April 9, 2019
How a baby is like a brewery and other observations from Banded Brewing
Author: Jennifer Amundson, Deluxe director of social media and communications
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights, while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Ian McConnell has a parent’s perspective on opening a small business. He is the owner of Banded Brewing in Biddeford, Maine, one of the towns the Small Business Revolution stopped at on the Top 10 Town Tour.
“I just had blinders on to how hard it would be to actually start a business, market it well and subsequently make money,” he explained. “I did the same thing when my wife was pregnant. It’s like ‘we’ll just get this pregnancy over with and everything will be great.’”
But then the baby didn’t sleep, so the parents didn’t sleep. The worry about preparations turned into exhaustion from keeping everything going.
“It’s similar thing with a business,” he continued. “When we started, it’s not like the work was over. It really had just begun.”
How right he is. Banded Brewing had a different name when they first started, and that’s not the only change they’ve experienced in their six years in business. Ian’s original thought was that great beer would sell itself. He quickly discovered that the brewery market is loaded with more than 4,000 competitors and sharing the business’ story was crucial to engaging customers.
“I just didn’t think marketing was important at all. I had my prowess as a brewer and I was really proud of that and I thought that was enough to go on,” he explained. “People don’t always understand what you are doing. So, in short, marketing is highly important.”
Want ideas on sharing your business’ story through marketing and social media? Check out Deluxe’s Small Business Resource Center.