How to start a new business by hand
Roll the dough and roll up your sleeves
Growing up in Ecuador, Lara didn’t eat a lot of pasta. “The only type available was the boxed type you find at the store,” she says. “I didn’t like it.” Years later, an autoimmune disease suddenly limited her food options. Out of necessity, she began experimenting with her own gluten-free recipes, adding pasta to her repertoire after her boyfriend bought her a small pasta machine as a graduation gift. She was addicted. Soon she had developed recipes for gluten-based versions and even pasta stuffed like ravioli.
Once Lara decided to make pasta her business, she enlisted friends and family as taste testers in exchange for free samples. She continually updated and tweaked the recipes, using a poll to record responses to questions such as: Too salty? Too sweet? How much would you pay? How often would you eat it? “It was my market research,” she says. This helped her establish a final recipe that would be popular in the Salt Lake City area.
Lara knew she couldn’t stay in the R&D phase indefinitely. At some point, she should stop giving free samples and start making money. She has given herself a firm, albeit artificial, deadline of August 2020 to finalize her recipes and start selling.
When she needed help, Chase for Business came along
Experimenting with different shapes and ingredients is in Lara’s comfort zone. Run a business? Not really. When it came time to find a banking partner for A Mano Artisan Pasta Co., Chase for Business was her first choice as she was already doing her own personal banking with Chase. “I think it’s the people who make a business,” says Lara. “And the people I have been able to interact with at Chase for Business have been fantastic.”
She sat down with a manager from her local branch to discuss her business’s banking needs. Lara became one of the first Chase for Business customers to sign up Chase Business Full Banking ServicesSM, a business checking account that includes everything you need to start your business. Features include low-cost or no-charge checking account1 and integrated payment acceptance. Chase’s manager also opened a company savings account for him. Lara is happy with the convenience of her Chase accounts.
“I just log into the checking account and make an automated deposit every week,” she says. Going forward, Lara is considering a business credit card, which could give card members an introductory 0% APR for the first year. These interest savings could help her buy a bigger pasta machine once it gets too big for the one her boyfriend gave her.
Lara admits that she made a few mistakes at the start. For example, one of his first customers asked him to adjust the sales tax on an invoice. “I had no idea,” she jokes. This led her to a lengthy conversation with the Utah State Tax Commission. Luckily, a helpful employee was able to point her in the right direction and help her start applying for the proper tax licenses.
Lara ran into another hurdle while trying to find the right commercial kitchen space to prepare her handmade pasta. “Commercial kitchens are very, very expensive, at least for a small business like mine,” she explains. The kitchen she rented reduced her profits.
After asking friends and community members, she stumbled upon an unorthodox solution: partnering with a Salt Lake City museum and events venue, The Leonardo. The museum has a commercial kitchen that it uses for events, which have been put on hold due to COVID-19. Lara moved into the new space in December 2020 and now has plenty of space to manufacture her product. She also plans to teach classes (at appropriate distance) in the new space so that she can spread the love of pasta making throughout her community.
‘If I can do it, anyone else can do it’
These days, A Mano Pasta is selling so well that Lara has had to cap orders so that she can manage both the business and her other responsibilities. “[I’m] always think two, three months ahead and try to take the steps and take the right steps to get me there, ”she says. For example, she wants to distribute her pasta to grocery stores and she hopes that one day she can quit her daily job to focus entirely on her business.
Her advice for anyone looking to start a business is to focus on their passions. “Make sure you like it, because you are literally dreaming about the business, wake up thinking about the business. Throughout the day, you are always thinking about the business,” she says. This passion can help you get through hard work and times of uncertainty. “If you’re passionate and care about people, it’s like fuel that keeps you going,” she adds.
If you are starting a new business or are ready to take your business to the next level, learn more about how Chase Business Complete Banking can help or open an account online today.
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1. Chase Business Complete Banking℠ has a monthly service fee of $ 15, unless you complete at least one of the following qualifying activities: 1) Maintain a minimum daily balance of $ 2,000 in your account at the start of each day of the statement period, 2) Spend at least $ 2,000 on purchases (less returns or refunds) using your Chase Ink® business card (s) that share a legal business name with the Chase Business account Complete Checking, using each of their most recent monthly card billing periods. ), 3) Deposit $ 2,000 into your Chase Business Complete Checking account from your QuickAccept℠ and / or other qualifying transactions (see note below for eligibility) Chase Merchant Services transactions at least one day business before the last day of your bank statement period, or 4) Maintain a linked Chase Private Client Checking℠ account. Product terms are subject to change.