INSIDE SMALL BUSINESS - Top tips on getting started in the business of snacking

If you’ve ever thought about establishing your own business, you might have begun to look for advice. There is so much information out there to take advantage of, however, it is important to understand that there is no perfect formula for starting your own small business journey.

Since launching Slim Secrets 15 years ago there are many tips for succeeding in business I have learned along the way, but here are the key ones:

Formation and legal advice

From the outset, it is essential to get good accounting and legal advice for setting up your business and very importantly, to trademark and protect your business once set up. One regret I have was that I launched Slim Secrets on my own without a partner (initially it was just going to be a hobby), so whilst I did have people to bounce ideas off, it wasn’t the same as having someone in the business who is immersed in it like you are and can complement your skills. Today, my son Jamie works as my business partner and it has made a positive difference in so many ways. A successful business starts with the people.

Ensure you are getting sound advice and don’t be afraid to lean on and ask questions from other experienced business owners

There are so many ways today to get help and advice from others. For me, the relationships I have made in business has been one of the biggest learning curves. I have been a part of Business Chicks for 15 years, AusMumpreneur, and many online groups where we can bounce ideas off one another. It’s truly invaluable. Oftentimes you are cosying up with competitors, but today collaboration can be so powerful.

Make a plan but don’t be too rigid with it

It’s all well and good to be organised, however, sometimes it is the unexpected opportunities that present themselves that are simply too good to not pursue.

Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen?

I’m not advocating you put everything you own on the line, but definitely don’t be afraid of failure. We risk failure if we don’t try to turn our business dreams into reality; we risk not achieving our potential in life. However, do your homework and ensure there is a market for your business idea. Even if the market is saturated as it may look like in our health food industry there is usually a gap that needs filling and finding that gap is the key.

Within the snack food industry, we have to constantly evolve with customers’ ever-changing eating habits, and COVID-19 has seen an undeniable rise in snacking. Social media plays such a strong role in society now, and as a result, in our marketing strategy. It is a fabulous way of connecting with our customers, and we have the incredible Sophie Monk on board to bring us up to speed on all things social media including Tik Tok.

This month marks a new milestone for us, as we launch our brand new keto-friendly choc brownie in 600 Coles supermarkets nationwide, and across our online store. I am proud and confident about the direction we are headed, and I am excited to sustain the momentum.

As you can see, the industry is ripe for disruption, waiting for the next business to come along and challenge the status quo. If you have the vision, can find a gap in the market, and a way to set yourself apart from existing competitors, why not go for it?

Sharon Thurin, Founder, Slim Secrets Australia