(Part 3) 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.
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Today on Wisconsin veterans forward the third and final part of our interview with Greg Fisher co-founder of burn pit barbecue . He's a great guy with a great product. Very interesting story about how he scaled his business over the last couple years, but in the last year in particular, like I said, in the last episode, this business is red hot right now. Uh , and sky's the limit for them. So it's been really interesting to learn about how he's going about building that business. Uh , we're gonna continue to hear all about it. Here's part three, you are listening to Wisconsin veterans forward. Wisconsin's premier , your audio resource for veterans, military families, veteran owned and veteran friendly businesses. Wisconsin veterans forward is brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of email@example.com , right on. So, I mean, there are a lot of people who have success with entirely online businesses, but I feel like that's fleeting a lot of the time. And the thing that helps it endure is a hybrid approach between the in person , which you absolutely must have and the online, which you absolutely must have the, the personal handshake in synergy with the Amazon distribution deal. Is that right? Is it a 50 50 split or is there a , you know, one way or another that's heavier?Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah , I can only speak to my business. Um, I know there's a lot of successful people that have just online businesses or just fulfill through Amazon completely and never touch physical product. Um, and then I know there's, there's businesses that have no online presence and just do, you know, brick and mortar. Um, for us it's a hybrid approach. Um, and you know, for our physical product, we need to get out and we need to talk to the butchers, the meat makers , um, all those folks that, you know, would our , our products would compliment . Um, and a lot of those folks, you know, are online all day. Um, so they are busy, they're working behind the counters and we need to go be, get in front of 'em . And the only way to do that is to get in the car and head over to their shops. So we have a hybrid approach that's working for us right now. Um, and we'll continue to do that. Um , because that's, what's , that's, it's just working for us.Speaker 1:
Let's say I'm a aspiring business owner and I want to make a product and I wanna sell it in stores. Let let's say it's a food item. Um , sure . You know, let's say a sauce or , or a , some , some kind . And I , and I come to you and I say, I want , do I wanna do this? What are your first questions that you ask that person? Or what are the first bits of advice that you say to that person?Speaker 2:
That's all right . Let's do it. Um, yeah. Is it's , uh , I think a lot of people get too caught up in their head. Um, it's, it's, it's not challenging. Um, it's challenging to get started. You know, you , you have all those ideas, you have those thoughts, you have your recipes. Uh , now it's, it's , it's finding something , that's done it and is doing it and picking their brain and understanding how they started. Most of us, I, I , I would welcome and more competition means just more opportunity to get our products in front of other people too. Mm . Um, but, and , and I've worked with other people that are in the process of, you know, bottling their own stuff. Um, so I , the biggest thing I'd say is just get, started, ask the right questions and decide, you know, am I gonna do this? Am I gonna bottle this in house ? Or am I gonna find somebody to help me pack this thing? Because those are two different avenues that go down. Um, and there's a lot of different nuances between both of 'emSpeaker 1:
Right, right on. So if, if somebody says , uh , I figured out where I'm gonna have it bottled, I got all that situated. I'm gonna make it myself. I'm gonna bottle it here. I'm gonna blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. How do I get started? Where , where do I focus? The majority of my energy? Would you tell them face to face interactions or get that thing on Amazon right away? Or start with your grassroots marketing, give out samples first, or like what's, what's, what's a first step to, to get the word out about your brand and your product.Speaker 2:
Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing is it , this , this thing right here, your cell phone , um, start , uh , start sharing the process , uh , let people in behind the scenes , uh , start , um , getting some excitement around what you're doing. Um, that's what we did , um , that , that , you know, I would attribute that to a lot of the success we had early on is I documented pretty much every process that we were going through. I got people's input on sauces and , and rubs, you know, what kind of flavors. And then I had people test it and taste it. So , um, samples good. Um, and then get out to the local farmers markets , um, and start selling it. Um, the more that you can have reviews of your products , um, able, you know, whether that's, you know , on your Google business page or whether that's on your Facebook business page, get people starting to leave reviews. Um, and then, you know, start to build from there. It's not gonna happen overnight. So just take it one day at a time .Speaker 1:
