business on main street

Super Startups

Ashley Tyrner, CEO of Farmbox Direct
Ashley Tyrner,
CEO of Farmbox Direct

Ashley Tyrner CEO of Farmbox Direct and Kristin Jonna Owner of The Bird & The Bread join us for a very inspirational, motivational and informational show. Learn how to start a restaurant or how to pull yourself up from being flat broke to owning a multi-million dollar company, or what we may call a super startup!

We talked with Ashley Tyrner Founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct. Ashley was living the life in Malibu California when she found herself alone and pregnant after her husband ended the marriage. What was this young, expecting mother to do? Ashley wasn’t going to let her new situation get her down. She went to New York, found a job in the fashion industry and helped a designer get his product to market. This helped pay the bills until she found her true calling.

Being a self-proclaimed “Farmer’s Daughter”, Ashley was committed to making sure she ate healthy while pregnant and that her daughter had access to organic produce as she was growing up. While trying to make this happen, she realized that finding organic produce was difficult and when she did find it, it was expensive. That’s when her ah-ha moment hit. She found that there were many people that shared her goals of providing natural, organic produce to their families and the rest is history.

Kristin Jonna from Birmingham, Michigan’s newest restaurant The Bird & The Bread also joined the show sharing with our listeners the in’s and outs of starting a restaurant business. She emphasized the importance of having a business plan and to modify the plan as circumstances change while keeping her grand vision as the focal point.

Listen to the show to learn how their perseverance and tenacity turned their visions into very successful businesses.

Show Takeaways:

Jeff Sloan and Kristin Jonna, Owner of The Bird & The Bread
Jeff Sloan and Kristin Jonna,
Owner of The Bird & The Bread

The Bottom Line – No matter what life deals you, there is always another opportunity just around the corner. We all want the life of luxury but sometimes forget that the entrepreneurs that made it worked hard for it. Ashley epitomizes this philosophy. She could have taken one of two directions; 1) do nothing but feel sorry for herself dwelling on what life used to be just squeaking by on a day-to-day basis going from job to job or 2) find something she knows a lot about and turn it into a business by fulfilling a need that other people have.

When starting your business will you start at the top making a million dollars a year? No, there are very few, if any, that get rich overnight. Ashley and Kristin told us that they work 20 hour days and is constantly looking for new ways to improve and grow their businesses based on the demands of their clientele. Kristin told us that a restaurant won’t usually see a profit until year 3 with a good benchmark to break-even at the end of year one.

Running a successful business is a series of small steps. Had Ashley or Kristin tried to start their businesses at the level they are operating today, they would have surely failed. Ashley started out serving few zip-codes, then up to 122 zip codes and is now serving over 14,000 zip codes along the Eastern Seaboard. Even though she can make a very comfortable living at this level, she continuously looks to grow her business by establishing future distribution centers throughout the rest of the US. Kristin also started out with 1 restaurant, learned what worked and what didn’t, made that one successful then went on to open a second then a third.

We can break down the process to:

  • Find a need or a problem to solve
  • Come up with the idea to fulfill the need or solution to solve the problem
  • Write a business plan – your blueprint for success
  • Start small – test the concept in a local market
  • Create a positive cash flow
  • Re-invest in the company to continue the growth.

Most importantly, keep your eye on the end goal but don’t forget to take the little goals along the way to make it a success. The only way to achieve your long term goal is by completing a series of small goals along the way.

It’s real easy to look at a successful business and assume that they must have been lucky, knew someone who got them started or stumbled into a successful business. Nothing can be further from the facts.
Our guests today showed you that you too can be a successful entrepreneur if you are willing to put forth the effort and outline your path to success. You can build a super startup!


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