1. Investors are about more than cash
Everyone should bring something to the business in the form of knowledge and skills. The right investors bring extra expertise with them.
2. A great story and data are the two golden rules of attracting an investor
You need both if you really want to access growth funding that will take your business to the next level.
3. Marketing is a non-negotiable if you want to grow
I believe you will shrivel up if you aren’t spending cash to grow your bottom line. We have never stopped marketing. The bigger we get, the more our marketing budget grows. Stop marketing, and consumer spend stops.
4. Everything you do must be an asset
Don’t create anything that has only one use. Before you spend any money, ask the question: Can we use this in multiple places, and does it have multiple functions? We create things for an event, and then use them in the office.
We showcased at a Pick n Pay consumer show and then placed the furniture in our reception.
Create assets that aren’t wasteful by being disciplined and putting thought into every spending decision.
5. Choose your involvement in events wisely
Just because there’s a big crowd of people doesn’t mean your brand will benefit from being there.
- Does it make sense to be there?
- Are you talking to your target audience in the right space?
- Are they receptive to your message?
You need to choose which events you attend based on the answers to these questions. Then you need to choose the right environment.
There are a lot of wrong environments, like trying to speak to people queueing for an election. No one wants to be there. They aren’t having fun. You’ll be tapping into the wrong emotions.
6. Monitor everything you do
We monitor our sales and analyse market share and data daily. Where are we lagging? Where are we gaining ground? Where have we lost ground? Everything is driven by sales metrics.
We have a full-time employee who just does data capture. The intelligence we get out of this isn’t random. The more intelligent you can be, the more your actions create cause and effect.
7. Give people the freedom to do what they love
Every person on a team is unique and useful. Learn to celebrate that instead of trying to make them conform to one ideal ‘employee’ template. Set them free from expectations.
For example, MBAs love spreadsheets. Creatives generally hate them. That’s okay. You need all sorts of people to run a successful business. If you’re not good at spreadsheets, you shouldn’t be forced to do them.
8. Learn from your mistakes
Every business makes mistakes. The question is, what do you do with those mistakes? In Holland we followed a similar roll-out plan to our South African model. We went niche first, built a base through delis and cafes and grew from there.
In Belgium we went straight to the retailers and it didn’t work. Retailers can love you, but consumers need to know and love you before they will buy your product.