It’s been three years since I first had the idea for Bare Blossom. It was a long road from conception to inception and if I knew back then what I do now, I definitely could have avoided some hurdles along the way. If I could give any words of wisdom to a new startup founder, it would be these:
It all starts with an idea. For me, I wanted a truly non-toxic, chemical-free makeup and cosmetics line that could be used when pregnant. Thinking beyond that initial idea however, you should always research your idea and ensure that you can make it a viable business venture. I enlisted the help of a market research company. This was extremely helpful because they were able to answer question such as:
If you take the time to look around at your friends and family, you’ll no doubt find a wealth of knowledge and skills. Perhaps your neighbour works in IT and could help with your website, or if your brother is a financial planner he could prepare a business plan for you.
From acting as a sounding board to providing professional services for you, your existing connections can be a great source of business help and will help you identify where there are knowledge gaps that you might need to seek elsewhere. For example, a friend of mine is a pharmacist and she was able to brainstorm ideas with me about the type of makeup display stands that might appeal to retailers.
Take all the research you have gathered and build yourself a budget and timeline and then consider some possible scenarios about where things could go awry. I consulted with my accountant and bank manager in the conception phase to get their input and of course to give me a reality check about my budget.
All things need to be considered when setting up your business, and it helps if you can pinpoint what could throw out your budget and timeline such as manufacturing taking longer, packaging costing more and plan how (and if) you can alter your plan. Including a buffer in your budget may help you ride out problems if they pop up and will cause less stress when they do.
Above all else, you must have passion and persistence for what you are doing when you are starting up your own company. You will need to be willing to work long hours and be prepared to push through a number of hurdles. It is the belief of what you are doing and that you will succeed that will always keep you going.