At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing accounting and payroll software that lets small business owners keep their time and money for what they love: running their business!
Our #PatriotSpotlight customer success stories celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners across the country. For the August small business spotlight, we interviewed Megan Every, co-owner of Boss Cider Company.
Boss Cider Company is a Michigan-based cider house. The business offers a variety of hard ciders on tap and satisfying snacking options. This cidery prides itself on its offerings, energy, adaptability, and dedicated employees.
Can you tell me a little bit about what you do and offer?
We are a hard cider company that offers 14 different options on tap. We currently have over 50 flavors all together. All cider is made on the premises with most of our products sourced from Michigan. We also have a kitchen that runs more like a food truck, and have roughly 7 – 10 options at a time to keep our customers happy while sipping their cider. We also have a mug-club membership for people who frequent our cidery—it has its perks!
What made you decide to start Boss Cider Company?
We have been making cider for a local brewery for seven years and decided it was time for us to be our own boss. Friends of ours knew of a building that was available in a small town not too far from where we live and their comment was, “If you build it, they will come.”
It took us a while to believe it, but they were right. We knew the product had a following and felt we were ready to make the leap. We also wanted to show people that they can live their passion.
What’s your favorite part of running your own business?
It’s incredibly rewarding to make a product from scratch and serve it to someone else to enjoy. Also, the ability to be your own boss and hold yourself accountable for every decision made within the company is an amazing feeling.
What are some of the biggest challenges of being a business owner?
Finding time to complete all of the behind-the-scenes tasks. Making cider sounds fun, and it is, but running payroll, closing monthly financials, hiring, training, ordering everything, managing every shift, scheduling, paying every bill, cost allocating each purchase … is daunting. Patriot has made it possible for us to be a well-organized small business.
How do Patriot’s Basic Payroll and Accounting software help you run your business?
Patriot has given us the ability to cost code all of our expenses through the accounting software. Without it, I would be spending hours upon hours creating spreadsheets that don’t run reports.
With Patriot, I have all the information at my fingertips for payroll, payroll tax payments, monthly spend, and receivables. Also, having both the payroll and accounting software for the same price I was paying for just payroll services through another provider made it a very easy decision to switch just after six months of being in business.
When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?
We are most proud of our employees. Without their wonderful nature and adaptability, we would not be where we are today. They treat everyone with respect and kindness, and you can feel that energy throughout our establishment.
How have you adapted business operations to handle things beyond your control, like the coronavirus?
When the coronavirus came into the picture, our management team sat down to rewrite our business plan. We made difficult decisions and multiple changes that have allowed us to not only keep going but keep growing.
This meant shutting down our kitchen for two months, temporarily laying off all employees to keep them and their families safe, increasing our production of cider and purchasing more tanks, increasing our canning production, closing our doors Sunday – Wednesday, and much more. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to keep our doors open throughout these unfortunate times, due to the changes we made.
When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
When we find that time, we all enjoy visiting other breweries, wineries, and cider houses to see what everyone is up to. Are there things we can learn and take back with us? Is there something we could be doing more for our clientele? Can we begin a relationship with this owner or brewmaster that will inevitably benefit both parties? We love connecting and learning. Oh—and enjoying craft drinks!
What words of advice do you have for people hoping to start their own small business?
Do your research!! We talked for years about how we were going to run our business before we were able to make the leap and start it. As long as you are on the same page during those discussions, when it comes time to run the business there will be less confusion and miscommunication.
Know that you can’t control everything, and you must be able to adapt. You will make mistakes. But, if you make your employees, product, and your environment the most important priority, you will do just fine.
Keep the relationships with our friends and family, no matter how busy you think you are. They are your support system and keep you grounded.
If it’s not going to be you, find someone who is willing to run your social media and run it consistently well. It’s all about how you communicate with the public about new products and changes. It’s super important.
Invest in a software product that helps your business run smoothly. Patriot has helped us immensely, and without them I know we would not be where we are financially today.
Connect with Boss Cider:
Images courtesy of Peter Kenneth Photography.