TMBA 296: What Would Be Your Next Steps if You Owned This Business?

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After taking a brief sabbatical, we return to the show this week with a very unique guest. Chris Cage ( is an avid hiker, biker and outdoor enthusiast. Chris started Greenbelly in 2014 and has been creating high-calorie meal replacement bars ever since. He recently crowdfunded $20,000 on Kickstarter, but despite this success Chris has been rather isolated in his entrepreneurial adventure so far. The Bossman and I have invited him on this show this week to open up about his business. We’ll talk about how Greenbelly came to fruition, how he has managed to achieve his success, and help Chris make some hard decisions about what he can do to take this business to the next level.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why Chris decided to create meal replacement bars and what it cost to start his business.
  • How he was able to start marketing his products and find an audience for them.
  • Why Chris chose to raise funds on Kickstarter and the pros and cons of that platform.
  • Why Chris decided to double the price of his product.
  • The real benefits of surrounding yourself with other talented entrepreneurs.
  • What the future holds in store for Greenbelly.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

Listening options: Front Draft

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST. Cheers, Dan & Ian

Greenbelly-Mix 3

Greenbelly-Mix 6

Published on 06.12.15
  • Hey Chris,

    I am glad you are making money off your business. But I think you would get a lot more customers if you used better ingredients. I am not sure if you realize this, but right now they are completely terrible.

    To help you out you are using:

    Chocolate – Almost all chocolate world wide comes from Child Slaves –

    Palm Oil – clear cutting of virgin rainforests –

    Bananas – Child slaves, clear cutting and pesticides that cause birth defects –

    Milk – Animal cruelty beyond your wildest dreams –

    Honey – Bee colony collapse due to the spreading of parasites between infected colonies.

    I am sorry if this comes across negative, but I think it needs to be said. For the sake of your business growth, the environment and human rights.

    Make a ton of money, but don’t hurt the world doing it.


  • Adrijus Guscia

    Cool company/idea. Great potential (7-8 figures a year in next two years..).

    Nice new packaging, old one looked like cheap protein supplement shiny bags.. New one looks sexy! Good job!

    Success story like Shredz can be a good example on how to promote it (Instagram marketing – Do not know if Shredz are good etc but mainly using it as marketing example..

  • Congrats on the business Chris!

    I am in the Jetson’s pill camp. I am not very active working my 12-14 hour days as a tech sales exec BUT would definitely power down 1-2 of your bars a day.

    Huge market potential there, also a market with little price sensitivity, think Whole Foods vs. Piggly Wiggly. :)

  • thanks for the link Adrijus!

  • agree the new packaging is way ahead of the previous

  • i’m a jetsons guy too I think that’s why i was so interested in Chris’ business.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    You’re welcome guys! This is great business. Might be a goldrush or start of a goldrush. :)

  • The computer you used to write this was largely built by child labor and shipped via transport companies that abuse their foreign staff and pollute the ocean.

    The internet service you used to reply is owned by evil corporations that don’t pay taxes and start foreign wars for their own interests.

    Maybe we should all just unplug & hide in a closet so we don’t upset anyone.

  • Hi Damian,

    You missed my point.

    You are correct, for an average consumer one step is to try and make sure the products you buy are as good as possible.

    But Chris is the owner of a business. When ordering a shipment he might buy something like 20k bars at a time. Therefore he a lot more global effect, either positive or negative, then an average consumer.

    On top of that, this is a business blog/podcast. A lot of people read it and want to start their own businesses or already have a business. If someone reads this and decided to stop including chocolate in a product that they sell to consumers, then that will actually make a difference.

    You don’t see me hiding under a desk. Money is power, I think we can all agree on that. The problem is a lot of people that care about issue like this also don’t care about money, therefore they have little power.

    I think that the worlds needs people who care about the world and getting rich. They will have the power to actually make a difference.

    In regards to your last comment, the point of this is not to upset anyone. Its to save forests where trillions of lifeforms live. Its to allow children to have a childhood. To run and play.

    Damian & Chris, you can actually make a difference! You can make the world a better place.


  • You are imposing YOUR political view on a business discussion. That’s my point.

  • I said “I think you would get a lot more customers if you used better ingredients.” This entire discussion is about business.

  • Karen Amundson

    I found the cashflow worksheet to be very helpful. Thank you for sharing! I updated my version of it to include a variety of assumptions such as % increase in overhead and labor costs per $5k revenue increase, etc. If anyone is interested, I can scrub my data inputs and share my updated version with you. (It’s tailored towards a services business though, FYI)

  • thank you Karen, that sounds awesome, if you’d be willing to share a link to a copy of how you used the doc I’m sure others would take you up on it

  • Karen Amundson

    Here you go. If anyone has comments, suggestions, or spots holes in my assumptions or calculations, please add comments to the doc!

  • You could start your own vegan 650 calories meal replacement bars business, and use everything in this podcast to test your theory. See if your angle actually would get a lot more customers or not.

  • Jonathan Rollins

    Chris- you could also target some healthcare outlets as well. It may be a distraction from your core endurance athlete audience, but might also be worth looking into at some point. Years ago, after spending a lot of time working restaurant hours (and training at New England Culinary Institute) I took over the foodservice for an Alzheimer’s care facility. Our residents there weren’t worried about a low calorie diet- the nurses and nutritionist that I worked with encouraged me to pack as many calories in to meals as possible. Many of the residents also had power/supplement bars in addition to regular meals.

  • Chris Cage

    Thanks for the input Jonathan. And it’s funny that you mention the care facility – one of our best customers is a 75 year old woman that can’t cook for herself and needs calories. I think this is definitely something to pursue. Healthcare might be totally different market positioning though. Hmmm…

  • Chris Cage

    Right on Damian! And absolutely on the Whole Foods vs Piggly Wiggly.

  • Chris Cage

    Encouraging to hear Adrijus. And interesting story about Shredz starting off in his parent’s basement. Maybe we can reach $5 million gross revenue by Y2 as well! :)

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Everything is possible! With good marketing you sure can!

    Supplement market is predicted to grow to $60+ Billion in year 2021!!! It ”only” does $32 Billion now..So… there is room to grow :D

  • damn

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