“It’s not a race”: Seven business lessons from a baby-sleepwear brand founder
Friday, January 18, 2019/
The year was 2007. I was a new mother to Xavier, and like the majority of mothers, I was struggling to get Xavier to sleep and to stay asleep.
Distraught after being advised by sleep-school coaches that Xavier fell into the 10% of babies who failed the sleep program, I began to look for other measures to get him sleeping and to save my sanity!
I noticed Xavier was getting tangled in his sleeping bag and, with no prior fashion or design experience, set out to design a slim-line sleeping bag that would be comfortable and move with him to reduce tangling. I used natural, breathable fibres and added additional features including shoulder and side stretch inserts, both things I hadn’t seen available on the market at the time.
Alas, the design worked and helped Xavier begin to sleep more consistently through the night.
In 2008, ergoPouch was launched and has come to be an award-winning global leader in baby and toddler sleeping bags, sleep wear and sleep accessories. The brand is now globally recognised, as driving product innovations and technology advancements in the baby-sleep category. As we prepare to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, here are the most important lessons learnt in our journey so far.
Success can be interpreted differently — either through monetary gain, brand awareness or creative development. Take the time to understand what this means to you, so you can map out of a way of how you are going to get there.
Find partners aligned to your brand vision so you can further leverage each other’s network and industry knowledge. The ergoPouch family-business model is about using the power of collaboration to engage a suite of contractors, agents, reps, merchandisers, 3PL, distributors, manufacturers, advisors and influencers who support the operation. It also ensures we recruit the very best people to work on the business.
Get ahead and be a tech-head
Collective intelligence on a commercial level is the new currency, and it requires generosity of individual experience. Literature, conferences, online information sources, business publications and industry events are each designed to share industry knowledge.
Engage a network
Never stop learning. Ask for advice, reach out to like-minded business owners and don’t be afraid to ask for support. For those who can, business coaches are a great way to stimulate conversation and help to strategise.
Pay it forward and help brighten the future of other businesses by being a thought-leader in the industry and volunteer information to budding business enthusiasts.
Prepare to grow
Once the foundation of the company has been built, prepare for expansion by improving efficiencies.
It’s not a race
Concentrate on building a consistently growing and profitable business that is scalable. It is unlikely that instant success will happen overnight, so take the time and prepare strategically for the growth spurt.
During times of economic uncertainty, remain conservative and not reckless. Budget accordingly for the financial climate, but also remember to remain optimistic.
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