We’re switching things up this time around—business style. Jenna Nicolosi is a recent graduate of High Point University’s Business School with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Bringing her fresh outlook to the table as a Senior Product Specialist at Makers Nutrition, Jenna now works with entrepreneurs of all sizes, especially startups, helping develop their products and, ultimately, their companies. Check out what Jenna had to say in our Supplement Stories sit-down.
Q: You attended High Point University and majored in Entrepreneurialism. How has that prepared you for what you handle on a day-to-day basis as a product specialist at Makers Nutrition?
A: Majoring in Entrepreneurialism has helped me tremendously during my early months at Makers Nutrition. Being in sales, I have spoken to many customers who are just starting their business and looking to gain feedback on what they should do to get their business up and running. After learning about the ins and outs of start-ups in many of my college courses, I am able to offer some insight to customers on what many entrepreneurs have found great success in doing. Personally, I have found that many customers enjoy hearing intel on what their starting point with their business should be. I believe that majoring in the entrepreneurial field has given me an advantage when connecting with these young start-up companies.
Q: With your background, I’m sure you’ve learned the setbacks and challenges business owners often face. How does what you’ve learned stack up to what you hear from current and prospective clients? And how does choosing Makers Nutrition avoid those setbacks for your clients altogether?
A: For most start-up companies the biggest challenges are making your brand known in the market you are looking to compete in. One of the first things I learned in my college courses was that branding is everything for any business. When talking to clients on a day-to-day basis I have found that many start-up companies find this to be the biggest challenge. I believe that when choosing Makers Nutrition, entrepreneurs are helping themselves avoid this setback.
Being a full turn-key operation, clients are able to focus on the marketing of their brand while we handle the manufacturing process from A-Z.
Q: One of Makers Nutrition’s key principles is excellent customer service. How important is customer service to your delivery in proving to your clients why their business is in the right hands when working with us?
A: Customer service is everything. Being an entrepreneurship major has helped me greatly in my customer service tactics. When talking to start-ups, I am excited for them and interested in learning what they are looking to do in this industry. I know how difficult starting a business can be, so when talking to potential customers I connect with them on their fears of entering into the supplement industry. Many of my customers love talking to someone who is as excited as they are about starting their own business. My enthusiasm for entrepreneurship has helped me greatly in my customer service tactics.
Q: We provide manufacturing, design, packaging and fulfillment services to companies of all sizes. Have you noticed a pattern in concerns for startups? How about seasoned companies? Are they looking for something new in terms of value, quality, fulfillment? What’s your approach to those concerns?
A: One of the biggest concerns that I have found from start-up companies is the cost of what it will be to get their business up and running. One of my professors in college taught me a lesson that has stuck with me when thinking about new businesses.
“The risk is worth the reward.”
If you believe strongly in what you are doing and have a passion for the product you are looking to bring to the market, you will be successful. At first, you may fail but in business, there is always room for improvement. For start-ups, I ask them why they are looking to bring this product to the market, and if I hear the passion in their voice when telling their story, I know that they have done their research and that they will be successful. With seasoned companies, many of them are looking for high quality products. Being an FDA- and GMP-registered facility, we offer some of the highest quality manufacturing practices in the industry. Many seasoned companies are pleased to hear that we guarantee these practices to each and every one of our clients.
Q: Previous stars of Supplement Stories have shared that sports nutrition products, such as pre- and post-workouts are hot on the market. What have you seen to be the best-selling for your customers?
A: Pre- and post- workouts are VERY hot on the market right now. With more and more people becoming involved in sports nutrition, these products are some of our best sellers right now. I have also seen a high demand for beauty products as this is a highly growing market.
Q: What are some highlight lessons you’ve learned in college that you try to incorporate in your pitches or advice to clients about succeeding in business?
A: One of the most important lessons that I learned throughout my college career is that for any new emerging business you have to conduct research on the market you are looking to enter. It is important to discover your biggest competitors in the industry, and figure out what they are doing and how you can do it better. With the use of social media growing day-by-day, marketing is everything. What I tell many of my clients is to take a look at some of the biggest name brands in the space you are looking to compete in. How are they approaching their customers and how can you change that approach for the better? If you can find a flaw in their business structure and fix it, you will be number one in the industry.
Q: As you grow at Makers Nutrition, what are you looking forward to the most?
A: While I continue to grow at Makers Nutrition, I am looking forward to speaking with more start-ups as well as more seasoned companies. I enjoy speaking to other entrepreneurs and their intel on what struggles as well as what rewards they have faced on a day-to-day basis. After hearing different intel from clients, I hope to come up with new ideas and innovations to eliminate as many headaches for our customers as possible. I believe that this feedback can help Makers Nutrition grow as one of the top contract manufacturers in the nation.
Want to gain some more insight from Jenna? Ready to launch your new brand idea? Call us today at 1-844-625-3771. We’re ready to get started!