We thought we'd touch base on all things small business and give you an insight into the process that we undertook to get Golden Grind off the ground and lessons we've learnt as a small business.
The process of starting Golden Grind was a relatively short one, compared with our businesses we've been involved with. The actual concept was created roughly 6 months before the final product hit our virtual e-commerce shelves, even though we had been selling turmeric lattes for years at our family cafe, we had to very much tighten things to make the product commercial. This included all the branding and product development aspects of launching the product.
Being a team of 3, we were able to move more rapidly than a sole proprietor, so that was a huge advantage for us. We also had a line in the sand with any decisions that needed to be made throughout the process, which we believe was a big contributor to being able to move so quickly.
We were all totally new to the manufacturing industry when we first started, with Golden Grind being completely different to anything any of us had done before. In saying that, we all had skill sets that we were able to utilise in the general setting up of the business, although in saying that, there have already been so many lessons for us all in such a wide variety of areas.
The most important things to us were both the product itself, it's quality, the ingredients and getting the taste just right, along with the branding. We identified this pretty early on, as we were set on the fact we wanted our product to appeal aesthetically above and beyond a traditional health product, whilst being true to it's medicinal benefits and ensuring the product was genuine in what we were creating in terms of being sustainable, ethical, organic and healing, whilst still being palatable to most of the population. We took these main points, creating the building blocks of everything else that followed. We all spent hours reading, learning and teaching ourselves on the processes that we were about to go though.
It definitely hasn't all come easy and there's challenges weekly. These have grown and changed and things we once saw a challenge is now the easy stuff as other challenges have presented themselves. But that's what small business and start up life is all about. We are constantly learning and growing not only as a company, but also as people.
We've answered a few common questions that we get asked below. We hope this helps give you a better understanding of our journey so far and answer any questions you might have for the Golden Grind founders. Also make sure you join us on Facebook for our regular Facebook Live session where we can directly answer any of your questions.
Our mistakes along the way? There's been a fair few, it's one way we've learnt so much, through our mistakes. We've ordered marketing material from overseas and it's arrived totally different (and we've pre paid, fools!) only to be stuck with thousands of $$'s worth of stuff we can't use. We've rushed decisions, and rather than really working through really important things, we've been more focused on getting to the next thing, which hasn't worked in our favour. We grew so quickly as a brand and company that we have had moments where we've lost sight of our pillars and our 'why' and had to bring ourselves back and realign with those values. We've also made mistakes in how not to work together. We're a family, and we've heard it a million times over, "Don't do business with family or friends", and yet we still dived in together. We've had our moments of not communicating effectively with each other, letting our business come between our personal relationships, but as with the business lessons, we've all learnt and grown from these experiences and they've helped us become even closer and work better together.
What do we think are our biggest successes so far? Seeing people other than our friends and family actually buy our product. When we were starting out, we knew we were solving a problem we had, but we didn't know if anyone else had the same problem, and wanted pre-packaged turmeric blends like we did. We were so lucky that we hit live on our website with pretty much no marketing (all we had was an instagram account started a few weeks earlier) and we had people from all over buying our product instantly. Walking into our favourite cafes and health food stores that stock us or having strangers talk about our product to us is a huge thrill. But the best feeling, for all of us, has to come from having our customers come back after trying Golden Grind and telling us how they've noticed the benefit and felt the change. It's honestly the most rewarding feeling in the world knowing we are helping others on their health and wellness journeys.
Did it all come easily? We have had a number of people approach us and tell us how "lucky" we were that Golden Grind took off because of the Turmeric "fad" of 2016. We used these words loosely as whilst we were fortunate that there was lots of media coverage and talk around town on the topic of Turmeric when we launched, we also worked extremely hard for what we created. We spent and still spend our weekends working (there's no time off), we have missed countless social outings and important events. Up until recently we all worked full time jobs elsewhere, so we also worked most mornings and evenings before and after those jobs (Tahli now fortunately works in the company, whilst Ren and Sage still have full time jobs). We have team meetings at 6am to make sure Sage and Ren can get to work. Any entrepreneur or business owner will tell you the same story - luck doesn't play any where near as big part as hard work, hustle and grit.
Our piece of advice to people wanting to start their own thing or maybe those who have just started and it's early days? Do things properly. In all regards, but mostly in terms of your legals and your banking and your tax etc. We were lucky that Sage has a Law degree as well as a Commerce degree, so knew her way around these areas slightly, but we still had lessons learnt the hard way. Make sure you apply for a trademark ASAP. We got in 5 days before one of our biggest competitors with our Trademark registration and if we hadn't, we wouldn't be able to have kept our name and branding. Make sure you're doing the right thing by the Tax Department from day 1 so you can avoid any nasty bills down the road. On top of this, start whatever it is that your passionate about with your 'Why'. Be really clear on the bigger picture of what you're doing and why you're doing it. This is what's going to be the difference between success and failure. (If you haven't already, we highly recommend listening to Simon Sinek on the topic).
We hope this has helped provide some insight into our startup journey and how we started out. Thanks for being on this journey with us. We LOVE to help others so please, if you have any questions for us, please drop us an email.
xx Tahli, Sage and Ren.