My name is a Joy and I am the founder of an organic startup – Joy Organics. The story of my startup began when I was finding natural solutions for problems I was facing – chronic pain and trouble sleeping. My search ended at CBD or cannabidiol, one of the many different cannabinoid molecules found in the cannabis plant. It can act as a neurotransmitter and is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
After learning that the CBD industry is full of poorly produced products that don’t work, I decided to do something about it and started Joy Organics. My startup focuses on fully organic products that offer better results and better value than their competitors on the market.
I believe this introduction was necessary to give you an idea of the kind of industry I operate in, the challenges I faced, and the learning received. Here, I want to talk to you about some of the things I learnt while running my organic startup.
So here goes.
1. Know the Industry You are Getting Into
When I started doing my research on the CBD industry, I realized that this $22 Billion industry was largely unregulated wherein scammers, con-men and fly-by-night startups were out to make a quick buck.
I saw an opportunity in this less than ideal state-of-affairs. I understood there was a place for a business that focused on high-quality products, gave importance to integrity and had a passion for organic products.
The point I am trying to make here is you must understand the working of the industry you are getting into, identify niche gaps if any and make an honest effort to fill these gaps.
2. Product Understanding and Shared Vision
If you are entering an emerging industry like CBD it is imperative that you have a comprehensive understanding of the kind of products you want to bring to market. You must be very clear about the benefits they bring to the table and why your target customers will see value in it.
Remember, it is imperative that you have supreme confidence in the products you are selling. E.g. I made it a point to know what are cannabinoids, how CBD works, the difference between hemp and CBD oil and much more. As I gained more product knowledge, I gained more confidence in its ability to deliver the results I was looking for.
Something else that is of great import is communicating your vision for the startup and having a shared vision. This means everyone working for the startup including people in key leadership roles and your employees believe in the same strategic plan. The idea here is to ensure everyone is on the same page and you aren’t working at cross-purposes with one another.
3. Product Quality is Paramount
Most emerging industries like CBD are unregulated, which means most products have doubtful quality. I realized that if I was to make a mark in this industry my core focus must be on product quality; if I am selling an organic product, I need to ensure that the raw material is 100% organic.
I, therefore, made sure that I work with farmers who use state-of-the-art farming processes that ensure the final product is safe, regulated and has amazing potency and consistency. Our startup also emphasizes on using a proprietary extraction and solid separation process as well as proprietary nanoemulsion technology.
Both ensure superior products that deliver better results.
The focus of all your startup efforts must be on ensuring the quality of your products is out of the park. This can be a massive differentiator, especially in unregulated industries.
4. Don’t Ignore Communication
There are two types of communication – Internal and External.
Very early on in my startup journey, I realized that I couldn’t take communication for granted. Yes, communicating the vision is one thing, but it’s also imperative to communicate your suggestions, opinions, feedback and pass instructions whenever required.
Don’t wait for internal messaging to happen organically, or you might find this lack of communication or miscommunication interfering with the day-to-day workings of your startup. If corrective measures are not taken, this might result in an overall lack of productivity.
External communication involves the lines of communication you establish with your sellers, customers and third-parties working with you. Customers are the most crucial cog in the wheel of your startup, and never miss a chance to communicate with them.
If they are giving your product poor feedback, understand why and don’t shy away from replying to this feedback. If this feedback is unwarranted make sure to tell them why. Also, establish a personal connection with your customers, which will go a long way in establishing your startup reputation and credibility on the market.
5. Nothing Happens in a Hurry
It’s important to have a degree of patience, in your endeavours to achieve startup success. It will take time and a whole lot of effort. Diligently plan your startup journey and take time to build a solid foundation. Focus on the basics, like the reputation of the third parties who are going to supply raw materials, the manufacturing process, product quality, product pricing, customer engagement and more. Once you get these basics right, there will be no stopping your startup.
You will keep learning, as you go along. Don’t hold back on your startup aspirations because you are entering uncharted territory. That is essentially half the fun of getting into a startup in the first place. Yes, there are challenges aplenty, but with the right head on your shoulders, you shouldn’t have any problems in navigating these challenges.
Author Bio: Joy Smith is a speaker, mentor, and entrepreneur. After trying a number of poor quality CBD products, she teamed up with her family to develop an organically grown, full spectrum hemp oil to help people suffering from several ailments. If you’re interested in selling Joy’s products as a wholesale buyer, please visit Joy Organics.