- Napkin Notes
- 😳 This Founder Started & Sold Smartsweets for $360 million. Here's 10 Habits She Swears By
😳 This Founder Started & Sold Smartsweets for $360 million. Here's 10 Habits She Swears By
Today's deep dive take less than 3:55 minutes to skim
Hey, this is Napkin Notes: the go-to smoothie for startup founders. We source the best advice, tips and tactics from a local grocery store, then blend it down and pour the goods into a cold glass to serve each Friday morning so you can rock your day 🥤
Today’s flavour? Peanut butter chocolate. Take a sip and let us know what you think.
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Now put your feet up, relax your shoulders and take a deeeeeep breath.
We’re about to dive in.
🍽 Today’s Line-Up
📰 News Recap
Latest news: Taylor Swift was named Time’s Person of the Year. Apple joined the $3T club. Spotify cut 17% of its staff. Andreessen Horowitz shared its 40 big opportunities. Alexis Ohanian loves his new Cybertruck. XAi is looking to raise $1 billion. Beyoncé bagged $21m with her Renaissance AMC theatre stunt. Ugly Christmas Sweater season is here. And we just wrapped up demo days for Techstars and a16z. Deal pages are here if you missed ‘em.
Now let’s get to the goods.
🍭 10 Habits Smartsweets Founder Tara Bosch Recommends Founders Follows
Not only did she build the brand in her 20s, but she did it with no prior CPG or Food and Beverage experience. What you’ll find with her story is she did it with pure focus, finesse and team execution on daily things that moved the dial.
Earlier this week, we had the chance to jump in the back door of an AMA she gave to some young entrepreneurs (thanks to Melissa from LOI). Her advice was so wise, we wanted to drop her top gems in this newsletter for all of you to soak up.
But before we dig in, here’s why you should listen to Tara and not a random TikToker with 1 million followers about “startup advice”: Tara Bosch is one of the few (if not only) in the world to:
dream up a CPG startup idea at the age 21
work on beta testing in her kitchen with no prior experience
raise less than $10m of funding
and 4 years later sell a majority of the brand for $360m to TPG Growth
Let’s get into her tips for founders, shall we?
10 Founder Tips Tara Recommends:
🍭 Keep your team as lean and driven as possible. Set a strong culture, get them buy-in with equity plans and establish aligned KPIs that drive forward your north star as quick as possible. Ensure each of your staff operate with the same conviction for solving your problem as you do as the founder
🍭 Be a beast at responding to your customers as possible: Tara often responded and reached out via her personal IG account vs the brand. Anytime from 6am to 10pm, if someone mentioned their team on social, email or phone, Tara and her team replied instantly.
🍭 Find your 100 radical fans ASAP: build the product around those people and let them be ambassadors for you
🍭 Keep your skews/product offerings as simple as possible: the easier it is to remember for you, the simpler your team can sell, and the faster you can scale.
🍭 Dominate your offering in niche environments: don’t be everything to everyone, pick one core niche (for Tara it was the weight watchers community) and execute on being everything to that target group. Then rinse and repeat that again and again.
🍭 Be able to answer what your radical value proposition is in a single sentence. And ensure your entire team, 100 core fans and every partner you work with knows it too. If you can’t answer it, how the heck do you expect others to know what it is? For Tara and the SmartSweets team, it was “kick the sugar out of candy”. What’s yours?
🍭 Each Monday, write down 3-to 5 things that need to happen to move the needle forward on your business. Don’t end your week or go to bed until you’ve done those tasks. It’s that simple.
🍭 Build an infectious community for your consumers to love: then build a community for your vendors, partners, bankers after that one is established
🍭 Your staff, investors and customers are always asking “What’s in it for me”: ensure you are always delivering on that.
🍭 Remind yourself you won’t always have “balance” but you can always build flow into your founder life scaling a startup: if you need a workout break in the middle of the day, take it. If you need a weekend catch-up zone, do that. But ensure you always keep an eye on your energy flow.
What’d you think of these tips?
Got a favourite? Message Tara to tell her.
💰 Wanna Invest with Tier 1 VC Firms?
All you have to do is request access. We just wrapped up demo days with Techstars and a16z and lucky for you — if you didn’t get to your laptop in time to watch the founder pitches, you can click here to:
watch the pitch recording
see who else invested
and scroll through their deck and round terms
Then if you wanna request a meeting to learn more, you can do so.
If you want to stay in the loop for future investing opportunities, subscribe to our EBI-DUH newsletter. Here’s a peek at our last newsletter.
🤣 Laugh of the Week
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Have an awesome weekend.
💚 The Kernal Fam