Shop online for appliances, electronics, furniture, mattresses, baby products, gifts and more with Afterpay, Zippay, Zip Money and LayBuy. Read More », Your preference has been updated for this session. We’re passionate and ambitious about what we’re doing. Swatting away assumptions not only depletes the emotional stores required to push through all the real work I have to get done but also feels unnecessarily belittling of the ambition I harbor. 15,790 talking about this. : No one wants to hear that you just have to put in the work, that there’s no secret. One Unsung Success Secret, My writing explores the choices firms and leaders make and the impact of those choices. It’s kind of like I had these two parallel lives that were independent of each other. Stephanie Denning: What companies do you think excel at building customer relationships? Honestly, we got lucky. At that point, my parents had already lent me $200,000, I had maxed out every credit card, I had sold my car, I had put all my $70,000 savings into the business, and working out of my apartment where I had three roommates. One well-meaning gentleman turned to me and said I would be fantastic at running the human resource department. We think that to be truly kind you have to be kind to animals too. Ensuring that humility is a value for the organization and preventing hierarchy. I was on a local project and I went home one day and literally just brainstormed maybe ten business ideas about how I could help change what people were eating. Leadership has to constantly push decisions down and saying this isn’t my decision this is your decision, I’m happy to provide input but I want you to be the one that decides. Add to Cart. : That went on for about 9 months. Stephanie Denning: What do you do differently to prioritize the consumer? And he puts the rocks in the rock tumbler and they’re shaking and making all this noise hitting each other. One of the biggest changes recently has been adding a level of middle managers and being mindful that they have decision power. Katlin Smith: One would be store count. Who will lend me $10,000 to get me through this next week? That’s in addition to formal consumer research. : I think it’s deceptively simple. One is certainly the holistic health element. What are your company values? It’s the reason I went into consulting, I love solving problems. She likes to solve problems and exclaims she finds herself far more disengaged when things are going smoothly. We have each of our new hires go and staff a trade show. ABOUT US. : When you decided to do this full time, were the products gaining traction? Location. I don’t think I gave much thought to questions like “where is this going” or “how is this different from what I’ve been doing in the early days,” because it was do, do, do. When you call our customer service, it calls our office and one of our team members answers the phone. Not so much the statements, but the underlying assumptions behind them. Stephanie Denning: How do you balance managing both profitability and customer satisfaction. Why? When we raised our first round, you never know whether a round is going to go through. : You don’t have the experience telling you no. A lot of that luck was due to the hard work and the passion of our team, but so many things just have to go right. and the iHerb.com Trusted Brands. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to simultaneously pursue two career paths, with the popularization of the so-called “side hustle.” I get asked all the time how to best manage both. And quite honestly in consulting, you’re already working long hours. One is certainly the holistic health element. And so when I feel like things are easy then I start getting disengaged. Simple Mills is leading a clean food movement in the baking and cracker aisles. (Thank god.) But to label her solely a female entrepreneur would be to do her a disservice. We have books that are required reading. The company's products are made with â¦ Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. And then on the weekends I would come back and do more. Most food businesses work similarly in terms of the number of people they need, the amount of marketing dollars they need, you need to get to a certain revenue level, a certain growth level, a certain store count level. There are only so many things you can make silicon do and so many things you can make glass do, but you have to recombine them in a unique way. There is the occasional day though, like yesterday, where I find it endlessly grating. I blinded myself to the risk. : I think hearing and understanding what your customer wants is so important. Another is humility. One well-meaning gentleman turned to me and said I would be fantastic at running the human resource department. Katlin Smith: My favorite is The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional And Personal Life by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin Zander and my second favorite is Rising Strong: How The Ability To Reset Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, And Lead by Brene Brown. And I think there’s a lot to that statement. Stephanie Denning: How much more money did it take? I can just picture the poster now that no one ever reads. The entire fabric on which you live your life is affected by our food. I’m very motivated by things that are difficult and problems to solve. Overall business viability (growth, revenue) is important and making sure that you have the sufficient margins to make the business work at scale. Operator of a whole food ingredient brand intended to develop baking mixes, frostings, cookies, and crackers. The spotlight on female entrepreneurs is growing. And two, profitability, but that wasn’t the right metric to be looking at. Stephanie Denning: What were you using as KPIs for success in the early days? When it comes to choosing which products we create, we are the consumers ourselves. And it’s funny because $200,000 is exactly how much we needed to bridge us through to our first round. It has to deliver value relative to the market. At the time my office was also my bedroom and I remember jumping up and down in my bedroom I was so excited. Do you prioritize one over the other? Health expert & best selling author Joy Bauer features her favorite Back-to-School snack products & recipes on the Today Show, featuring Simple Mills. I didn’t have time to go out with them on Friday night, because if I did, I wouldn’t feel great on Saturday morning and I needed that time on Saturday morning to get even more done. I think if you’re not ok with the thought that you may never making a dime, you shouldn’t