In Conversation with Stephanie Dreyer of Batch Cooking Club

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Describe your business in a few words?

A weekly plant-based meal prep membership that makes dinner easier.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I was laid off from my dream job and decided it was now or never to turn my passion into a business.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I’m a marketing executive with over 20 years of experience. I have worked with a range of clients, including social media and advertising agencies, large corporate brands, personal brands and start up companies.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No! That was never in my plans. I thought I would work for a big company for my entire career. I started re-thinking my career goals and my “dream job” about a year after my first child was born, and then again when I went vegan after my third child.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I utilized social media entirely to launch my business. I had an online platform for about 7 years so I reached out to my followers on Facebook and Instagram, as well as my connections in the media as a vegan contributor and children’s book author. The launch went as planned but COVID hit the next month…not to plan!

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Launching a business during COVID added an extra challenge to the normal rigor of starting a business. Losing my job gave me the push to launch my company, but not having a back up financial plan has been extremely challenging. I’ve learned that I can show up stronger for my business when the financial pressure of income isn’t there (at least at the beginning of the start up). Ironically, once you don’t depend on the income, you start making more sales because you have the headspace to be more creative and the willingness to take more chances.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

My membership growth in the past 3 months. I revamped my pricing and product offerings, and put a new sales strategy in place and immediately saw results. It took a huge leap of faith and a big step out of my comfort zone but it was 100% worth it.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

What’s your special sauce and how will you use it to make a difference here?

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We were in start up mode when COVID hit (had launched just a month earlier). Financial uncertainty was a stumbling block at first because people were cutting back on memberships.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Batch Cooking Club is a plant-based meal planning platform. We’re just getting started and have big plans for where we’d like to go. Right now, we’re focused on growing our membership, but we have products and media in development too.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Be ready to pivot! Expect the unexpected and when it happens, be flexible to change directions and adapt as necessary to be successful.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Getting off the ground is going to take a lot longer than you think, and just when you have everything in place, you’ll need to pivot. Take some pressure off yourself by keeping a side job while the business gets set up.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Meditation, being outside with nature and laughing with my kids

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I think work / life balance is a journey, not a destination. It’s something I’m always striving for and doing my best to achieve each day. My biggest tip is to have a morning routine just for you when the rest of the house is asleep. I meditate, journal, read, exercise and do affirmations every day to get me into the right state of mind and keep me grounded through the day. Of course, my other best tip is to plan to eat! Nourishing yourself with healthy, homemade meals goes a long way towards balance. Last, schedule at least 2 self care practices into your calendar every week and write down what you’re grateful for each day.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an introvert. Most people see me as an extrovert, but I’m actually shy in social settings and have to work at being outgoing. I’m a homebody at heart and have to push myself to engage and network.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Start your day with a morning routine that includes meditation, journaling, reading and exercise.
  • Show up in the role / life you want to have. (From how you dress, show up, treat others, act as the person you want to become.)
  • Breathe! (Take breaks to inhale and exhale. Get up from your chair and reset for 5 minutes every 30 minutes or so.)

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Following your passions to create a business that empowers and serves others.

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