We’re not nuts! (A new start-up blog)

Today marks the start of a new business venture and gives me time to reflect on the effort to this point. MARCIA GRIFFIN

Marcia Griffin

By Marcia Griffin

Are we nuts? Two women over 60, well off (very well off until two weeks ago) launching a new business in the highly competitive and cut throat world of skin care.

Today marks the start of our new business venture, griffin+row and I have decided to share the highs and lows of the start-up ride with SmartCopmpany readers in a start-up blog.

So why would we do it?

It’s not as if we are inexperienced business people and don’t know what we are getting into. Evonne and I have run successful businesses all our lives. I had 16 years running Pola, a direct selling company and listening over that time to what women want from a skincare product, and my business partner Evonne Row has had 12 years experience running Passion Foods, an eco-lifestyle store base around natural health – the first of its kind in Melbourne.

So we know what we are in for. We know what it will cost. So far we have spent $250,000 including our time (why don’t people cost their time into start up costs??).

So here is why we are doing it. We, like many other baby boomers, require constant challenges and don’t consider retirement an option, ever! We want to learn, grow and stay challenged.

We don’t know if it will work. But we do know we have started up well with the right processes and the right people in place. We also identified a very clear niche in the market for chemical free high quality skin-care at a price that is accessible to a wide variety of women in an affordable price range ($16 to $34.) The products being natural –like healthy food – are suitable across all age groups, packaged in travel friendly sizes and well designed.

We have just launched and are already in 150 Target stores (I’ll tell you how we did that in another blog).

We are also clear about our model; to build a business, not a business empire, and so our plan includes outsourcing everything but business partnership relations and finding the best strategic alliances in manufacturing, logistics and distribution and to export from a firm base.

Our challenges so far have been finding:

  • The right strategic alliances – finding the scientist who had great knowledge of natural ingredients/the causes of ageing and the most effective natural ingredients to target these.
  • The appropriate manufacturer – and critically the logistics company that could deliver to Target when and as required!

We also had to handle the challenge of a partnership. In fact, that has been the most interesting of all. Two women with entirely different backgrounds and some crossover skills, we have had to learn to acknowledge those skills to create the best outcomes (but more about that later).

Fortunately we took time to define all these factors first.

But as we all know, business is risky and all we can do is cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s and adopt the principle of continuous improvement.

 

To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.

High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, 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 a skin care company griffin+row.

 

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