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April 18, 2010

Bottlerocket: Part 3, chief cook and bottle washer

Another installment for our inFOCUS Bottlerocket series!

In addition to our introduction to Bottlerocket, we have talked about the back story and how Tom went about tackling the problem he wanted to solve.

We then turned our attention to one of our favorite topics: role.

We are always curious about how entrepreneurs choose to spend their time. What responsibilities do they give themselves? What is their job description? We asked Tom about his role at Bottlerocket:

"The entrepreneur's job is always 'chief cook and bottlewasher.'

In the beginning, all of the forward momentum of the business had to come from me. I had the idea, the vision and the desire. But I also had to learn a new business from scratch, and move a lot of balls forward simultaneously. Before you open any new business, you have legal issues, branding issues, real estate, software and systems, and a host of other challenges. It's a steep learning curve for most entrepreneurs at this early stage.

After the door was opened, in addition to selling wine to new customers and making sure their experience was excellent, I then had to focus on creating systems and procedures to make our business run smoothly, efficiently and excellently. I have been extremely fortunate to work with a very talented team, both outside experts and staff, who have helped me take everything that we do to a higher level. But this work continues nearly four years later. There are always ways for us to improve our business. And there will always be new opportunities to be identified and captured.

Today, in addition to hiring, training, paying bills, dealing with whatever the fates may deliver in a particular day, constantly revising our strategy and operations, and the seven thousand other jobs I juggle, I am focusing on expanding our operation to new locations.

The adventure continues!"

To find out where Bottlerocket is heading, join us on Wednesday evening for a special IGC talk, tasting and tour.

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