That's great advice. That's great advice. Uh , you know, you mentioned reviews and I think last time I checked, you guys were at like 99.8, 5%, five star , like just people love your products and they love your brand. And they , I mean, you have some of the most like ravenous, enthusiastic evangelists for your product out there, which is one of the greatest marketing assets anybody can have. You know, if you take care of people, you make them feel important. You give them a good product that makes them feel good, then they will go ahead and be your best marketing advocate that there is. That's awesome. Have you gotten any feedback that has not been part positive ? Cause everybody, this happens all the time. If you have a business, it's not gonna be all sunshine and rainbows, you're going to get feedback that either makes you feel bad or makes you doubt yourself or makes you maybe reevaluate something. Have you gotten any negative feedback and has it been a thing like how have you had to approach that? Cause personally I'm sensitive. It would mess me up. I put my heart and soul into something and I got a bad review. I would be upset. So how, how have you faced that?Speaker 2:
Uh, yeah, we we've , we've had bad, you know, it reviews not necessarily bad, but we've had people that, you know , don't like our products as much as, you know , maybe others. So , uh , we take that feedback and stride , we know we're realistic, not everybody's gonna enjoy our products the way that we do. Um , and you know, one of the advantages of being on Amazon is that people all across the country and the world can try our products and give us honest feedback and we can continue to use that feedback to improve on the products and what we offer. Um, but you know, when we first started, there was a lot of , um, you know, in certain, you know, when we started doing a ads on, you know, Facebook, as far as like who we were and what we're doing, you know, we get those people that come outta the woodwork that just try and shoot you down and say, Hey, my 12 year old grandson could barbecue better than you. Great. Where's his page. Let me follow him so I can learn. Right. So , uh , it is , you know, not , it is not, it's not taking yourself too seriously. And , uh , just knowing that that's part of the process, you know, if, if you're not getting any challenging feedback, then you're not doing everything right. So , um, I , I think that's the approach that we take and we continue to take knowing that as , as we build and grow our brand, gonna be more in more of those people that are gonna kind try and put you down. But , uh , we have a, you know, we have a mission and a pretty , pretty good product that we think, so , uh , we're gonna continue with that. And at the end of the day, I'm still gonna go to sleep. I'm still gonna get up and you know, the sun's gonna come up tomorrow. So that's the kind of the way that we approach it.Speaker 1:
Well, I can, I can attest to that. You do have a good product. Uh , like I said, it's a staple around our house. Have you ever gotten feedback that you were like, oh, you know what, that's a really, really good idea.Speaker 2:
Well , we get, we get awesome ideas all the time. I wish I had time to implement all of 'em , but like, it's just me and one other person right now. And, you know , as we continue to build our team, but no just ideas for, you know , new flavor profiles for rubs and sauces and hot sauces. Um, you know, those are, those are ideas that come at us all the time. Um, like the other day, somebody popped into our IM and said, Hey, have you guys thought about a bloody Merry mix? Um, and no, but that sounds awesome. Right? So yeah , those are things that we continue to build and we'll continue to grow as, as our brand grow. No , we , we have ideas and thoughts all the time about what we wanna do next. And we have some ideas right now about what we , what , what we might be launching here , um , this year, you know, subscription boxes , um, you know, new apparel, that kind of stuff. So it's , it's always, it's constantly evolving and we're constantly trying out new ideas and thoughts.Speaker 1:
So let's talk about this year, the, you know , uh , perfect world, you wave a magic wand and this next year is a perfect year for you and for burn pit. Uh , what do , what do things look like this time next year?Speaker 2:
Uh, this time next year , um, we are in at least , uh , 35 stores across the, the state of Wisconsin. Um, and we continue to build a brand and we've actually hired more people to help us fulfill orders. So, you know, perfect, you know, perfect world this time. Next year we have a staff and we have people doing some of those things that , uh, take, you know, my , myself out of the business , um, and , uh, continue to grow and build. And we're still here.Speaker 1:
