[FOUNDER SERIES] Austin Samuelson, Co-Founder of Tacos 4 Life- It's About More Than Tacos

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Notes from Episode 20 The Go Rogue Podcast

Featuring Austin Samuelson, Co-Founder of Tacos 4 Life

[Founder Series] It’s About More Than Tacos with Austin Samuelson 

How Embracing Marketing and Business Differently Impacts Your Business's Success

A new age business model that some companies are beginning to implement is the “one for one” concept where every time someone buys a business’s product, that business gives a product to those in need. This approach is largely credited to TOMS Shoes because they donate a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country for each pair sold to customers. The success of TOMS Shoes and their mission has inspired other companies to apply the “one for one” business model. A good example of a local company who follows this approach is Tacos 4 Life! For every menu item sold at Tacos 4 Life, $0.22 is donated to feed children suffering from starvation in over 70 different countries. Therefore, you eat a meal and give a meal! 

So, what are some things businesses who employ the “one for one” concept do to market their product and their mission?

An important thing that companies who follow the “one for one” business should do is connect with their customers and remind them that they are the heroes and the ones making a difference because if they weren’t buying your products or services, your mission would not be coming to life. Connecting your patrons with the mission is a great way to encourage them to want to further support you because they recognize that there is a purpose behind your business. Furthermore, they are more motivated to help when they feel a connection to those they are helping. Tacos 4 Life recently launched an app and within the app it tracks how many meals you have provided for children in need. This is a great way to help your customers understand the personal impact they are having! It is influential when you draw this line of sight for your patrons that people are in need, but you purchasing our product is really making a difference. 

People can be skeptical about companies who claim to have a mission, but are just doing it for good publicity or for profit. Therefore, it is crucial that you are not relaying the message of “hey come buy from us because we have this cool mission” because that will result in a one time purchase. However, if you provide them with a quality experience, they will be excited to come back in order to support your business AND your cause because they are genuinely looking to help!   

What are some ways that business owners can incorporate some of these tactics into their business model?

The most imperative thing is to find a cause that you are passionate about and that you are willing to lose sleep over and work long hours to achieve. If you are not truly passionate about your cause, it will be obvious to your customers and they will not be willing to support it because you aren’t putting the work in to achieve it. Figuring out how to make your missions message right and making it connect to your patrons will determine the level at which people are going to support your cause. They want to see the higher level of purpose that your business is providing. It also helps to keep your mission simple and unformulated because you are able to explain it to a five year old, then there is no limit to who can support your cause.  

What are some ways that people can impact the community with their business?

This can be as simple as just treating others as humans who are interacting with other humans. Go the extra mile to treat people well because having a chance to connect with people will provide you with the opportunity to make their day better and provide them with some value. This is a great recruiting tool to bring people in that are like minded and that will help you build the company culture that you want. Plus, having people who work for you that also believe in your mission further encourages customers to support you because they will see your mission as a movement and as something bigger that they will want to be a part of. Informing your local community about your business’s mission is also essential because in Tacos 4 Life’s case, people who are not exposed to starvation on a daily basis can have a hard time imagining it. Therefore, educating your customers about your cause is just as important as them supporting your cause.    

So, the “one for one” business model teaches us that entrepreneurship does not always have to be about making money. It can be used to solve some of the world’s most pressing social issues as long as company owners are able to persuade their customers to be as supportive of their causes vision as they are!