We asked successful entrepreneur Brian Taylor to share his top three business mistakes, and this is what he said.
Brian Taylor is the founder and president of Kernel Season’s™ all natural line of shake-on popcorn seasonings and popcorn products. What started out as a college dorm room snack experiment has grown to become America’s #1 popcorn seasoning brand. Over the years, media and industry experts have recognized Taylor for his entrepreneurial spirit and forever changing the way Americans eat popcorn. Today, Kernel Season’s is offered at more than 25,000 movie theater screens and over 30,000 retail stores nationwide.
We asked Brian to share his top three #BusinessMistakes and this is what he said.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting out with your business, and if you could start over what would you do differently?
1 – Lack of focus
Instead of channeling all my efforts to grow and perfect the popcorn seasoning business, I got sidetracked by my own entrepreneurial spirit. In the early days of Kernel Season’s™, I found myself becoming impatient and eager to do more as we waited for the movie theater business to fall into place. In a quick attempt to try and generate extra revenue, I tried starting a vending machine division in conjunction with the popcorn seasonings. Long story short, those vending machines never made it into the theaters and have been sitting in my mom’s basement ever since.
While you would have thought I learned my lesson then, a few years later I tried once again to branch out. This time, I launched a licensed brand of seasonings that consumed valuable time, money and resources that, in hindsight, could have been used to grow my own Kernel Season’s™ brand.
2 – Experienced employees
I should have hired more experienced employees early on. Given my lack of knowledge and understanding of the business at the time, I may have been able to grow the company quicker with some skilled professionals and senior staff members by my side. When I finally did hire industry veterans, about 5 years after starting Kernel Season’s™, business really took off thanks to the insight and guidance they were able to offer.
3 – Measurable marketing investments
Over the years, I’ve made a lot of marketing investments without a quantifiable return. Now, having lived through those missteps and finally making wiser, more measurable investments, I realize that money could have been spent more productively to grow the brand quicker.