Let’s kick-start the Bank Holiday weekend with an inspiring Behind the Biz interview.
Today I’m chatting to Eve, the founder of BEPPS – delicious black eyed pea based snacks.
What are BEPPS?
BEPPS are a delicious alternative to crisps that are made from black eyed peas and are 92 kcals or less per pack.
How did you decide upon the name of your brand?
I went through a lot of different concept names, and I felt like it was almost staring me in the face the whole time! BEPPS is an acronym for ‘black eyed pea puff snacks’
What did you do before starting BEPPS?
I took a year out to have some downtime and be a hands-on mum to my daughter. Before that, I worked in advertising and digital marketing. I’ve been both a working mum and also a stay at home mum and I would say they’re both pretty tough jobs! But I love working for myself and having my own business, it feels like it’s something for me, to express my creativity and building a business excites me; it’s the biggest high seeing something you created on a store shelf!
Did you always plan to be self-employed?
Yes, from university… I knew I always wanted to eventually work for myself.. but if I’m honest, working for different companies, was so imperative to me learning how a business works, the importance of driving business and how to go about this, office culture, employee dynamics and what makes a company a great place to work. I would definitely advise people who want to work for themselves, to work for a few years within the area you’re interested in, especially in smaller companies as you see a lot more and are able to get involved in more areas of the business.
How do you balance motherhood with BEPPS?
BEPPS is definitely my third baby and when I’m at work, I’m fully zoned in and focused on the business… but I also make sure that I find a balance and make time for my kids. So I leave work early at 4pm every day to get home (and to beat the 5pm commuter rush) and spend time with them and I work from home on Friday’s so that I can spend one on one time with my kids.
Please share a business high and low with us.
Business high – securing our launch with TESCO, three weeks after having my second child, Ozzy. They thought I was mad for presenting BEPPS 3 weeks after giving birth, but that also showed them my passion for the brand and my tenacity and dedication.
Business low – whenever you hear a ‘not right now’ from a retailer. It’s definitely disappointing. But, to put this into context, for us to be in the stores we’re in already and to launch into a major supermarket across 479 stores within the first 6 months of launching is pretty incredible!
How did it feel when you secured your listing with Tesco?
Literally such a high and big achievement! Especially because I’m new to the Food and Drink industry. I couldn’t believe that I had been able to secure such a big account pre-production and pre-launch stage! I received confirmation of our BEPPS TESCO listing in Feb and we launched in March.
What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform?
Social media is such a huge factor for brands in this day and age, it’s a great opportunity to grow your business significantly and in a short period of time. It’s also a brilliant way to speak and interact with your customers directly. OOH marketing can be so expensive, so social media it’s a great way to cut through huge marketing spends and still maximise on brand exposure.
I would say that BEPPS is definitely a social media driven brand and my favourite platform has to be Instagram. I love the way we can answer peoples questions directly, create engaging content of our products and also bring the brand to life via stories, all in one place. When we launched in April we had 3K followers and we now have 13K 4 months later. Our goal is to get to 30K Instagram followers by the end of this year.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be focused and persistent, as no-one else can sell your brand as well as you can. Focus on branding, it’s hugely important and it’s the first thing that customers see so this should be one of your most important investments when starting your business. Also, understanding the financials is key, no-one likes to talk about money, but without money, you don’t have a business. It’s so key to understand your cash flow, you need to be able to understand it back to front as it’s the backbone of your business.
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
I want to grow the brands accessibility and visibility within the UK. In our first 6 months, we’ve been able to establish a strong distribution of more than 600 stores nationwide and my goal is to grow this to 2K stores by the end of year one; which we’re on track to do.
I want to say a massive thank you to Eve for getting involved with Behind the Biz. I loved hearing about her career journey and the story behind BEPPS. It’s always fantastic to hear from successful women in business and I love that I’m able to highlight their stories here on PGT.
Eve offers excellent advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and I think she’s spot on with the importance of branding. BEPPS have strong branding which is reflected in their packaging, website and across their social channels.
I really hope you feel as inspired as I do from today’s Behind the Biz interview.
I wish Eve and her team at BEPPS the best of luck in the future. Keep an eye out for a product review this weekend.