Hey, guess what? It's time for this week's breakdown of the My Biggest Lessons podcast! Chris Meade sat down with Ryan Gresh, founder and CEO of The Feel Good Lab, to discuss how he and his team brought their natural pain relieving product to success. Watch the full episode below! ⤵
What do aerospace engineering and chronic pain relief have in common? 🚀 Ryan Gresh.
Before The Feel Good Lab, Ryan went to school for and worked in aerospace engineering, far out of the realm of natural pain relief. So what led him to switch industries and start his own business? His dad.
Ryan's dad had a lengthy career as a pharmacist and functional medicine practitioner. After years of seeing a constant stream of people suffering from chronic pain and the effects of opioids and NSAIDs, he sold his pharmacy and started the nation's first combined functional medicine practice with compounding. With over 30 years of experience in finding natural ways to relieve pain, Ryan's dad inspired and helped build The Feel Good Lab.
Made with all-natural ingredients, The Feel Good Lab's mission is to help people take less pharmaceuticals and solve the root cause of pain, not mask it. With ingredients like turmeric, magnesium, and menthol, their Natural Pain Cream and Sports Recovery Cream offers pain relief without the side effects their competitors can cause.
Backed with his father's years of experience in functional medicine, Ryan had a wealth of knowledge under his belt when founding The Feel Good Lab. This definitely didn't come without a bit of trial and error before seeing success. If you'd like to learn more about Ryan's biggest lessons, keep on reading!
Credibility is key 🔑
When entering a very saturated market like pain relief, having any sort of edge on your competitors is the only way to see success. For Ryan and The Feel Good Lab, this meant partnering with credible voices that their consumers would trust the most for product recommendations — healthcare practitioners.
At a higher price point, they quickly learned that pretty, eye-catching packaging wasn't pushing retail sales without credibility behind the product. Currently, Ryan is working with chiropractors, massage therapists, and other healthcare practitioners to help scale brand awareness, while using influencers to push online sales.
Shaking hands with investors 💸
One of the very first (and most important) steps in starting a business is raising funds. This can be done in so many ways, with the two main channels being investors and bootstrapping. For Ryan, one thing he wished he did differently and would tell those starting out to do is bootstrap your funding.
Ryan raised money in many ways — investors, crowdfunding, friends & family, but never raised enough at one time to truly compete with the billion dollar conglomerates. His advice to new brands and businesses? Take your time and bootstrap your funding to help compete in the space you're entering.
Keeping it lean 🤏
Having a team of experts helping you build your brand is a goal that most business owners have, but it's extremely important to be mindful of your burn rate and the productivity of your team. Up until about 6 months ago, Ryan's team had a $30k per month burn rate, which had a significant impact on profits. He had to take a step back and think about 1 simple question: what sucks more, firing 1 person, or losing your entire business.
Leaning out your team is a tough task, as Ryan has learned, but it's a task that's crucial to helping your company become profitable. Our host Chris said it best: you can't afford to keep people on payroll if they're not working 40 hours per week. A full-time salary for a part-time role is a loss, and you can easily save money by contracting a freelancer to do the same work for less.
In the big leagues ⚾
A mistake that a lot of new founders and entrepreneurs make in the early days of building their business is treating your team like one big family. Of course, treating each other with respect, kindness, and having great relationships with your peers is absolutely fine. But, being in the founder role and believing everyone on the team is going to have the same mindset as you about the business is wrong.
One thing Ryan wishes he'd done sooner is treat his business like a sports team, with a huge emphasis on responsibilities and roles. As a member of a sports team, you sign a contract, you're expected to perform well within your role, and uphold your responsibilities. Lacking in those two categories? You're benched. The same philosophy can be applied to your business — contracts with responsibilities clearly laid out should be signed from the jump, with a concise understanding of what's to be expected when someone joins the team.
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