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Slutty Vegan CEO and Founder Offers Business Tips Ahead of Grand Opening « The Official Website for the City of Birmingham, Alabama

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Slutty Vegan CEO and founder Pinky Cole will be opening a restaurant in Woodlawn today with a block party at 12pm and a ribbon-cutting at 1pm, and her company is more than just burgers and fries. , said it was more than pie. It is also an ecosystem focused on people, purpose and philanthropy.

On Saturday, she met with several black Birmingham small business leaders to discuss her $100 million plant-based food company, which has five locations in Georgia and plans to open more locations in the United States. I was. In her talk, she provided tips people should know when starting a business.

1. Hire an accountant even if you don’t have a lot of money in the bank.

An accountant can help you make sure your books are clean in case you get audited, especially when finances aren’t your forte. When I started, I made the mistake of not having an accountant and didn’t pay sales and use taxes. This mistake cost her two years after her first business was destroyed in a fire. The government withheld her wages. But she said that mistake only made her a smarter entrepreneur. Hiring a professional allows her to focus on her business.

“Sometimes you have to go through the mud, go through some speedbumps, some difficulties and some bad things to understand that you need to make better choices. it won’t.”

2. Hire a lawyer.

You will need legal assistance to run your business. Every name in her business is trademarked, even Hamburger and her name.

3. Hire a publicist.

Her social media posts have an engaging way of making people laugh, proud and informative. But she also talks about how the company gives back through scholarships, providing opportunities and resources to people when she’s not promoting food online. If you are doing good things in your neighborhood, let people know. People start talking when you share good news. When people start talking, they pay attention to you and buy what you have to offer.

“Charity is real business,” she said. “It’s not a product.”

4. Hire people who have the same hustle as you.

If you have people around you who need to think smarter and come up with impossible ideas to improve your business, that will only make you a better entrepreneur.

5. Understand what it means to be a good leader.

Over the past two years, Cole has learned what it takes to be a great leader. You need to collaborate and know what your employees need. To grow your business, your employees must love their work and help keep your customers coming back.

6. Deliver customer experiences.

When people visit Slutty Vegan, they get an experience they can’t get anywhere else. The way employees make customers feel is intentional. But it starts with building a strong internal culture so that the external culture can exist. Cole raised the minimum wage, offered incentives and more. This is a big problem for employees.

7. Get a mentor.

Mentors come from a variety of industries and ages, and they don’t have to be in your business area of ​​expertise. Cole has only one mentor in her restaurant space. Having the right person to check on you if you’re not doing it right is important.

8. Don’t let small problems get in your way.

Business evolution is very important, says Cole. When the registration system went down, she panicked. She no longer panics. If the registration system fails, tell people to get naked with you.

9. It’s okay to work full-time to make your dreams come true.

Cole was working as a casting director for “Iyanla, Fix My Life” on the OWN network when he was working on Slutty Vegan at night. She used her paycheck from her full-time job to pay employees when money was low, pay for food truck wraps, and pay for supplies. “Don’t back down,” she said. “Having a job during my entrepreneurial years was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Cole isn’t in denial about the delay, even though she bought the Woodlawn building at 55th Place South two years ago. She said deaf. of my Slutty Vegans.

Abra Barnes, owner of Barnes & Associates, hosted Saturday’s business roundtable. She helped Cole get her own building contract. Also at the table was Woodlawn United executive director Mashonda Taylor, who helped connect Cole with Woodlawn.

All three women are members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorrity, Inc., demonstrating the strength of sisterhood, intent and cooperation.

“The Sisterhood has brought us together everywhere, but here at Woodlawn we’ve made some magic happen,” Barnes said. , it’s all about seeing the community thrive.”

At Saturday’s meeting, Dr. Brandi Rudolph Bolling nearly cried. Talking about her journey and taking another big step in her business, Cole confirmed that Dr. Bolling is on her list to pursue.

“The last time I felt like this was when the company was born in May 2020, and it feels like something big is just around the corner,” Dr. Bolling said. rice field. “This is just solidified. It’s time to do it.”

Barnes said there are plans to hold more such roundtables in the future.