So you're focusing you wanna hope to transition to working on the business versus in the business sort of thing, right?Speaker 2:
Yeah. And I think that's everybody's goal when they , you know , right . I part part of the learning curve and the process is I need to be in this, I need to do this. You know, I need to learn all this stuff. I can't just outsource everything. Um, so eventually I love to teach somebody the stuff that I'm doing and pay 'em for it . Um, and , uh, you know, move on to continue to, to build the brand and scale it , uh , as a , as a business owner.Speaker 1:
Absolutely good stuff. Well, good for you. You know, we're, we're , uh , we're big fans of burn pit barbecue as a chamber and personally big fans , uh, of , of you guys. It's been really Aw to see you , like I said, in the , in the , the post for this, you guys are red hot right now, and that's not an exaggeration and it's just, I mean, it's awesome to see cause you're good people doing good stuff.Speaker 2:
Uh , I appreciateSpeaker 1:
That. If anybody out there has, you know, has entrepreneurial ambitions , uh , in , in the back of, of their head or they're thinking about someday making that plunge or that switch, what would you tell 'em ,Speaker 2:
There's never gonna be a perfect time. Um, so whatever you're thinking, whatever you're , you're planning , um, make small steps and try it out. Um, there's never gonna be a perfect opportunity for you to do that. There would , there would never have been a perfect opportunity for me to leave my job and launch this business. Um, so , so I had to make the decision and actually do it. So the , that , and that's with our scaling this year as well, you know, scaling only happens by choice. You know, it doesn't happen by chance, so whatever you're thinking, whatever you're doing, if you're planning a business, do it, just do it and adjust along the waySpeaker 1:
That is, that is million dollar advice cramed into about 20 right there. That is, yeah. Just go for it. There's never gonna be a great time. At some point, you're going to have to make a calculated risk based on your risk tolerance and, and your predictions. And like, you're gonna have to make some uncomfortable transition. Uh , and if that wasn't the case, if it was ease, he , if it was , you know, was a no brainer, like, okay, from here to here and salary just goes up and everything grows , you know, like then everybody would do it.Speaker 2:
Right? Yeah. Yeah. And along with that is, you know, don't be afraid to fail. You know, we , we've fallen on our faces so many times over the past year and continue to pick ourselves back up and that's just gonna , that's part of the process and that's gonna happen. So, you know , don't be afraid to start and don't be afraid to fail.Speaker 1:
And that's an encouraging thing to hear cuz from the outside, looking in, it doesn't look like you've fallen on your faces at all. It looks like you guys have just been killing it . So to , to hear you say that for an aspiring entrepreneur, that's a really encouraging thing, man. So , um, if somebody wants to reach out and connect with you, I see , uh , burn pit barbecue.com or burn pit BBQ , the letters.com or scrolling across the bottom here. How else if somebody wants to reach out to you, should they do LinkedIn or what?Speaker 2:
Um, yeah, LinkedIn's fine. You know, I'm very active on LinkedIn. I'm very happy to share my story out there so you can go kind of see what we're doing as well. So just Greg Fisher on LinkedIn , um, or, you know, you can follow us on Facebook, you know, burn pit BBQ , uh , Instagram burn, pit BBQ guys, and then TikTok burn pit BBQ. But yeah, any one of those avenues, again, like I'm the business man . So it's, if you reached out to any one of those platforms, you're probably getting me at the other end.Speaker 1:
There you go. Good stuff. Well, Greg Fisher , everybody, I'll ask you to hang on the line here for just a second. Uh, awesome. As always love that guy. Love burn pit barbecue, check them out. It's scrolling across the bottom burn pit BBQ . They have , uh , some like sampler packs that have like a selection of all their different stuff. Or they have like a mega pack that has a whole bunch of different things in it. They got great apparel. I have a beanie , um, that I really enjoy. I think it looks very fetching. Um, but yeah, big fan. Check them out and check Greg out , connect with him on LinkedIn. Uh, looking forward to featuring a lot more valuable information about restaurant retail, for food distribution, all that stuff throughout the month, we got some exciting guests planned for you. Make sure that you don't miss anything. Follow us across all platforms. We'll see you. Same time, same place right here. Thanks other Adam. I couldn't have said it better myself. Appreciate you guys joining us. We'll see you next time. Thank you for are listening to Wisconsin veterans forward brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce. Please visit firstname.lastname@example.org . Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast, leave a rating and review in whatever platform you're listening through.