Natalie Susi got her product Bare Organic Mixers, low-cal cocktail mixers into over 300 bars and restaurants in southern California before she sold. To maximize her take, Susi had to decide whether she was selling her company or her product.
One of Susi’s biggest regrets was being a self-described “monogamous negotiator”. Instead of playing one buyer off against another, she decided to negotiate with a single buyer, a decision she would come to regret later. To ensure you do not fall into this trap, identify a short list of potential acquirers using the Short List Builder tool, module 11 in The Value Builder System. Get started free by getting your score now.
About Natalie Susi
A former English and composition teacher, when she was laid off from her dream job at San Diego State University in the CA budget cuts, Susi decided to explore the world of entrepreneurialism. She recognized a large gap in the marketplace for low-calorie, all-natural cocktails and founded Bare Organic Mixers to fill that gap.
While she was still teaching, Susi ran a side business selling Italian ice at farmers markets in San Diego. Soon after, she realized that her Italian ice could be used to make amazing all-natural, low-calorie frozen cocktails. Susi rebranded the product, originally named SoCal LowCal, as Bare Organic Mixers when she decided to move here business up to a national level and, in 2014, she sold out to a leading natural foods company.
Susi and Bare have been featured in some notable press outlets including Forbes.com (Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in SD), Pacific Magazine (Top 30 Under 30), the LA Times, E! Online, People Magazine, and Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Currently, Susi does exactly what she loves to do. She combines her educational background and her entrepreneurial experience creating courses and seminars in personal development, particularly using entrepreneurial success principles to help high school students realize their life and career goals. She and her business partner, Shawn Vinik, also work with adult clients on personal development in the world of dating and relationships.
Some Highlights of the Show
Business: Bare Organic Mixers
2:03: “I was an English teacher … selling on the side.”
2:50: “To appeal on a more national level I changed the name to Bare Organic Mixers…”
3:03: “I was planning on selling it.”
4:12: “I knew I would never be able to take it national.”
5:00: “I was always targeting restaurant and bars because I knew that I could sell a lot of product without spending a ton of money on marketing.”
5:32: “In 2010, there was nothing on the market like it.”
7:45: The triggering event.
9:50: “This was infiltrating my entire life… I was not balanced in any way.”
10:25: The next step after deciding to sell.
10:40: “I was blessed to have three integral mentors … building the company … finding the buyer … and closing the deal.”
12:24: “I was like a monogamous negotiator, I was too far down the path with the first person, so I stuck with that person.”
12:45: “It was really important to me to find the buyer that in my gut felt like the right fit for the product… It was like sending my kid off to college.”
14:30: The first move.
18:15: The structure of the sale.
22:07: “I’m at the right age where I can take a couple risks and I can make a few mistakes.”
22:04: “This will be another adventure I can learn so much in … a life degree in entrepreneurship.”
22:58: Company vs. product vs. brand.
24:08: “I sold it and then I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do with the brand… I hated dealing with logistics and distributors.”
28:48: “Retrospectively, I wish I could have [pushed back] a little harder … be the person to say no.”
29:32: “You need to know what your worth is and what the value of your company is … be really clear on it and be willing to walk away.”
32:05: “I was ready to get back to teaching … as a result I’ve started consulting to help new and inspiring entrepreneurs build their brand. I’ve also started a whole different service related company based on dating coaching.”
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