Social Media is a powerful thing! In an instant, you can connect with people you haven't seen in years. People who made a positive impact in your life during a "snapshot in time" suddenly appear out of nowhere! Walking down memory lane via the mouse button makes it easy. It also works well for growing a business.
So one day, I connect with a guy named John Lynch from my former Artillery unit. I remember John as a tough soldier with a great attitude and a great sense of humor. After you read this, I'm sure you'll agree, this guy and his wife have a keen eye for success! If you've ever considered going the entrepreneurial route, consider what this Veteran and his Wife have done and continue to do in order to create a growing business.
Chazz Pratt (CP): Tell me about Cripple Creek BBQ
John Lynch (JL): Cripple Creek Barbeque is a small mom and pop bbq sauce company owned and operated by myself and my wife Stacy. We are a "nano" sauce company that makes, bottles, markets and sells our own sauces and rubs, and believes in community and the environment.
CP: What got you started in the food industry?
JL: Cripple Creek Barbeque started from a love of good barbeque, the actual art of grilling, and the sauces and flavors used to create an unforgettable experience for the palate.
CP: A lot of focus these days has to do with renewable resources, and care for the environment. How do you demonstrate this?
JL: With a strong belief in sustainability and environmental awareness, CCB is a company that not only tries to please their customers, but tries to please the planet as well. All materials used for packaging CCB products are 100% recycled or recyclable. This company wants to leave the Earth better for future generations and encourages the environmental motto of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle."
CP: What from your military experience helped you succeed the most thus far?
JL: I think that the most useful tool that the military honed for me for was goal orientation. Setting goals are a must for any entrepreneur. See a set objective and attack it will all the weapons at your disposal.
CP: What advice would you give other military folks who consider an entrepreneurial venture? Or going into business for themselves?
JL: The single most important advice I can give is to use your community. You need to have support for everything you do. Now, community does not mean just the people in living next to you. It is your circle of influence and those people's circle of influence. The old saying, "it's not what you know it's WHO you know" has never been more apropos then now.
CP: How do you leverage social media to your business advantage?
JL: Use social media to spread the word and build your brand. Our world shrinks every day with the expansion of Social Media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
CP: Did you take advantage of any programs available to you as a result of being a Veteran? If so, which ones and how did they help?
JL: No I didn't, although that is one thing I would love to see is that the programs that are available to veterans be more accessible. It took quite a bit of searching to find anything that would help a start-up. You can get veteran preferential loans through the SBA, but you have to jump through a LOT of hoops to get help.
CP: Tell me about one of your successes.
JL: In January of last year we were asked, and accepted, to be part of the Inauguration of The Governor of Colorado.
CP: Was your Wife Stacy a Military Spouse?
JL: I met my wife after my service. The one thing that really helps with the team work is belief. Belief in each other and belief in each other's dreams (helps). Just like the Military, you take care of those that you have battled through life with.
CP: How important is teamwork between Spouses that decide to go into business together?
Stacy Lynch: I would just say that, starting & growing your own business is difficult. But having your spouse involved, gives you someone to bounce ideas off of and work with. Being able to feed off of each other's energy keeps the dream going, even when you feel like giving up.
If I were to use just two words to describe John & Stacy's business and vision it would be: "Well done!"
More information about Cripple Creek BBQ can be found here: www.facebook.com/CrippleCreekBBQ