Starting up a new business has brought new challenges my way every week, but each one has required a different solution. MARCIA GRIFFIN
By Marcia Griffin
The starting up of the business griffin+row has been a real life experience, and each week brings new challenges.
The latest related to the incredible sales results we have made in the first blush – the down side is that this has exceeded expectations and the challenge now is for the retail outlet to re-stock those shelves.
While all systems have been put in place to do that, I can’t help but feel concerned for those customers who have wanted to purchase, but could not get our product.
So we have taken on the personal responsibility of replying to everyone who has emailed us. Quite a task!
Sure there could be bigger challenges, but frankly my business experience tells me that no-one is as important as customers and potential customers – and I have had some sleepless nights this week.
To another tip about starting up: Seek out the best advice. My business partner Yvonne Row and I have taken this very seriously, and sought out experts in every area.
We have also used the advice of a business mentor, someone who I have worked with previously in whom we have great trust.
I can’t really overstate the value of having someone to bounce ideas off – someone who can take the emotions out and take a clear look at the business potential.
And it’s not hard to find these people – most successful people are willing to give their time, either paid or in some cases unpaid to assist.
Find someone in a non-competitive but similar business and see if you can model your business on their successful model, or simply look for successful models that could work for you.
You might think consultants/mentors are expensive, but nothing is as expensive as making bad start up decisions (in fact bad decisions generally). And no matter how experienced you are there will always be something you can overlook that will be very clear to a dispassionate observer.
griffin +row went through many iterations in our minds before we started to go to market, and we have had some excellent advice along the way. We have been helped with finding business partners, for example our logistics partner.
Try looking at Yellow Pages to find a logistics company! Here a young friend I have mentored in business led us to a small but enthusiastic and competent company we would never have located on our own. My young friend had gone through a very bad time in his business caused by poor deliveries by a logistics firm that kept missing store delivery windows – a sure way to lose a retail partner.
He was totally delighted to recommend this firm and the recommendation was beneficial to him – have you noticed the value you get back from referring great people/businesses?
I think we all prefer to work with people referred by others that we respect in business and/or people we know and trust.
Business is hard enough without having unreliable business partners – a few questions of and/or sessions with advisers can help you avoid the unreliable and costly decisions. In my life as a TEC chair I see the great power of business owners sharing information and resources.
“Going it alone” can be exactly that – lonely and often very costly!
To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.
Marcia’s latest book, High Heeled Success (pictured right), and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand.
It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs, particularly women, to triumph in business.
Marcia’s latest venture is skin care company griffin+row.