Annah Mitchell is an example of what it means to pivot, change her life and the lives of those around her. Mitchell took a leap of faith and left her career in communications to pursue her dream of starting Gobble Doggs. Along with pursuing her dream, she has provided scholarships to Chicago high school seniors. Mitchell’s business, Gobble Doggs, is a family-owned catering service that specializes in turkey based hot dogs with various toppings.
Rolling out spoke to Mitchell about her business, her leap of faith and how she has been able to maintain during these times.
Talk about why you left your career in communications to start your business.
I had to strike while the iron was hot or I knew I could miss out on my golden opportunity. I’d been holding onto this dream to build the Gobble Doggs brand after we launched the business as a side gig in 2012. I left my full-time job with benefits on a leap of faith in August 2016 and am blessed to say I have never looked back!
How have you been able to pivot during this pandemic?
This has been a difficult time. For the last two and a half months, our Chicago location has been closed. We’ve been offering drop-off catering services, as well as me driving for InstaCart. Bills have to get paid. It’s a small sacrifice for a long-term gain. Resources that were supposed to be available to many of the smaller businesses have been nearly impossible to obtain. In spite of it all, we keep going. We’ve moved past this and we reopened our doors on Monday, June 1.
Why is it important for you to provide $4,500 in scholarships to graduating Black high school seniors now?
It is essential that our youth have the resources to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship so they in turn can build Black generational wealth. We should be teaching our children self-preservation and entrepreneurship. The scholarship is a way for me to lead by example and help the next generation of successful business owners and leaders.
What are your top three ways to sustain a business during this pandemic?
1. Continue to stay in touch with your customer base so they know you are still available for their needs. We use Square as our point-of-sale system so we can send texts and emails to our patrons to keep them updated [on] our whereabouts. Also, use your social media platforms to announce specials and any relevant updates.
2. Be creative. Consider different ways to sell your services.
3. Take time to find ways to be more efficient and cut costs in the business. You may find that there are items you can omit from your business. I took the time to look at the products I currently sell and researched other companies that may sell them at a better rate. We also considered the flow of [our] operation and how we can better serve our customers.