Wisconsin Veterans Forward

How to Effectively Grow Your Business, the Right Way, in 2022 (Part 2)

March 07, 2022 Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce Season 2 Episode 117
Wisconsin Veterans Forward
How to Effectively Grow Your Business, the Right Way, in 2022 (Part 2)
Show Notes Transcript

(Part 2) Business owners face unprecedented challenges in 2022. Join us as we welcome Greg Fischer, co-founder of the red hot Burn Pit BBQ, as we discuss best practices for scaling your business.

Order delicious Burn Pit BBQ products:
https://burnpitbbq.com/

Connect with Greg Fischer on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-fischer-3180b779/

Read Greg's article Why I Left My Corporate Job to Focus on BBQ:
https://www.wiveteranschamber.org/2022/03/01/why-i-left-my-corporate-job-to-focus-on-bbq/

Questions? Comments? Continue the discussion by requesting access to our exclusive WVF Facebook Group.

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Wisconsin Veterans Forward is brought to you by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization that serves veterans and military families by supporting veteran owned and veteran-friendly businesses throughout the state. 

On behalf of our members, we serve as an advocate for Wisconsin’s veteran business community and promote economic opportunity for military veterans, military families, and veteran-friendly businesses.

Follow us on all platforms: https://linktr.ee/Wivetschamber

 

Intro & Outro Themes: 

Barry Dallas - I’m Gone (https://uppbeat.io/t/barry-dallas/im-gone)

Noise Cake - Light It Up (https://uppbeat.io/t/noise-cake/light-it-up)


Speaker 1:

Today on Wisconsin veterans forward. We continue our dialogue with Greg Fisher co-founder of burn Pitt barbecue . We're talking about how he has scaled his business over the last year , uh, from expanding his product offerings to his channels of product, this distribution to his marketing tactics. They've really knocked it out of the park. This year. This company is red hot. We're finding out exactly how so let's dig into it right now. You are listening to Wisconsin veterans forward. Wisconsin's premier audio resource for veterans, military families veteran are owned and veteran friendly businesses. Wisconsin veterans forward is brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce@wiveteranschamber.org , getting to a , a , a larger online, a national distribution platform like Amazon. Like if you could go back in time and be like you , uh , be aware of blank. Yeah . What would you, what would you tell yourself?

Speaker 2:

Um , just the nuances. Um , so when you're shipping products to their , the fulfillment centers , so we don't fulfill Amazon orders in house . We send that to Amazon, but we have to prep and we have to package and we have to send that to Amazon before it's ready. So , um , making sure you understand stand the process of, you know, having a product that's can be legally distributed on Amazon. They have their own rules and regulations and things like that. Um, you know, obviously, and that's why we , we hired somebody to help us with that because, you know, I could spend hours and hours and hours and days trying to research that, but, you know, work that has that knowledge and that experience and a track record. Um, so that's what we did. Um , but then again, those are our products. So we have to make sure that they're packaged the right way, the way that we want people to receive them. And then also that it gets down to Amazon intact in a timely fashion. So, you know , when we start having those orders come in, there's no lag time. Um, and we don't run outta inventory. You know , inventory management is key , um, especially on Amazon, where if you run outta , you know, if you run out of inventory, you're pretty much dead in the water and it takes a long time to get back up and , and running on those platforms.

Speaker 1:

Right. Cause you don't want people to search for your product or search for similar products, be interested in yours, click on it and see out of stock . They're just gonna , yeah .

Speaker 2:

And then

Speaker 1:

You're just gonna go to the next thing. Right.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, and , and Amazon other online platforms, you know, they will downgrade you for that kind of stuff. Um , so, you know, you're not gonna come up in their feeds when you, when people search for it, basically there's, you know, millions of brands out there. Um, and you , you're pretty much unknown until you get to those like first three page . Um , so you wanna do everything you can to make sure you stay in those good graces and, and have inventory on hand.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It , it is , it is the little things. And that's probably a way that a lot of folks who , who manage to set themselves apart, especially in saturated industries, is by getting those little things, right. Because not everybody is, you know, if you are the, if you are the company who ensures that your product is always in stock versus one who maybe lets it slip here and there you find yourself in a more advantageous position. Right. Is , is that , is that kind accurate?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I mean, go to your local grocery market right now. Um, and look at the shelves, you know, do you see the products that you usually see? Um, if not, you know, you're probably gonna buy something else. So having inventory on hand is, is key, not only on online markets , but also can relate to, you know, your day to day shopping. And when you go to the , your local markets , um, and you'll see, you'll see the brands that continually put out products and then you'll see the brands that right now are struggling. Um, so yeah, it's, it's just , uh , having that piece of mind and also having inventory available will always kinda help you continue to grow.

