Undertaking from scratch is something that frightens many people most of the time, as it involves all care and good planning so that things don’t go wrong along the way. The truth is that there is no single way or single formula to become a successful entrepreneur, but if a person knows how to combine the talent they have with the love for what they do, this process can certainly become easier.
To talk about how to use talent to start a business from scratch, the podcast Papo Raiz invited Sarah Gorski, who is a Civil Engineering student and owner of Sarah’s Pipocas Gourmet. The guest told a little about her trajectory as an entrepreneur, what were the mistakes and successes when creating the brand, in addition to giving several important tips for those who are planning to invest in their own business starting from scratch.
Long before entering the world of entrepreneurship, Sarah already liked being independent and having her own money. She said that it was still in High School and Technical Education that she saw the opportunity to have an income from a scientific initiation project, after a few years, she graduated and soon entered college, but she did not imagine that after a trip by her parents to São Paulo, while she lived only for her studies, something would change in her life.
“My parents went on a trip to São Paulo and on the way back they brought some popcorn and told me to try it, so I tasted it and liked it, but I didn’t pay much attention. Then they made a recipe and asked me to try it. So one day when we were going out, they took this popcorn for my friends to taste and they said I was making gourmet popcorn, and I have a friend who has been working as a digital influencer since early and she made a post saying that my popcorn was wonderful and I didn’t understand anything, because I had never done that and then I thought ‘either I use this here to get angry or I use it as an opportunity’. The next day I asked my mom how she made the popcorn, I tried to make it and it worked right away,” she reported.
The push given by her parents in 2018 made Sarah leave her comfort zone and start to undertake, something that, according to her, was far from her plans at that moment. Taking advantage of the fact that she was doing driving school, the student began to take the popcorn to her colleagues and to test sales by offering the product in stores, which did not work out very well, but made her think of another strategy: to promote the product on her profile. Instagram. And it was also on this social network that she saw the chance to increase the visibility of her business through a partnership with a blogger from Campo Largo, in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba, where she lives to this day.
“A blogger from my city was promoting and said that she was going to create a profile for small entrepreneurs, in which the first ten who got in contact with her would have the disclosure done for free, so I sent a message and we partnered. Then people started following and they were my first customers to order popcorn and become interested in the product”, recalled Sarah Gorski.
But like many other businesses, Sarah’s production and sale of gourmet popcorn had some mistakes and needed adjustments over the years, in addition to a lot of dedication and work time until the brand was consolidated in the region and conquered more customers.
What were the main mistakes and successes of the business?
The brand name was one of the first mistakes, according to the entrepreneur. She said that when she created the company profile, she had two attempts to name the company initially, which didn’t work out due to the configuration of the user from Instagram.
“At that moment I didn’t think of putting Sarah’s Popcorns on right away, because I wanted something related to sweets, something that referred to the confectionery”, he explained.
The lack of time to reconcile studies and professional internship with the sale of popcorn caused Sarah to stagnate the business for about two years, only returning in 2021 after the flood of messages that customers send her asking about the company. “When I decided to come back, I thought the first thing I had to change was the brand name and identity and that’s where ‘Sarah’s Gourmet Popcorn,’” she said.
About the successes and failures during the entire course of the business, the entrepreneur said that everything should serve as an experience for you to improve your way of acting and build credibility and not be a reason to give up on something. “I believe there were a lot of mistakes and I learn every day by undertaking, because you have to take everything as a learning experience, it’s no use getting frustrated and creating a giant problem”, she pointed out.
How does Sarah’s Gourmet Popcorn currently work?
The company, which until then worked in Sarah’s parents’ house, is now installed in a wider space and with more production possibilities, however, it is still only the entrepreneur who is responsible for answering customer messages, making popcorn and purchase of ingredients, in addition to making deliveries and taking care of every detail that involves the entire brand.
“It’s really cool, because I can see the process of how everything works and that inspires me, even when they give me feedback about the business, that’s what moves me”, he said.
She even explained about the inner part of the business. “In all this behind the scenes, a lot of things happen that are sometimes a little more complicated to deal with and often we end up showing only the good side and what works, but there’s a lot behind it”, highlighted the entrepreneur.
What is the market expectation for the future?
With the dream of expanding the business and having a physical store all decorated according to the product that is on sale and where consumers can go, choose and remove their own popcorn, Sarah Gorski believes that the popcorn market has great potential. and it’s not something that’s going to end that quickly, as with many other ventures.
“It is a product that has a huge audience and I believe it is something that is not momentary. It is not a product that is already saturated or that a lot of people are working with it. I hope that I can transform my production, but that it doesn’t lose the essence of being a gourmet product,” he said.
The entrepreneur also said that she is studying everything about how to make the popcorn last longer, in addition to investing in the production process to improve the service and experience of Sarah’s Pipocas Gourmet consumers. “For now, I will continue working alone, but the change of space has already been a great victory for me to expand production, and with the equipment that I am acquiring as an industrial machine, I will be able to increase my production and everything will be more easy,” he said.
How to make a brand grow and make money?
For Sarah Gorski, the entrepreneur’s life is to risk without knowing the result, but always believing in his own talent and that that idea will end up working. She pointed out that it is necessary to invest, carry out tests and adapt to the demands that a particular type of business requires, always focusing on the best quality of the product or service.
“It is little by little that we struggle to make investments over time and I prefer to prioritize the quality of my product over quantity,” he said.
In relation to pricing and the way forward to generate value for a business, the entrepreneur stated that it is necessary to carry out tests to define the working day according to the quantity with which a particular product or service is sold, in addition to always valuing the business itself. through the prices offered to the public. “It always happens that people question the value of popcorn or find it too expensive. I don’t just sell popcorn, I sell everything behind it, which is the moment you spend with your family eating that popcorn, the movie you’re going to watch, so I try to sell the affection I put into each production ”, highlighted Sarah.
How to start selling on Instagram?
Selling on Instagram goes far beyond having a business profile and displaying a product or service, for Sarah Gorski, people need to know who their customers are and create a closer relationship with them. She explained how she applies this to her Sarah’s Gourmet Popcorn account. “I’m always posting what my favorite popcorn is, what I like. When I choose the names of the popcorn, I post a box of questions to find out what people think of the names, the flavor, so I include the customer in my company and in my life so that they can give their opinion too”, he said.
She even gave tips on how to improve the performance and sales of a business on the Instagram app.
“There is the issue of the constancy of posting every day, of creating a relationship with people, of making the customer feel important and that he can give his opinion within the company”, concluded the entrepreneur.
*Article produced by Papo Raiz – a relaxed and fun conversation about entrepreneurship and hot topics in society.