer and how great it is! For me, I never know who is a kombucha fan, and some of our best customers were strangers at first. If you are passionate about your business, your enthusiasm will be contagious and people will be drawn to your company.