Have you ever wanted to launch a business, take your company in a whole different direction, or shake up the markets with a brand new product — but held back because you don’t have experience or feel qualified?
Read below for an excerpt from latest Women Who Own It podcast episode with special guest Gail Becker, founder and CEO of the unbelievably successful CAULIPOWER. Gail launched CAULIPOWER cauliflower pizza crusts in 2017 with no experience in the frozen food industry (one of the most resistant to change, especially to health products like hers). 3 years later, her products are in 25,000 stores across America… and they recently hit $100M in sales.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of this country — one of the benefits is that they can pivot on a dime. […] Use your malleability and your nimbleness to your advantage.
– Gail Becker
Listen to the full episode:
Allison Maslan: What do you think is the key to the success of CAULIPOWER taking off so quickly?
Gail Becker: I would say three reasons. One is timing — we hit the market right. There was this real desire by people to create something out of nothing because the industry wasn’t giving them what they wanted, so they were forced to create it themselves. Another reason is marketing. I didn’t know anything about, but I did know marketing because that was my background. It just goes to show you that anyone who has a background in something can use that to build a business, even if it’s not the core of the business that you create. And third is the product. I think when it comes to food, it’s always taste, taste, taste. The main reason why CAULIPOWER has proven successful is that we have a great tasting product, but really I think it is all those three factors together.
Allison Maslan: What were some of the unforeseen challenges that you had to face especially as you began to scale?
Gail Becker: I would put the unforseen challenges in three buckets. One is money — cash flow was a big drain, so just trying to stay ahead and make sure we had enough cash to run the business was super challenging. The second thing is that I entered a category where I knew nothing — I would go to meetings with people who had been working in the food industry for so long and there are so many acronyms and buzzwords that they use that I had no idea what it meant. So my unfamiliarity with the business and the industry made it challenging, particularly early on. The third thing are the number of operational issues that are associated with manufacturing anything.
Allison Maslan: What do you think is the hardest part about business for you?
Gail Becker: I think the hardest part, when its your own business, is that you care so much. Sometimes it is hard to remember that other people don’t care as much as you. And I don’t mean your team necessarily, but everybody in the business ecosystem. Everyone you come into contact with, you have to remember that they may care about CAULIPOWER as a customer, but they don’t care about it as much as you do. It is really important to keep that vision and mission top of mind because balancing your vision, mission, route and being able to sleep at night — balancing all of that can be tricky. … And the lack of sleep.