Thoughts on starting and running a small business

Discovery meeting

My first title for this post was “sales meeting” but even just writing that term scares me and since I am having such a meeting tomorrow, I will choose to call it a Discovery Meeting.

My recent blogs have had a theme of (1) we have created a great protein fortified cupcake, and (2) now what do we do?

Regarding (2) I have suggested that, well, really doing anything is better than doing nothing and in that vein awhile back, I called the main number for Kostuch Media that produces a number of hospitality related magazines. In a weird twist of fate, the receptionist answered, listened to me talk about my protein cupcakes, put me through to the editor and – yes!- the editor, Amy Bostock,  answered!

Amy was very friendly and pointed me to an article she wrote in January 2016 about changes to dietary needs in longterm care facilities. In the article, I found the name of a consulting  firm in it and – I know this is a very long story – fsstrategies have been fantastic to work with and have already found 4 interested parties for us to speak with.

Calling Kostuch Media wasn’t the  first thing I tried and I kept working on other avenues – until I realized that I should just focus on the consulting firm’s efforts.

The only purpose of telling you this boring story is as an example of random weird calls or emails working out more often than you might think. I have seen it happen in my own life lots of times and the only risks are that you may get no response  or you may sound like you are babbling or the person can be rude. All those things have happened to me for sure but I really don’t remember them now…what I remember are the times when some sort of ill-defined outreach or research led to something that led to something else.

More on the sales meeting in another post but first I’d like to share a quick experience regarding “feedback” from the  past week.

Andrew and I were having dinner in a small restaurant we like – it focuses on cooking game and everything  is delicious. When my appetizer came, the plate was decorated with the most amazing design in balsamic glaze: perfectly shaped ovals all around the  edge and little dots that looked like lace. It was crazy. I thought of saying something but then thought, this is likely just super easy for the chef so why mention it?

After the  main course which was also nicely plated, when the  server came to take away the plates, I mumbled something like, “The chef is in artist”. The server immediately picked up on my offhand comment, and said, “Oh I’m so glad you said that, the chef asked if you’d noticed the design he made on the appetizer  plate – he will be so happy!”

Oh my gosh, I thought, why did I not mention it right away when I saw that plate?! I know how happy we are at PGB when a customer takes a moment to send us a note saying that something we sent or did was great: it’s pretty rare and it means a lot.

So that was my little reminder that even people whom we think are at the top of their game are probably wondering, how did I do? 

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  1. Megan
    Megan12-29-2017

    Great post Jean! We should all have post-it notes around our house and work, reminding us to Acknowledge People! People (myself included of course) live for genuine acknowledgement, no matter who they are: CEOs, mothers, friends, florists, and I really think it does so much to bind us together. Nice work on doing a random outreach that led to something awesome, Erynn and I have so many stories like that, including how we found our long-term co-packer!

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