The last month has been an interesting time for me.
As I mentioned in a previous post, a friend and I recently soft launched a seasoning product called Bacon Salt to family and friends. We intended it to be a fun side project driven by our love of all things bacon. Here’s what’s happened since:
We’ve been deluged by orders (now over 2,500 of them for a total of 10,000 bottles sold) from all over the world (18 countries and counting).
Word is still spreading. To date, we’ve gotten RAVE reviews from our initial customers which was an important market potential litmus test for us and a lot of word of mouth and blog posts (over 80,000 Google references to “bacon salt” and counting). BBQ forums, college football and basketball forums and even very unrelated ones like a Subaru owners forum, a site called The Straight Dope and a surfboarding forum have been helping us spread the word, just to name a few. There’s even a Bacon Salt Society in Charlotte, NC.
More recently, we were featured in The Dalles Chronicle in Oregon, which was then picked up in the Culinary Institute of America’s newsletter, which has now led to another deluge, this time from chefs that are interested in incorporating the seasonings into their menus. In short, some really big opportunities.
Yesterday, we made the front page of MSN.com under popular searches/hot topics. Another big deluge of orders.
Big brokers and distributors – the people who take products to market in the food industry and who previously wouldn’t return our phone calls – are starting to call and email us asking for samples and conversations.
When you have a good product, there’s a really short window to capitalize on buzz and get it out in stores before someone else comes in and tries to steal your thunder. Given the size of these opportunities, I’ve made a decision to step out of the recruiting world for a few months to give it a go – which has led to some funny and very ironic conversations recently (imagine saying to a Fortune 500 company, “I can’t take this recruitment technology consulting assignment because I invented Bacon Salt.” with a straight face).
So… I’ll be off the grid for a few months at least, maybe more depending on how the next quarter goes. I’ll check in periodically, and will try to post some entrepreneurial notes and updates on this blog every once in awhile that are relevant to the recruiting industry (at this point all I can say is Craig’s List rocks for small businesses, my cost per hire so far is less than $25 and my quality of hire is stupendous).
There’s definitely a chance that I could fail spectacularly in this new venture and come right back to the recruiting industry in 3 months. Or, as Hank Stringer has suggested to me when he tried Bacon Salt, I’ll end up being a food magnate. If you see Bacon Salt in a store near you, you’ll know it was the latter.
Wishing you all luck in your endeavors, and keep your fingers crossed!