Nicole Buergers knew she’d be taking a risk when walking away from a guaranteed paycheck to start her own small business. But she didn’t know how sweet it could be – and in more ways than she expected.
Buergers, who is a client of 1-800Accountant, is the proud owner of Bee2Bee Honey Collective, LLC. Formally established in February 2016, the company is headquartered out of a shared workspace facility in Houston, Texas, but the entrepreneur has traveled around the country for business purposes.
Buergers says her small business is twofold.
“I offer beekeeping services in which I install and maintain beehives on property owned by individuals and businesses,” she explains. “People want bees for various purposes – typically for environmental reasons or to help maintain a garden. The second part of the business is the website. I help people sell honey online since many of these individuals are not tech-savvy and are often just selling honey on the side of the road.”
Buergers previously worked in Internet marketing for several agencies. She now uses the skills she honed on that path in her current small business. She also works as a cheese monger at a local cheese shop in Houston.
She explains what drove her to take the dive into self-employment.
“I want people to be able to get honey easily,” she says. “I love feeling like I’m making a difference by giving back to the planet to keep bees around. Plus, I sat behind a desk in the corporate world for too many years. Now, I really enjoy getting out there and putting my hands in the soil.”
Being around bees all the time certainly increases the risk of being stung by one. Buergers – or “The Queen Bee” as she likes to call herself – is always fully prepared for the job.
“Working with bees is like tai chi,” she explains. “You will get stung at times because some bees are quite aggressive. But for me, it’s no big deal. I gear up with a bee suit and gloves. Bee suits are very puffy and can be pretty hot to wear, but they really protect you.
According to Buergers, there are many beekeeper companies that serve most large cities around the United States. However, she found that the Houston market has been underserved in this area.
“Houston is a very green area with lots of grass, plants, and flowers. But it needed a beekeeping service. So, I saw this as a great place for an opportunity to start one myself.”
To get the word out about Bee2Bee Honey Collective, Buergers has created a marketing plan with a variety of platforms. The company has a website at www.bee2beehoney.com. It also has pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. The beekeeper is looking to contact local publications, magazines, websites, blogs, and other relevant outlets, in addition to running an Indiegogo campaign.
Starting and running a small business isn’t for the faint of heart, Buergers confides.
“It’s my first time doing this, and I had no idea what I was doing at first. There are all kinds of rules on forming a business, legal issues, insurance, taxes, and paperwork. It’s all a new game for me. It has also been tough telling everyone about this pivot in my career. I think my mom has finally accepted it.”
Thanks to her recent entrepreneurial experience, she offers some helpful advice for entrepreneurs.
“Expect a lot of doubt and a lot of uncertainty throughout the early stages. It’s a giant step, and you really just have to take it. Outsource tasks to the experts as well. Honestly, the biggest help for me has been the emotional support from family and friends. I still have days when I think I’m not doing the right thing. Reach out to others and get encouragement from them. Your passion will shine through in the end.”
Buergers says she has been very happy with the support 1-800Accountant has provided her with business taxes, accounting, and everything else she simply doesn’t have time to do.
“Learning about business taxes has been challenging,” she says. “1-800Accountant has been so helpful at taking me by the hand and walking me through all of my business accounting needs.”
Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post was provided by Bee2Bee Honey Collective, LLC and is used with permission.