Setting up your own business brings both challenges and rewards. Introducing our special issue on entrepreneurial success, we seek advice from two special experts in the field.
How do you launch your own company? Or, if you are already your own boss, how do you make your business stronger and better – a place that stands for all you believe in? This month monocle tries to answer those tricky questions and set you on a steady entrepreneurial course. With our special supplement, the Entrepreneurs Guide 2015/16, we introduce you to successful people who run businesses and show you around companies that have faced challenges and thrived. It’s the issue of monocle that could change your life.
But before all that we want to introduce you to two of the more unusual players we encountered while pulling together this entrepreneurs-themed issue: the owners of Sizzling Success, whom you can spy on our cover this month. Mr Squirrel and Herr Otter met while studying at Woodland University in Barkvaria. Although they initially bonded over a fondness for the great outdoors, they soon realised that they shared a passion for business and were determined to start their own food outlet. We caught up with them recently as they took a break from their busy schedules and asked them how they got started, their dreams for the future and the lessons they have learnt along the way.
Monocle: Why sausages?
Mr Squirrel: Well we looked at the food-truck business and realised that you need to promote a product that you really believe in. I was keen on doing something with nuts but Herr Otter wasn’t partial. And he likes raw fish but I can’t stand the smell and my little hands are not good with slippery things. But his grandmother used to own a sausage stand and he still had many of her old unique recipes. It just seemed that we would have an advantage on the old sausage front.
Monocle: How did you come up with your branding?
Herr Otter: I was keen on something Germanic such as “Do Your Wurst”, but we were also thinking ahead and we needed a name that would work in other territories as we expand. We considered using our names but in the end Sizzling Success had the right sausage-y vibe – and also an air of ambition.
Monocle: How have you grown your team so far?
Herr Otter: We are still the core team but we got Mr Hedgie via an apprenticeship programme run by the Pricklestein Foundation. And Mr Piggy works with us when we are doing big events. We did the Forest Festival this year with all the woodland rock stars; Mr Timberlake played. As his name suggests, Mr Hedgie also has a financial background.
Monocle: Do you think you will ever take on a bricks-and-mortar restaurant space as you grow?
Mr Squirrel: Of course. The food truck is a great way of testing out our concept but we think there’s scope to build a small group of high-quality Sizzling Success outlets. But a sausage will always be at the heart of our brand. We have our eyes on perhaps debuting at Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4.
Monocle: How did you go about raising the start-up capital?
Mr Squirrel: My sister, Miss Bushy Bum, had some savings which she let us use to get the truck. But we will be looking for more investment next year. We believe going for a family approach works best for launch capital.
Monocle: What advice would you give to others hoping to follow in your paw prints?
Herr Otter: Don’t get your tail caught in the mincer! No, seriously, I would say you have got to go for it. It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding. We have grown a broad and diverse range of customers and will be looking at opening in branch in Foxrovia in the coming months.