The Pop Quiz, Monday, is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise, after all, since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today, who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
1. Can you please tell everyone your name?
Dr. Jaroslav Blazek
2. Tell us about your business and what you do?
I am the founder of The Beauty Shake, which develops, manufactures, and markets a range of weight loss products and supplements containing marine collagen. We use collagen peptides in our products for their clinically-proven anti-aging benefits. Since The Beauty Shake is a very young start-up company, my role covers all aspects of running the business – this includes developing recipes, sourcing ingredients, managing packaging design and print, managing contract manufacturers as well as all aspects of marketing and selling our products through an e-commerce website and an ever-growing number of physical stores.
3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
I completed my Ph.D. in food science and technology at the University of Sydney and have worked for more than 15 years in the Australian food and agricultural industry. Throughout my career, I have assisted many brands with sourcing and importing specialized ingredients from around the globe and provided technical expertise to their product development teams. After developing the products, many of these companies looked at ways of making the product cheaper, either by reducing the amount of active ingredients or opting for cheaper (less effective) alternatives. It was the frustration stemming from having to face the commercial reality that gave me the idea to start my own business and develop and market products without having to compromise on quality.
4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?
For me, the biggest challenge of running my own business is having to do so many different things myself and having to learn on the go. As a start-up business, I don’t have the luxury of having teams of specialists managing the various aspects of complex business, so becoming a part-time marketer or web-developer was a necessity.
5. What do you love most about your job?
I love the freedom that running your own business brings. The ability to make decisions quickly and be able to react to changing market conditions without the need to go through slow approval processes seen in so many corporate environments is a great advantage that small businesses have. It makes my work fast-paced, exciting, and rewarding. There is nothing better than receiving 5-star reviews on our products and hearing how we helped our customers achieve their health goals and change their lives for the better.
6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Without having a fun team to work with, meeting new people and establishing long-term business relationships that sometimes develop into friendships is a great way to keep engaged and have fun along the way. Additionally, my business partner and I go out for lunch once a week to catch up on things and spend a fun afternoon together.
7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?
My number one piece of advice would be to surround yourself with people with knowledge and experience in various aspects of your business. Listen to left-field ideas and be open to receiving criticism. Hearing other people’s points of view will give you a much wider perspective than you can gain just on your own.