I’m Jess Salamanca, a 26-year-old Spanish female entrepreneur wearing many different hats at once!
I founded and run a healthy ice cream business (Banana Scoops), I’m a Kickstart Gateway helping small businesses access the Government funding as well as a business coach (Moxie Club) supporting small business owners to turn their dreams into reality.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I didn’t! I’m actually quite averse to a 5- or 10-year plan. I can see the appeal and why so many people spend hours working on theirs, but there’s something about planning such a long period of time that puts me off. I feel like it would box me in too much.
I know what I want my life to look like – full of happiness, family, friends, financial freedom, etc – so I much prefer having an open mind and taking opportunities as they come. I knew I always wanted to start my own business, but I had no idea it would be Banana Scoops – until one day I realised I wanted to do it full-time. With my coaching business, it was also a spontaneous decision where I decided to go for it on a random day, and spent every evening for two weeks getting the website and social media presence live.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
So many challenges!
Covid has affected every single business – in our case, it delayed our launch for over 2 months with lots of uncertainty over whether we’d even be able to launch at all!
Our main USP is the fact that our product is so innovative and unique, but it’s also a major challenge as we’re sailing through uncharted territory. Nice cream doesn’t respond to freezing like regular ice cream, amongst other things, so we’ve had to experiment a lot to find a recipe that is suitable for large-scale production. Thankfully our manufacturing partner has been of great help, and we’ve managed to produce a delicious ice cream that is available to consumers nationwide.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I would say trusting myself and actually starting my business(es). It’s really easy to stay comfortable in a 9-5 job but starting Banana Scoops and Moxie Club have been incredible for me. I am now my own business so I have the freedom to set my own rules and boundaries when it comes to work. I work flexibly, have a team and work hard in order to live the life I want. There’s nothing more fulfilling than having so much freedom!
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Trusting myself and being more patient. I think a lot of it comes down to mindset and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time working on. If your strategy isn’t right, change it. If your product market-fit isn’t there just yet, tweak your offering. If your marketing doesn’t yield the results you want, try something new. You can change lots of areas in your business, but you need a strong growth mindset to fill the gaps with new opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
I think it’s key to spend time working on your business strategy and becoming amazing at prioritising your work.
You need a solid strategy that includes goals and how you will achieve them and you need to be extremely good at prioritising your tasks so you are focusing on the right things and saying no to the projects that won’t get you closer to your goals.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Start sooner. Done is 100% better than perfect so stop trying to find the perfect timing to start the business. Instead, trust yourself and get started. Even a few hours of work today can have a huge impact on your future self.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I’ve got so many dreams for the next few months/year. I would love to see Banana Scoops grow and get stocked into many more major supermarkets in the UK and abroad. I also want to grow my coaching business and set a high target of female founders to support along the way – helping others achieve their dreams fills me with so much joy, and I love being part of that process. I also can’t wait to grow our team – with currently 4 members, I can’t wait to have even more!
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