Speaker 1:

So, so when we talked a year ago, you had mentioned, and you didn't give any specifics and I don't need any, but you had mentioned that when you went on this journey, you said you had set X date with XME , you know, that this, this, this experiment, this diving in , you know, feet first head first into going from corporate America into being a business owner. You said, if I don't, if I reach X date and have accomplished blah, blah, blah, then I will continue. And if not, then maybe I'll explore going back. So, and you don't have to tell me what the exact metric is, but, you know, have you reached that, that right or die moment? And if so, where were you at compared to your goal and, and, and what does that look like moving forward then?

Speaker 2:

Um, no, I haven't, we , we haven't reached that, that, that point yet. Um, and again, that's a , that's a moving target too. So as we continue to build the business and, you know, I keep my own personal expenses down and the family's thriving, you know, those things are key as well. So , um , but no , uh , we continue to grow and build the business, but, you know, with that comes also additional expenses and things that you don't think about, you know, shipping administrative costs , um, you know, or tax seasons. So we're having somebody do our taxes, you know, that has a , you know , expense to it. Um , so no, I , I , we continue to grow. I'm not at that point yet. Um, and you know, if you ask me this again in the year , I'll , I'll be in the same spot. Um , it's , uh , it's a continually moving target. We're always assessing it each month, but I just looked at my wife , uh , on Fri or on , uh , Monday and said, Hey, we met it another month. And she's like, yeah, we did. So continue to have those. We continue to have those conversations and if it ever gets too bad and you know, something happens and something changes, then I'm , I'm more than happy to jump back into , uh , you know, getting the , you know, regular nine to five for what I need to do, but you better believe I'll jump back into this as soon as I can.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you bet. Wow. It sounds like, sounds like, sounds like you're heading the right direction. Uh,

Speaker 2:

I hope so.

Speaker 1:

Let me, let me ask you this. I've seen in the last couple of months personally, I've seen a change from burn pit in your social media strategy. Okay . I'm seeing more video, more short form, video, more personal dialogue , uh, kind of more candid things , uh , and more frequently too. Has that been a deliberate action or has it just been something that's gradually happened and what impact has that had on your bottom line?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you're , you're correct. You know, our social media strategy going into this year has changed and shifted to more video content, video related content. Um, and again, yeah, that has a strategic reason behind that. We want to continue to build our organic following, especially on Instagram and TikTok . Um, you know, Facebook, we still put a little bit of effort into, and we do a lot of cross sharing and cross promotion . Um, but we we've, we've found that, you know, from a business standpoint that, you know , really Instagram and TikTok have been very , um, grow they've helped us grow, continue to grow and , and , and reach new audiences and new customers. Right. Um , and the video format, you know, we do research too on, you know, the human psyche and, you know, right now it's people really enjoy short video clips, short audio, and , and that's what , that's what we experiment with too. You know, we're not experts in this, but we we've been seeing some good growth that way. Um , especially on Instagram , uh , we're doing one of those reels a day, along with our traditional posts of, you know, barbecuing, grilling stuff we

Speaker 1:

Memes, which I really appreciate.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, when we go on social media, we have kind of one of three, you know, reasons we're out there it's it's to educate is to inform or it's to kind of , uh , entertain, so right . Memes fall into that entertainment piece.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Well, it's definitely having, having an effect and, and, and boy, you really hit the nail on the head with the short term short form video stuff , uh, you know, experts per that over 85% of the content that, that humanity ingests online will be some form of video content over 85% by 2025, which is insane. And our attention spans as, as , uh , as human beings gets shorter and shorter and shorter. So having short form video that immediately starts up and says, Hey, here's why you'll find this valuable. And then diving right in is just so much more effective. And to me, it is incredible how often you see big brands and corporations and companies with huge marketing media departments get that wrong. You know, they do, they , where there should be a short to the point video, they got a 30 minute narrative with a five minute introduction and credits and blah, blah. You know, people don't do that. They don't have time for that. Um ,

Speaker 2:

Seven seconds you got, you got seven seconds. If you can't capture their attention in seven seconds, they're gonna move on. So yeah , that's, that's how, how we approach our , our videos and our reels and whatever audio we're doing. Hey, you got seven seconds to capture 'em if you don't, then it's, it's , it's over.

