Ask Chad: Talking Business with a Student

Entrepreneur Chad Farnsworth with his business inspiration, Sophie

How do you start a successful company? Ask JWU student Chad Farnsworth.

Chad's helping small business owners do just that, right here on campus at the Small Business Development Center.

Now, he’s applying his new expertise as he starts his own company, a specialty dog treat company that combines his love for animals, nutrition and creating businesses.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
My dad owns his own business. So does my uncle - kind of runs in the family!

How did you come up with your idea for a specialty pet food business! ?
My dog Sophie, she’s a year and half little boxer mix. I can’t give her any of our treats because she has grain intolerance. I’m actually a pet trainer at Petsmart, and I have a lot of dogs that have similar stomachs.

So you're working on a healthy alternative?
Dogs don’t need all that extra stuff. I’m looking more towards vegetable and fruits. I’ll get all the vitamins and minerals they need, without having to go back and spray it on like most companies.

Do you find yourself using what you learned at the SBDC?
Yes, absolutely! It's a great experience. I get to learn about how businesses fail, without failing myself. I get the insight of what I can avoid, or what I can do to be better.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
We had an experience where a gentleman, his books were awkward, and not necessarily all put together. All the bad things. And then the IRS gets involved …

So make sure your financials are in order! And that you’re consulting an accountant that’s working with you annually, talking with your banker.

Good tip. Now that you're an expert, how’s your business coming?
Still in the planning phase! I'm creating organizational manuals and protocol procedures for operations. I'm almost to the stage to test batch the first products, to finalize a recipe.

It sounds like you're excited.
This is my passion. This is what I’ve been doing for the past two years. I see a need for this.

How to Start Your Own Business

How do you start a successful company? Chad knows firsthand — he's helping business owners do just that, right here on campus. read more