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This Entrepreneur Suggests Wearing All the Hats When First Starting Out

Photo: Courtesy of Mike Kenneally

Growing your business from the ground up is difficult, but Sail Away Coffee founder Christopher Vetter has some words of wisdom to share. 

Christopher Vetter

Founder, Sail Away Coffee

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur looking to get their business growing? 

Growing your business is very challenging, so I would say to make sure you have a burning desire to make it happen. Be in it for the right reasons and go all-in. It’s a slow burn, and if you don’t love the process, you more than likely will not last. That’s just the hard truth of the matter. You have to love what you do and be confident in your brand to overcome the daily hurdles. 

Do you think social media and influencer following plays a role in a successful small business, and if so, how?

Depending on the business, yes. Most definitely for our brand. However, we don’t work with many influencers. We go more so for the organic approach and love to showcase our fans enjoying our products. It just feels much more genuine and helps grow brand trust and loyalty. 

Can you tell us about how your company started? 

I had the amazing opportunity to tour around the world for many years. One of the last tours my band did through Central America really turned on my appreciation for great coffee and led to the idea of what soon would be Sail Away. I started crafting my own blends and spent months developing a cold brew recipe that would really excite people. Once I knew I had it, I hit the ground running. And the rest is history.

What advice can you provide to small business owners who do not know how to manage all aspects of their company (time management, finance, website creation, etc.)?

I feel it’s important to learn as much as possible about every role in your company. This will help set expectations and improve your understanding of the position, as well as assist when needed. It’s tough to gauge if someone is doing a good job if you don’t understand the job at hand. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know if you’re willing to learn. Surround yourself with people whom you’re confident will help you succeed. As you move along, you’ll figure out how to better delegate and find the right people for the roles you need. 

Who inspires you most in business and why?

I’m a big football fan, so to me seeing a great coach (in any league) lead and build a solid culture around their team is very inspiring. They make sure everyone on the team shares the same common goal and has a “do what it takes” mentality. Everyone wants to see a coach like that win. That type of leadership inspires me, and seeing the devotion that goes into making that happen is really motivating.  

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