No doubt a fair few SME owners have questioned why the heck they ever flung caution to the wind to embark on a new career path, way out of the comfort zone of your average man on the street. In each of our Talking Better Business podcasts, we've spoken to people of sane mind who have done just that – what spurs them on?
The psychology behind giving up one way of life to pursue another is complex, but the basics are here to be told. We know passion, a value-driven ethos and enthusiasm are prime motivators. Independence, flexibility and ambition are biggies as well. Does systematic logic come into it at all?
There’s a backdrop to any situation and our guest today, Doctor of Philosophy and Neuroscientist, Amanda Wiggins, is probably the best person to give some clarity and perspective.
Amanda’s previous life working at the interface of science and innovation sets her up perfectly to explain her exit from salaried security and into purchasing a relatively young business called Clean Mixeshttps://www.cleanmixes.co/.
How and why does your average punter move into entrepreneurship, occasionally risking life (and limb) in an attempt to make a difference to the world?
“I get to go to yoga on a Wednesday at 10.30 and that’s really nice!”
Making the initial emotional decision to reject a corporate career with all its apparent benefits in order to reinvent as a business owner is strangely easy. And finding the courage and energy to start jumping through the associated hoops comes without a second thought.
The following hurdles: not quite so. It’s the tricky stuff, like doing due diligence, weighing up the financials, considering scale potential, looking at cold hard facts … All this takes brain power using a more analytically-based methodology.
Amanda looked at up to a dozen businesses before settling on Clean Mixes. She never considered her own start-up – “Boy oh boy, that ‘start from scratch’- it’s pretty fraught …” – deciding that buying an existing SME was more her thing.
The process of doing intensive due diligence for each contender became her benchmark ally in the final decision because it answered questions about:
- Financial health; tangible and intangible assets
- Scale potential: are there enough SKU’s to enable a sound, distinguishable, appealing product which will generate good sales volume
- Export potential and value vs logistical and cultural considerations
- Is the product on-trend?
- Product ‘defendability’, validity
- Brand love, customer loyalty
- Uniqueness - or can it be copied too easily? (dictates longevity)
- Does it complement your existing skillset and experience?
- Does it resonate with your ethos?
Clean Mixes was a stellar standout which ticked all the boxes, so at the end of the day, Amanda was able to purchase because “It felt right”.
Since then, she’s pulled a lot of hours – just as many if not more than in her corporate career – "It feels like a lifetime already … it's fast-paced - like being on a bullet train or in an amusement park - there's a lot to do and I have to do it all!"
The difference now though, is FLEXIBILITY; the freedom of spending time with the kids, enjoying the outdoors and talking to her friends (often about Clean Mixes as she gets the gen on how to attract a new target market; mature, astute, discerning).
So far, business operation has been Amanda’s primary focus: suppliers, manufacturers, packaging, ingredients, and I.T. Online sales, marketing and e-commerce platform, Shopify https://www.shopify.co.nz/ is proving to be an unforeseen and ongoing challenge!
Next up: strategy; researching new ingredients for Clean Mixes by digging deep into the nutritional science behind products with real, functional advantages to health. Cutting through the hype by qualifying nutritional data and quantifying it as a foodstuff into the correct ratio for optimum benefit. Capitalising on the current darlings of the superfood industry, like hemp and coconut. Then adding value to the lives of her customers by making the end product easy to use.
Customer-centricity is something that doesn’t come naturally to Amanda; she’s more comfortable behind the scenes, researching, analysing, developing the best product possible.
But she’s trying hard to always have a picture of her avatar front of mind – and she’s out there doing the short-form videos and talking to people, all the while developing her client base, building brand and loyalty, marketing, selling, and creating honest, useful content:
“Taking science and translating it into everyday language that’s interesting and engaging for people.”
On the horizon: exploring some international markets, beginning with the one just across the ditch; in the meantime, getting to grips with I.T, developing product and making sales (Craig Oliver: “Nothing happens in business until a sale is made”).
For those thinking about going into business ownership, either an existing enterprise or a ‘start from scratch’ here are some final words from Amanda:
“I would say: GUN IT! Get as much input and advice and talk to as many people as you can about your idea. It’s a whole new world, owning your own business and it’s blimmin great! I love it!”
You can follow Amanda’s journey with Clean Mixes on Facebook, Instagram, or on her website: https://www.cleanmixes.co/
And by the way, if you need more help in moving your business from ordinary to extraordinary visit me, Craig Oliver at http://www.theprojectguys.co.nz/
Or read the show notes from our other amazingly informative, inspirational and gritty podcasts at https://www.talkingbetterbusiness.com/
So many insights, tips and ideas to be had! Just look back, listen and learn.
Go on, smash through the glass ceiling and move your business from Ordinary to Extraordinary.
#healthandwellbeing #superfoods #cleaneating #functionalfoods #wholefoods @cleanmixes.co