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This year has been a crazy year of growth and opportunity. While we push through building a profitable business in bees, Justin quit his full time job and is now a full-time beekeeper. It’s such a exciting and scary thing to take that leap of faith. While he continues to work crazy long hours, it’s great to see him doing it in the industry he enjoys so much.
All of the growth this year has really made me take a moment and reflect on how we’ve continued to build our business primarily by keeping an open mind and meeting the needs of our clientele and area. Our “pollination” bee business goals have taken on a pretty wide range of services and products from honey production to cosmetics all the way to agricultural valuation help and bee removals.
I remember listening to a talk from Clint Walker at last year’s Annual Convention about keeping your mind open and listening to the market as you grow your business and nothing could be closer to the truth for us. His example was his “pecan pie in a jar” which I stand by as one of the more brilliant offerings – something I admitted to him I would likely use to partner with a friendly pecan farm near me. This conversation was exactly the type of conversation I’ve been so thankful for over the past few years. As we meet new beekeepers and new community partners, we brainstorm together and continue to learn from each other. We’ve partnered with local coffee shops, chocolatiers, orchards and farms, restaurants, and so many more partners that have been supportive of our local honey and community outreach.
Some lessons we have learned this year for those of you on a similar journey:
- Technology is our friend for keeping track of business expenses, mileage, and our calendar. We use apps and programs like QuickBooks, MileIQ, Google Suite, and Social Media to share our adventures with our friends and followers.
- Storing honey in barrels is becoming more sensible than our trusty 5 gallon buckets and that’s pretty exciting.
- Making strong local connections is a must – our fans have helped us continue to grow through their support of our products and their ability to recruit new fans!
- Storing labels where you can easily see when you’re about to run out is a good idea… running out right before your next market or large order is a bad idea.
- Invest back into your business – equipment that makes your job easier will pay back ten fold.
- Keep learning and keep an open mind – business opportunities and new partnerships are literally everywhere!
I’m looking forward to this years TBA Annual Convention knowing that if I take home even one gem of knowledge, new information, or connection I will have an even better year next year. Hope to see you all there!