Most people quit their diets when they get bored of health food—but Tracy Scott started a business. Owner of Tracy’s Gourmet since 2013, Tracy designs, produces, and sells specialty health-oriented salad dressings with flavors you won’t find anywhere else, like Luscious Lavender and Aloha Kick.
And what’s more, not only did Tracy start a business while working part-time somewhere else… She made it successful. Placing as a top 25 national finalist in the Wells Fargo Works Project and getting sold in Whole Foods are no easy feats, so let’s hear what advice Tracy has for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
1. What inspired you to start your business?
Improving my health and quality of life inspired me to start my business.
2. What challenges did you face when starting Tracy’s Gourmet?
Since starting Tracy’s Gourmet, the biggest challenge has been balancing being an entrepreneur and still maintaining a full-time job. The second biggest challenge has been finding the right people to work with as I grow. Third, finding the balance between working on my business versus working in my business has been the biggest challenge. There are times when all I would like to do is meet customers and talk about my product at food shows and demonstrations. However, the administrative work of running a business demands a great deal of my time.
3. What’s the best piece of advice about running a business you’ve ever received?
A colleague told me to make sure I touch some aspect of my business every day, because I need to remember this isn’t a hobby—it’s a business. Doing so has made this a business that I eat, sleep and breathe every day, not just on the weekends. I usually wake up pretty early and make sure that I either check emails, verify inventory, or check orders before I go to my full-time job. This helps keep me in the frame of mind of an entrepreneur who is building and growing a business, and not just working a part-time gig or hobby.
4. What was the most important financial investment you made in Tracy’s Gourmet? Hire the team? Develop the website?
Hiring an attorney was the most important financial investment that I made in Tracy’s Gourmet. When you start a business, several people will tell you that you should do most—if not all—of the work. This is partially true. However, having the right legal representation early has saved me money.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you have for business owners just starting out?
Always trust your gut, and believe in what you are doing.
6. What was your first job in the food industry?
I was a cashier at a grocery store.
Thanks to Tracy Scott for sharing her wisdom with the Fundera team! Credit for the photographs in this article goes to Rae Images.