Burton Cleveland has built a healthy food retail store for pets and a neighborhood resource for anyone wanting to keep their dogs and cats healthy with high-quality food and snacks that are all free of corn, soy, wheat or by-products but this is an entirely new career for him. A few years ago he was living the corporate sales life traveling 50% of the time and selling legal services to law firms and was trained as a paralegal.
He reached a point in his career where he didn’t think he was in control of his success and meeting his professional goals so he made the jump from employee to retail entrepreneur to take more control over his life and financial situation. He quit his job but didn’t have a definitive plan on what to do next in his career and professional life.
“You should just do it, you only live one time.”
His first step was interviewing people that he respected and another entrepreneur, a book store owner, helped him fine-tune his decision. To make his jump into the pet store successful, he turned to mentors within the industry and looked to friends in Dallas that had a similar business model. He has stuck the landing and launched Prime Pet Austin, a neighborhood resource and pet store, in December 2015.
We dive deep into what exactly it has taken for Burton to make a transition from an employee with a salary, benefits and perceived safety to retail entrepreneur in the world of pet food competing against big box retailers.
In this episode we discuss…
What steps did you go through to start the transition from corporate employee to retail entrepreneur?
How did he start learning about healthy pet food since he didn’t have any professional experience in this industry?
What happened on opening day?
How close have you been to reaching your initial financial projections?
What does the term ‘neighborhood resource’ mean and how does that impact your business?
What is the biggest mistake that you’ve made in the first 16 months of being in business?
What organizations govern the pet food industry?
How do you band together with other businesses in your neighborhood and in your industry to help the business?
How does a typical week look like being a retail store owner?
What advice would you give someone right now sitting in traffic that is considering making a major life change and go from employee to retail entrepreneur?
Burton brought up the term and mentality called ‘community over competition’ and how much of his success has been dependent on help from the other businesses in his neighborhood and how they all have embraced each other’s businesses and success.
Burton went from the corporate life where he felt he didn’t have control of his success to now being in complete control of the success of his business and financial success but it’s still impacted by others.
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @primepetaustin
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