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Bushwick Kitchen Startup Journey — Lean Startup RSS

Our second birthday! (And why we're re-branding.)

I can't believe it's been two years. And by that I mean it feels like it's been six years. It also feels like it's been five months. But it definitely doesn't feel like two years. [And let's just get this out of the way: we've been terrible about blogging and that's going to change in 2016. But thank you to everyone who has been reading from the start!] 2015 was a massive year for us: We moved into our very own space in March We launched Trees Knees Spicy Syrup in May We introduced Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha in September We surpassed half a million dollars in revenue Bottles have gone to every state and territory in the U.S. plus...

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5 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your Job for Your Startup

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. *This post was originally written for* Casey is incredibly talented, smart, and has a knack for figuring things out. That said, he has no prior entrepreneurial experience. He has no trust fund or family inheritance to fall back on. Having lived in the income-sucking city of New York for the past nine years, he doesn't exactly have a plush savings account either. So imagine my surprise when I read an email from Casey a few weeks ago saying, "I've thought a lot about this, I can't keep sacrificing the thing that excites me for the thing that pays my bills. I'm giving my notice so I can focus full-time on MixedMade." Here are the issues that...

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When Feedback Hurts - The Pain of a Negative Review

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. It was 9PM on Friday and I was heading to the bar to meet my wife and friends for drinks. It was going to be a fun night, especially since we had just completed an amazing week. Fueled by Casey’s email, the last few days and weeks had been an energizing roller coaster ride that went mostly up: Instagram posts about Bees Knees Spicy Honey from true influencers, positive feedback from raving customers, our favorite restaurants testing our product, requests for high-res product images from glossy-paged food magazines…  In fact, here are the actual results of Casey’s email: Drove over 500 unique visitors to our site in less than a week Sales in the...

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Burning Cash and Slashing Profits for Growth

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. I finally ran the numbers and called Casey, as promised, to report the actual cost of a bottle of our Bees Knees Spicy Honey. Sometimes the truth sucks – and this is one of those times. Despite having made our biggest batch yet, each bottle of finished product cost a whopping $9.01. Since we are selling at $14 a bottle the profit margin isn’t terrible, but our dreams of testing wholesale pricing for retail sales, free shipping and a scalable business seemed crushed. But within days, and after a discussion over a few cans of Rolling Rock, we began to offer free shipping and selling wholesale. And now, a few weeks later, our...

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#1 Lesson From Our Mistakes - You Should Make Your Own

       One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.  So far we’ve made a mass of critical mistakes: We made poor assumptions on our COGS / product cost and barely made a profit on our first 60 LBS It turns our we made our first 60 LBS worth illegally (but safely :) We are substantially overpaying on the cost of our packaging Our first large-batch production run was a mess, literally We forgot to order bottle caps in time for our large-batch production   Profit, now that’s an important one. We accurately estimated the costs for our honey, chilies, and packaging. We used the correct math to estimate how many bottles would yield from our first 5 gallons /...

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