Speaker 1:

And I've noticed lately you've been sharing a lot of it seems to me, people who use your products to grill out, like you just shared the other day a , uh, a , a rack of ribs that somebody else had put your sauce on or whatever. Yeah . Are you noticed that you're noticing that you're getting a lot of user generated content and how effective has that been for you? And again, has that been a deliberate thing or do you just kind of stumble upon it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no. I mean, since a , that we've been doing since , uh , we started, we always wanted to build a community around our products and our , our brand and, you know, we , there's no better way to showcase, you know, family and friends than getting around the dinner table and , and cooking. So, yeah , we love it when people who use our products, send us their pictures and , you know, their recipes sometimes about how they use our products. And , and when we get those, yeah , we're gonna share 'em, we're gonna share 'em with the world. We're gonna share 'em with our followers. Um, because, you know, we appreciate that person taking that opportunity and that time to send that to us. So , um, we'll showcase it as well. So no it's been, it's been part of our strategy always is to build that community around our brand. And that's just one way we do it.

Speaker 1:

I noticed you've had a lot of growth on Instagram in particular. Uh , is there any reason for that? Uh, I know Facebook doesn't really have the same punch that it used to, especially if you're paying for stuff, if you don't have enough, you know, resources or leverage like, like a , yeah . You know , United healthcare does or whatever, to, for automobiles to put behind it , usually there's diminishing return, but Instagram , uh , I feel like you guys have grown there more than anywhere else. Is that right? And if so, what , what , what's your secret?

Speaker 2:

Well, we, we made an intentional , um , switch, so it's been intentional to grow our , uh, following on Instagram. So one reel a day. So one of those reels that you see , uh , we committed to doing that each day and, you know, we started the year just over 4,000 followers and we're up to just under 7,000. So we've had about a 58% increase there. Excellent. Um , and I can, I can, again, attribute it to being consistent with those daily actions and then having a , a strategy going into that. Like, it's, it's not what you see us putting out there isn't by accident just when we feel like it it's, you know, there's a strategic mission behind it and that's to continue to build our brand and grow our following there

Speaker 1:

Right on. So if you, if you could again, go back in time , uh, to a year ago to right after the last time we, we, you chatted . Sure . Uh , what sort of advice would you give yourself to maybe get more out of this last year, more optimally , uh , or, or perhaps to be more effective or would you pretty much just say like, Hey, you're good, man. Just do exactly what you have planned.

Speaker 2:

No , it's, yeah. I'd change a million things if I could go back to this time next , uh , last year. But , uh , I , I think the biggest thing, and the biggest thing that we've seen is , um, people really love and support local products. So continue to build on that angle , um, continue to reach out to local butcher shops, retailers , restaurants that might be willing to give your product a chance. Um , we did that. We started doing that a little bit more towards the end of 2021, but we've seen in 2022 almost , uh , a hundred percent increase in our retail partnerships because we've, again, made that strategic shift to consistently reach out to businesses in Wisconsin that might wanna carry our products. And if I could have started that last year at this time , uh, I , who knows where it would be, but we'd be a lot further ahead than we are right now.

Speaker 1:

So you're , so what you're saying is, is your advice would be, especially to someone who is in , uh, either aspiring to be, or in the business of product distribution , uh, that you can't avoid the face to face portion of this bus .

Speaker 2:

Yeah . Yeah. It's , it's those , those personal relationships, those conversations , uh , are what, you know, how business is still conducted, whether we like to believe it or not, even in this virtual environment , um, you know, a lot of the business deals that I've had done in the past, you know, two months have all been face to face or over the phone. So , um, and , and , and I'm , and I don't mean virtual. I mean, actually going to the business and talk in those individuals. So , um, yeah, if you wanna build a brand, if you want to get out there and get your stuff in the , in the stores, you gotta get out from behind the desk and you gotta go, go out and do it. And you know, if I were to talk to myself last year, I'd say, Hey, go , go do that a lot more. Um , cuz it'll pay off for

Speaker 1:

You. We got part three, the third and final part of this interview with Greg Fisher , co-founder burn pit barbecue coming up in the very next episode, Wisconsin veterans forward. It's sitting there waiting for you. Let's get there. Let's go together. Let's do this. Thank you for listening to Wisconsin veterans forward brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce, please visit a us@veteranschamber.org . Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast, leave a rating and review in whatever platform you're listening through.