The SME sector is full of amazing stories of entrepreneurs who take risks, invest their own money and get little support from the government to do so, despite the fact that without SME’s the economic landscape would look very different.
Running your own business does of course have its own rewards when it finally takes off.
It’s those first few years that are scary!
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In the first two years of griffin+row we have had some amazing good and amazingly difficult things happen. One day it looks like the world is our oyster and the next, things look really challenging.
So it was with a great deal of excitement that I received a call from a contact to say his business partner was interested in assisting getting us into the Chinese market. The reason being, that because of all the issues that Chinese consumers have had with contaminated products, consumers who can afford it are asking for products not made in China.
Of course the opportunity to get into the Chinese consumer market is fantastic and I was pretty excited to let my business partner Yvonne know about it. As quickly as we could we pulled all the information together and I rushed to the Post Office to send it registered post to the Chinese distribution company.
This was where I had my first surprise when the man behind the counter at the Post Office asked me what was in the parcel. When I told him printed material he said I’m not sure if you can send printed material to The People’s Republic of China. Actually the idea of all the business being done in China and printed material not being allowed to be sent there sounded so ridiculous that I thought he was joking. But the look in his face told me he was serious and as he read from the instruction book, PRC was definitely one of the countries listed as not to be sent printed material.
I suggested that this must have meant political or pornographic material, but no he was not to be deterred, these were the rules and he was sticking with them. I asked to speak to the manager and he said yes these are the rules but he felt that the information I was sending would be okay.
Relieved, I handed the parcel over to be weighed and put through the automatic registration check, but, my man behind the counter was about to have another potential victory, he said, ‘Oh you cant send this there is no postcode on the province!’
I looked at him in disbelief – I had not been given a postcode on the address by the company we were sending to and surely they would know their own best postal address. Thinking quickly I suggested he simply plug in 0000 and see what would happen. With great relief I heard the right clicks, the parcel was free to go and griffin+row had passed the first and I can say really unexpected market test.
Now we just have to have our product accepted my the Chinese government, have the distribution company agree to distribute our products ,work out the deal, export products, fly to China, etc.
Small things really compared with getting past Australia Post!
Marcia Griffin’s latest book, High Heeled Success (pictured left), is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4,700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. Contact Marcia to purchase. Marcia’s latest venture is skin care company griffin+row, an amazing range of naturally effective skincare that Target immediately ranged in 154 stores.