Scott Beer of Oceana, California didn’t ask to become a small business owner. On the contrary, it was practically demanded of him once he started bringing his unique cookie creations with him to the sales expos his day job required him to attend. When Beer’s signature maple-bacon-Tabasco cookies caught the attention of grocery stores in Pismo Beach, Beer had no choice but to turn his hobby into a small business so his cookies could be sold in stores. In April of 2015, Come Get Your Cookies, LLC was formally established. Come Get Your Cookies is operated by Beer and his business partner, Robin Preheim, out of a home office.
“We make gourmet cookies that have a cult following. The maple-bacon-Tabasco cookie is a big hit, but we also have piña colada and strawberry-basil cookies, among others,” Beer says of his cookies.
It was Beer’s background in sales that launched him into the world of small business ownership, using cookies to lure in potential clients.
“I’m a salesman, and people don’t want to talk to salesmen. But if I have cookies, then suddenly they have a couple minutes to talk. One time, I was at an expo and I had some cookies around my table. Someone came up to me and said that I should be selling cookies! People started stopping me on the street and would say, ‘You’re the cookie guy!’ Eventually we were on the news showcasing our cookies, and we were even invited to the Emmy’s to give cookies to the stars!” he exclaims.
In addition to the exotic gourmet flavors that get people’s attention, Beer believes the hard work he puts into the small business will be what brings them continued success. Although the business has an official website and online store – www.comegetyourcookies.com – word-of-mouth has been the most effective marketing tool – and it comes with the most desirable price.
“We show up and we demonstrate our cookies, but the word-of-mouth has really been the biggest asset. People say, ‘You’ve got to try these cookies!’ We sold 17 dozen boxes of cookies in a new store in the first couple minutes they were on the shelves. Stores will call me and say, ‘We have someone who drives 45 minutes to get your cookies.’ It’s very cool,” Beer explains.
It is this validation that Beer enjoys most about being a small business owner.
“Every ‘Wow!’ makes me feel good,” he confides.
Beer’s brand combats competition by offering a unique product that feels like an event with every bite. Come Get Your Cookies has been particularly successful with the senior citizen crowd since they use the treats as conversation cookies and aren’t watching their figures as much as the younger crowd.
In addition to word-of-mouth advertising, an online store, and a Facebook page, Beer gets his cookies out into the public through community outreach. He is active in local charities and non-profits like Relay for Life, and his cookies are a big hit at charitable events.
Challenges of Small Business Ownership
Beer didn’t start off with aspirations to become a small business owner, but he had to learn the ropes of entrepreneurism fast in order to please the fans of his cookies. Not knowing where to begin was the first challenge he faced.
“Nobody had any knowledge about how to start a cookie business. We got bounced around to different offices and ran wild because we had no checklist. Even making the cookies, we had to come up with a standard. There’s no format. You just have to decide, ‘I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that!’ We didn’t start out to be a cookie company, we just had to because grocery stores wanted to sell them, so we had to do what the stores required and make that happen. It’s all trial and error! But it pays off. You’re obligated by cookies!” Beer enthuses.
Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Beer believes that aspiring entrepreneurs should believe in and trust their vision of what success looks like to them. For those looking to become small business owners someday, he offers this piece of advice.
“Be yourself. So many people out there say, ‘I know a guy who tried that and it didn’t work.’ Don’t listen to anybody! Just be yourself,” he advises. I look at all of those businesses out there that succeeded, and I know there was somebody out there at one point who told them they couldn’t do it.”
It is Beer’s entrepreneurial spirit he didn’t know he had that has carried him through the uncertain beginnings of the small business.
“We hold ourselves accountable. We discipline ourselves and see what works and what doesn’t. We want to be in charge of our own destiny. We don’t like to be ruled.”
Experience As a 1-800Accountant Client
Scott Beer of Come Get Your Cookies, LLC is a satisfied client of 1-800Accountant.
“We’re actually surprised. We said, ‘Wow, we wish we would have known about this sooner.’ They’ll call us and say, ‘Here is your next step,’ and we didn’t even know we had extra steps! The people at1-800Accountant have been holding our hands throughout all of this. It’s a relief for us,” he raves.
Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post was provided by Come Get Your Cookies, LLC and is used with permission.