CrunchDaddy Popcorn opened for business at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2012. Today we are celebrating the completion of our first six months in the gourmet popcorn business! I’m awed and amazed by the entire experience!
Opening a small business like CrunchDaddy Popcorn means taking a jumbled mess of ideas, distilling them, organizing them as best you can and then executing them in such a way as to bring those ideas to life in the form of a tangible product that people will enjoy. In my case, the fundamentals of CrunchDaddy Popcorn were formed in my mind back in 2007. Reluctance, uncertainty and fear of venturing out into the world of entrepreneurship kept me from marching ahead with those ideas. Thankfully in early 2011 I found the will and determination to give these ideas and dreams the treatment that they deserved. I’m so happy that I did!
Throughout 2011 I also found endless ways to forestall the execution of my ideas for CrunchDaddy Popcorn. I knew very well the failure rate that is associated with start-ups and wanted to do everything humanly possible to insulate myself and my business from any such failures… and I did it to the point of delaying the opening of the business until each and every possible scenario and contingency had been predicted, accounted for and planned for.
I have a close group of friends who act as business mentors, advisers and a marketing coach. One friend in particular was keen on seeing the “big picture” and observing my behavior. Several times a week I would send him an email of some popcorn flavor idea, a widget I discovered on-line or some fragment of a marketing idea that I could use for the business I had yet to open. His usual response was, “That’s great. When are you gonna make some popcorn?”
In his kind and indirect way, my friend was nudging me to stop seeking solutions for every potential issue that I could face and simply to “Do it!”, as the Nike ads say. His previous experience as an business owner had taught him what I now understand as an entrepreneur of only six months: Experience is the best teacher. It is impossible to predict and prepare for all of the learning experiences that you will encounter once you execute your plan.
With only half a year of experience under my belt in running CrunchDaddy Popcorn I am reluctant to wax philosophically or speak as though I am qualified to mentor others in their business pursuits. However, I can admit to having a much greater understanding and appreciation for the wisdom found through reading books on entrepreneurship and listening to the wisdom of those with experience. For someone who has compiled pages upon pages of ideas, notes, product catalogs, logo ideas and research materials, the mantra of “just do it” sounds like a load of inspirational nonsense written for the sake of selling books. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur let me assure you that it’s not.
Experience is your best teacher.
After six months I’m proud to tell you that CrunchDaddy Popcorn is a success! We’ve been truly blessed by the enthusiastic response to our products by customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The worst fear when going into a business like this is, “What if people don’t like it? What if no one buys it?” I knew within a matter of weeks after opening that those fears were not to be realized. To the contrary, we’ve been blown away by the efforts made by our fans to spread the word to other people, to share our products and to re-post and re-tweet our messages. We even have a core group of CrunchDaddy fanatics who have become repeat customers three or four times over! No amount of pre-opening business planning and number crunching could ever account for this kind of organic growth. We’re truly awed and humbled by all of it.
We are especially grateful to each and every one of you who have shown support for CrunchDaddy Popcorn. No matter how big or successful this venture becomes, I will never lose my appreciation and fascination for the fact that so many people have entrusted us to provide them with products and experiences that are of value to them. There would be no CrunchDaddy Popcorn were it not for you. Take a bow, raise a glass and know that you’re part of a special group of people.
We plow ahead into the second half of our first year with more enthusiasm than ever! A round of several new flavors will be announced shortly as well as some new packaging options. CrunchDaddy Popcorn will soon be available for wholesale distribution as well. Wholesale marketing is something completely new for us, but we’re moving ahead with it and looking forward to many lessons learned. Just do it!
Take care and God Bless!
Chief Crunch Officer