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Food Launcher for Food Entrepreneurs

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I’ve been pretty silent on this site for the past few months, but there has been a good reason for that. I have been working on Food Launcher: a website dedicated to helping packaged foods companies launch faster, and stay inspired.

In addition to the website, I have been working on an ebook. The book is currently in the editing phase, and will hopefully be ready for purchase at the end of April. The site was a result of my desire to help others, and the frustrations I experienced when launching Bearded Brothers.

Food Launcher is essentially your one stop shop to get the answers you need to launch your food business. Until now, there isn’t a single place on the internet you can go to get all your questions answered in one location.

I hope the site will provide loads of inspiration for other food businesses and help many others get their product to market.

Keep your branding simple

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Keep it simple branding

The coffee house sketch that sparked the Bearded Brothers brand.

I can’t tell you how important it is to have great branding, and one of the keys to great branding is to keep it simple. In a sea of consumer packaged goods that are screaming for your attention, simplicity is often the best way to grab somebody’s attention. When every other package on the shelf is LOUD, when ever color demands your attention, taking lo-fi approach is quite possibly your best option. This was the idea that sparked the Bearded Brothers branding. Keep it simple, “the more simplistic the better” were the words a mentor scribbled on a Moleskine journal page! We maintain the same philosophy when creating products too. Keep it simple!

If you found this post insightful or plan on launching your own food business in 2015 you may want to sign up for my Food Launcher email list, and be the first to know when my new site launches (March 2015). Food Launcher will focus on inspiring food entrepreneurs and providing valuable information to help you get your product to market.

Food Launcher Coming in March 2015

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It’s a new year, which means new goals, new projects, and new adventures. I feel 2015 is going to shape up to be an awesome year for me. I have decided to take on a big personal project, a side business if you will. The project is going to be called Food Launcher. Food Launcher is going to be a website/blog dedicated to helping startup food businesses get their project off the ground.

I haven’t decided for certain what all the site will have, but rest assured the site will be full of useful content for aspiring food entrepreneurs, such as blog posts, interviews, podcasts, and even a valuable ebook. This project is starting out of my own desire to help other aspiring food businesses launch and get their product to market. I remember vividly still all the frustrations and struggles I faced when starting Bearded Brothers. My goal is that Food Launcher will make it MUCH easier for new food businesses to launch.

So with that said, please sign up for my email list and you will be the first to know when Food Launcher goes live!

Holiday gifts ideas for entrepreneurs

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Gift ideas for entrepreneurs
Holiday shopping can be a challenge. You have many people to buy for and, in todays day and age, there is a chance you know an entrepreneur. Here are some Holiday gift ideas for the entrepreneur in your life, all of which I wouldn’t mind getting this Christmas, myself! (hint, hint mom and dad, if you are reading this)

Moleskine Journal

Moleskine Journal

Moleskine Journal

Moleskine Journals and notebooks are elegantly designed, durable, and perfect for taking notes, brainstorming, or planning that next big project. There isn’t a single entrepreneur on the planet that doesn’t use/need a good notebook. This is one gift the entrepreneur in your life will definitely use, and there is no fear they will return it, because more than likely they go through multiple journals a year.

Premium subscriptions to their favorite app

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 6.37.43 AMChances are the entrepreneur in your life has a favorite app they use on their phone. There is also a good chance that app offers a premium service. Two of my favorite apps, Evernote and LeanKit both offer premium levels of service. Evernote is an app that a large majority of entrepreneurs use to organize thoughts and take notes – it’s a super deluxe version of a tactile notebook. Moleskine even makes a journal that is designed to utilize Evernote’s optical note capturing feature.

Smart phone car mount

Entrepreneurs are busy people, and drive to meetings, listen to motivational podcasts on their morning commute, and need a hands-free way to take phone calls while driving. Enter the smart phone car mount. Car mounts will help keep your entrepreneur safe by keeping their eyes off their phone inside the car, and on the road: making following GPS directions easier, and taking hands-free phone calls a possibility. This Mashable article lists several suggestions for smart phone car mounts.

Ticket to a conference or retreat

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One of the great things about entrepreneurs is they never stop learning! The greatest entrepreneurs read books, listen to motivational podcasts, and attend seminars, events and retreats to help them grow their business. An example is the Entreleadership Summit, which is hosted by business owner and financial guru, Dave Ramsey. There are hosts of others out there too, and chances are the entrepreneur you know already has one in mind they want to attend.

A gift card to their favorite store (or iTunes)

What entrepreneur doesn’t want to treat their self? Chances are, especially with startups, you have been spending countless hours serving others and scraping by to provide for the family. Get them a gift card so they can buy something they really love. If you are unsure of where to get a gift card, iTunes gift cards are an excellent option. Entrepreneurs love music just like the rest of the world, and often times use music is a tool to help them focus and get lots of work done.

Five project management tips

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Taking on a big project can be intimidating. Most big projects are not simple to manage. There are many pieces to the puzzle, and the workflow is never completely linear. Projects usually involve multiple people and have several deadlines that have to be met in order for the next part of the project to move forward.

Here are five tips to help you successfully manage your next big project and keep the ball rolling.

Visual Project Mangement software, DropTask.

Visual Project Mangement software, DropTask.

1. Break the project up into categories or key components. More than likely there are parts of the project that can be worked on at the same time as others, and there will be other critical components that have to wait until others are completed. Let’s say you are launching a new product. One key component of that will be packaging design, and the other key component will be product design. Each one can be worked on simultaneously, but there are also certain aspects of the packaging design that can’t be completed until the product design is finalized. So, don’t let the completion dictate the start of one project when it can be started simultaneously.

2. Map out key due dates. Record every critical due date into your calendar. Going back to the product launch example. Many different things have to fall into place to get the product to market: product finalization, packaging finalization, turning in art work to the printer, producing the product, packaging the product, and delivering the product to distribution. All of these key time sensitive stages of the product launch have to happen at just the right time. So, recording down all the critical dates is crucial to a successful project.

3. Know who is responsible for what. Each key component of a project will have a person responsible for getting that done. It’s your job as the project manager to follow up with them and make sure things are moving forward. If getting packaging printed for your new product launch is a critical step you need to ensure proper communication is made with the printer to ensure they will be able to complete their end of the project on time. Frequent follow-ups are key to make sure a project happens on time.

4. Visual Project Management. I’ve mentioned KanBan in the past for visual task management, and I recently discovered DropTask for visual project management. I have been putting both of them to good use for the project I am currently managing. DropTask allows you to visually see each component of your project, assign deadlines, importance, and people to particular tasks. The white board method works well too in a small office, but the nice thing about DropTask is you can update it straight from your computer, make notes, and communicate with other internal team members involved with the project.

5. Communication is key. The most important component of successful project management is communication! As the project manager it’s your job to communicate with the team and make sure each aspect of the project is moving forward, and remind people of critical deadlines, and offer support if needed.

Project management can seem daunting, but as long as a bit of structure is put into place, managing the project will be easy. That doesn’t mean it still won’t be stressful at times, but with timelines in place, roles defined, and a visual course mapped out, your project is sure to be a success.