By Eli Sinaiko
Berkeley Sourcing Group spoke with Mark Delman- seasoned marketing professional, businessman, and entrepreneur. Among other things, Mark is the proud creator of the BriteTap Poultry Waterer, a device that provides poultry owners with an affordable and effective way to supply their chickens with water. We had the opportunity to interview Mark and benefit from his thoughts and advice about his experiences:
1) Can you identify an instance or decision that inspired or directed you to becoming an entrepreneur? Does a particular life experience stand out to you as directing you down the path to become an entrepreneur?
Years of working for large and small companies has taught me the value and difficulties of creating new products in both these environments. Big companies bring rigor to decision-making and resources to fund projects. However, they also miss opportunities and can be wasteful and shortsighted. Small companies are often much more nimble and opportunistic but also can change course too frequently. Achieving a balance between the two is difficult but I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to see if it would be possible for me to pull this off. In large measure, I think I have. It’s incredibly satisfying.
2) What qualities do you think one must possess or work to develop in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
I think an entrepreneur needs to be curious about how things work and dedicated to the belief that they can make a better product or service.
3) Are there common pitfalls or obstacles that one faces on their journey to success? Can you think of time you were faced with such an obstacle and overcame it? Or conversely, have you ever made an error or mistake in your pursuit to becoming successful that you feel you learned or benefitted from?
The greatest challenge in the beginning is the need to wear many hats at once – particularly in the beginning. If you bootstrap your company as I’m doing, your not going to have the cash to buy lots of assistance. That means you’re the engineer, the marketer, the finance guy, the salesman, customers service, the web master and accountant. As soon as the business is generating cash its worth buying help in the form of outside consultants or services that allow the entrepreneur to perform non-core functions more easily.
4) What are some tips you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur with great ideas and innovations but little in the way of experience?
First off I would ask if you even have the experience to know that you have a great idea. Get honest feedback on your idea from potential customers who don’t know you and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. If your idea looks like a “go” then find people and resources that are complimentary to your own. No one is an expert at everything.
5) To you, what differentiates a successful entrepreneur from an unsuccessful one?
I think an entrepreneur needs to bring a healthy dose of humility and skepticism to the job. Businesses fail because the entrepreneur is so in love with their own ideas they can’t see the shortcomings.
6) As an example of a successful entrepreneur, what do you hope to achieve down the line? Do you have any future aspirations as an entrepreneur? If so, what are they?
I want to make it easy for families to grow delicious, healthy food at home. At present, gardening, raising chickens and bee keeping are laborious and those who try them fail too frequently. The world needs product innovation in these categories and my goal is to be the provider of those products. The tag line for my company’s watering device expresses some of this sentiment – The BriteTap waterer is “Clean Water Made Simple.”
7) How do you deal with rejection or failure in a business setting? Success?
Every day I take two steps forward and one step backward. Failure is part of the process. You just need to recognize this and set your expectations accordingly.
Berkeley Sourcing Group would like to thank Mr. Delman for taking valuable time to present his candid and thoughtful views. You can learn more about Mark Delman and his products here.