start the business. CHICAGO, Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Katlin Smith, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Simple Mills, has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017, a highly respected â¦ And quite honestly in consulting, you’re already working long hours. Simple Mills Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Almond Flour Crackers, 4.25 oz. Simple Mills General Information Description. You may opt-out by. Once I realized this, I couldn’t let it go. They have conflicting interests. Eventually, I also applied to business school, but I knew in my heart that if the company succeeded that business school wasn’t really the end goal. And it’s funny because $200,000 is exactly how much we needed to bridge us through to our first round. For the first two years that I was full-time in the business, I was pretty anti-social, because I was working nonstop. Feel what good food can do. Special Price $4.79 Regular Price $5.99. Katlin Smith: We have cultural tenets. I received a B.S. And Simple Mills caters to people with many different dietary needs. Grain-free and Paleo, all their products are non-GMO Project Verified & naturally free of â¦ I have no particular skill-set in managing talent or culture. My writing explores the choices firms and leaders make and the impact of those choices. Smith, a self-proclaimed petite, 29-year-old, based in Chicago, started her company about five years ago. For us that’s the ingredients that are in it, the nutrition, the price point, it means we are making enough money to recover our end of the business while also delighting our consumers and solving their problems. Simple Mills. Smokey Bbq Cheddar Almond Flour Crackers, 4.25 oz. I would say we’re similar in a lot of ways. : The product itself has to work. You Can Learn To Manage It, Why Your Diverse Talent Is Leaving -- And What Your Organization Can Do About It, This Free Technology Will Build Better Relationships With Your Remote Employees, Here's How To Decide Whether Freelancing Is Right For You. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the âUnsubscribeâ link in each exclusive offer email. Katlin Smith is not one of those people. I manufactured all our products in a commercial kitchen in the early days. Healthy Rewards. Katlin Smith: It’s all psychology. It’s easy to say, but the execution of it and what it entails on a day to day basis, that’s where it gets tricky. And sure enough, my joint pain went away. And it’s easier said than done. Up until the last minute you’re negotiating with investors. And it’s easier said than done. There wasn’t time to sit to think, Oh do I like this or do I not? Leadership has to constantly push decisions down and saying this isn’t my decision this is your decision, I’m happy to provide input but I want you to be the one that decides. But at that point you think. I don’t think I gave much thought to questions like “where is this going” or “how is this different from what I’ve been doing in the early days,” because it was do, do, do. : What’s the relationship between pushing products out to customers and getting their feedback on what to create? In the end, we raised about $5 million, although we don’t raise capital anymore. Kindle Direct Publishing Indie Digital & Print Publishing Made Easy Amazon Photos Unlimited Photo Storage Free With Prime: Prime Video Direct Video Distribution Made Easy : Shopbop Designer â¦ Shop Online from your preferred retailer below and type Simple Mills in their search bar. I work as a management consultant specializing in growth strategy and commercial excellence. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers, Fine Ground Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Flax Seed, Sunflower Seeds, Corn Free, Good for Snacks, Made with whole foods, 3 Count (Packaging May Vary) 4.5 out of 5 stars â¦ We have them do a demo in the store. Trusted Brands. Your preference has been updated for this session. It struck me that our food has such a big impact on the way we feel and what we’re able to do on a daily basis. Within three months of selling our product, we became the best-selling muffin mix on Amazon. Katlin Smith: Yeah, but I look back now and see there was so much more risk than I could see at the time even when we were gaining traction in the early days. : Part of it starts with the recruiting process. One of my favorite stories he tells is about a guy who lived down the street who had a rock tumbler. Stephanie Denning: What’s the relationship between pushing products out to customers and getting their feedback on what to create? New customers - Save 25% with promo code, We collect and use your email address to send you promotional materials until you unsubscribe. Simple Mills baking mixes are made from naturally gluten-free almond flour and are a healthy alternative to traditional flour. Katlin Smith: One way I think is making sure the power doesn’t rest with any one individual. The Making Of MeUndies: How To Create A Successful Subscription Model, Does Poetry Have A Place In Business? We have our team members answer customer service for a week. Smith is an example for many in our generation who have been interested in pursuing such a path. : What did you tell yourself when you got discouraged? Your preference has been updated for this session. Having read Netflix’s HR guru Patty McCord’s book, Anyway, later that day I found myself in another discussion, telling someone that I’m working on a book. And Jobs compares that to product development and innovation. We don’t condone any one diet, but we encourage our team members to try a diet for a week, so you can empathize with many of our consumers. 435 North LaSalle Street, 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60654. And two, profitability, but that wasn’t the right metric to be looking at. Stephanie Denning: I’m curious about your story. Everybody who joins our company answers customer service for one week. On Friday afternoons, I would drive in Atlanta traffic to this suburb an hour away - because I had no money for this - so I chose the cheapest commercial kitchen possible. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Company Information. It was in this light that I was interested to talk to another female entrepreneur, Katlin Smith, the founder, and CEO of Simple Mills, a new entrant on the health food scene. 2x? About UsSimple Mills enriches lives and bodies through simple, delicious, real foods. The other is social media and Amazon reviews that reveals information about what consumers want and what they value. 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