We continue our Small Business Show & Tell series with our conversation with Nathalie Bond who handcrafts small batches of botanical skincare and essential oil candles, using completely natural and organic ingredients (which are currently stocked at Winter's Moon.)
I hope that you find this series useful for your business and I would love to hear how you would answer some of the questions, please do leave a comment at the end of the post.
How long have you been running your business? We registered as a Ltd Company in Oct 2013 and launched our website in Jan 2014.
Who runs your business? Natalie and Andy Bond are the Founders and Leaders of the business.
Describe your products? Handmade Organic Skincare and Natural Candles.
How are your products sold? Online, Wholesale, Agents, Distributors.
Did you create a business plan before you started out?
Yes, the business has evolved over and beyond the business plan, but it was a great thing to do before we got started and to get the necessary investment to get kick started.
How did you fund your business at the beginning?
Initial investment and crowdfunding.
What small thing that you do has made the biggest difference?
We have made sure from the get go that our work life balance isn't compromised. The minute the business takes over too much, inevitably family, marriage, and health is effected. The point of starting this business was to have more flexibility in our work/life balance. There are times longer shifts/getting our heads down is unavoidable, but on the whole it is important to us that we don't overdo it.
4. What have you learnt the hard way about your business?
Growing our family (x2 boys 5 and 2) at the same time as starting the business has been flipping hard work. Alfie was 8 months old when we launched. We don't regret it at all, but it has meant that in order to stay sane and manage both well, 'organic' growth (pardon the pun!) has been important. This means the business is taking longer to expand than we would like, but it also means we are not missing out on the precious time of seeing our little sprogs growing up! Due to this, saying no has been a hard but important learning curve for us. Especially in an age where everything shouts 'NOW!'.
5. What piece of advice or guidance were you given has been the most useful?
Don't take yourself too seriously ;) and listen to your 'gut' feeling.
6. What sources do you use for business advice / learning / support?
Mentors & Trade Shows.
7. If someone gave you a small lump sum to invest in your business right now what would you spend it on?
Investing more in our sales team, and software to manage our in house logistics.