Happy Howie’s is an amazing company based in Detroit Michigan. Their co-founder and president David Collado has done some amazing things building the brand in a very competitive space. In honor of National Small Business Week, I had the opportunity to catch David and hear some of the secrets to his success. Here’s how it went:
Jay: You’ve done an incredible job building your business and the design on your site is terrific. How important is it to pay attention to design details, perhaps even more than the product itself?
David: The design details should really be a reflection of your brand and the product that you’re selling. Our treats look and feel like something humans would eat – and dogs love that! When humans see our treats, they automatically think deli counter or charcuterie – so our design aligns with that feeling. It’s been great for us to align our dog treats with something humans are familiar with.
Jay: Running a business where you post pictures of the cutest dogs and their treats almost seems like an automatic home run! Still in all, what’s the hardest thing to do when branding your product?
David: Sharing with your customers why you are doing what you are doing. For us, we are passionate about making all natural treats that make dogs happy, AND we are dedicated to improving our local community in Detroit. So trying to communicate that all through our packaging and overall customer experience can be a challenge.
Jay: Starting a business is hard enough, staying on top of the financials can be overwhelming. When looking for a financial provider for your business what are some of the things you look for?
David: You certainly get what you pay for. Going with a low cost provider for advice and trusting with financial information will probably result in low quality results. So don’t skimp on that! Definitely do your research and make sure you understand what you’re getting based on what you are paying, instead of always going with the lowest cost financial service provider.
Jay: What made Capital One stand out for you?
David: For me, word of mouth is really possible. So eight years ago, a friend brought the Capital One Spark Cash card to my attention. I could tell he was really excited about what it meant for his business, and when I looked into it further it seemed like unlimited 2% cash back would be great for Happy Howie’s too. We’ve been using it ever since, and last year we were able to use $21,000 in rewards to buy new equipment, which helped us increase our production and expand into 4,000 stores nationwide!
Jay: If I started a company today what would be the biggest piece of advice, you’d give me?
David: Know that it’s going to take very thick skin to get through tough days. Take those tough days as opportunities, not as setbacks – because there will be many tough days! We all hear the statistics about most businesses failing in the first 5 years. I’m guessing a lot of those business owners saw tough days with a setback perspective and ended up cashing out sooner than they should have.Can’t get enough Small Business Success stories and want more??!! Check these out!