A lot of people may think that this is not the ideal time to launch a start-up busines, but I have actually found an alternative sense of it. MARCIA GRIFFIN
By Marcia Griffin
My new start-up, griffin+row, threw two women together that had both been successful in our own right. But we have had to learn to acknowledge those skills to create the best outcomes for the new venture.
Yvonne Row and I have run successful businesses all our lives. I had 16 years running Pola, a direct selling company, and had been listening over that time to what women want from a skincare product. My business partner Yvonne has had 12 years experience running Passion Foods, an eco-lifestyle store base around natural health.
The start up challenges continue. Many great customer emails (they love our product, quality/price and packaging), we just need to resolve keeping up the retail stock and all looks well for griffin+row.
I don’t have a moment of complacency however, and will not feel comfortable until I hear that everyone who wants our product can get it!
The truth is I will probably never feel really comfortable as I have found the comfort zone an uneasy place in my life. Whenever I have started to feel comfortable I get a sense of unease – what could I be doing better?
That’s why I want to talk about the personal – particularly in today’s climate of fear and negativity – if one was to listen to the news every day and read the papers, you would think the world was about to come to an end. It certainly would not be a time to start a new business.
Well we have disproved that, and perhaps this is a time when age can help – I have been through tough economic times before, and when I was CEO of Pola we had our best years in the worst years.
Why? We worked harder and outworked the competition. For me, tougher times mean great opportunity to prosper – we looked carefully at our costs, we spent more wisely on sales and marketing, we did more to please our customers.
So I see the same opportunity for griffin+row, and for your businesses – but there are a few personal qualities we need to call on at this time.
A positive approach: Let’s be realistic but positive. The fact is that people are still spending, still have basic needs. They may become more discerning about how they spend, and for me that’s a good thing – I think that part of our problem has been rampant spending on things we don’t need. As someone once said to me, “You can never have enough of what you don’t need!”
Resilience: Life is a journey full of challenges. I won’t quote that famous line from that ex-PM about “life was not meant” etc, but the truth is that, like our sales chart, there are bumps along the way. But if we map out a smart strategic direction, the bumps can be worked through. We just need to be clear about the direction and have the resilience to deal with the challenges.
A fit mind and body: One of my deepest beliefs is that a fit body is a key to survival and even more important is a fit mind. A fit mind is one that is disciplined, is capable of rational decisions, is prepared to ask for help, and is not locked into ego. Yes, great to have a healthy self-esteem, but we should be prepared to take advice from those smarter than ourselves.
Preparedness to change: If we can’t accept that almost the only thing that is constant in life is the need to change, we will always be stuck in the thinking of that’s the way we have always done it around here – not a great mental place to be in a harder economic environment!
With a few basic tools in our personal kit – applied to our business kit – the next short period of time could be one of great prosperity for all of us!
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.