Question :
When markets closed we where deep in negotiations to bring investors into our business we are a Natural Skin Care and Fragrance business. As of today one has pulled back as their market was Asia and the other is in wait and see what happens mode having verbally agreed in January to commit.I am going to be brutally honest. It had been a hard year before I swallowed my pride and went back to working the night markets around Auckland in November. This swallowing of pride was at the encouragement of good friends and that my wife is due to have our first baby in early June and I needed to do something other than do what was failing which was work online with no budget.We had always had the framework to build a solid business but never the fuel in the engine to get it to where it needed to be and had good interest from industry leading business to work with us before they sold.Before the shutdown of events and markets started happening in March we were starting to make progress and were feeling confident with what 2020 was presenting for us both domestically and internationally. Post lockdown we have driven off a cliff with 2 or 3 sales. We got consent to sell some not all of our products as essential service last Thursday but have been nervous to start marketing due to negative reactions we have seen with other companies in the same category.In the last 3 weeks pivoted to an area I have good knowledge and expertise in the food sector and have seen building demand domestically and internationally for specific Ketogenic  products and both me and our business partner have significantly more experience and ability to execute at scale. We started working on this 18 months ago while my biz partner was living in the USA running another Ketogenic food business he owns there. The food sector is where I cut my business teeth first bringing Virgin Coconut Oil into New Zealand in 2012 from Papua New Guinea.I have two questions 1. How do we communicate we are open as an essential business with out blowing a hole in the side of our business by looking opportunistic. We sell toiletries and skincare so fit with in category. We have limited runway with Govt wage subsidy barley touching the sides though we are grateful for it  no end and my wife starting maternity leave from her job mid May. Her wage pays our rent and keeps our lights on.2.Is it worth it or should we use the opportunity to pivot into a sector we know has fast growth , low to no cost of entry due to existing market relationships and demand and come back pick up the pieces when we have the capital to fund the growth. Or can we run both concurrently? 

Question submitted 15/04/20 @ 01:30am
Industry: Business Growth
  • Up

    Kia ora, Tamati

    Thanks for sharing your situation and I think this will be a landscape that a lot of entrepreneurs will be looking at.

    The most important thing for me in an entrepreneur is credibility and a logical reason as to why you are pursuing this business model. A short-term pivot into a product that you may not be as passionate about, despite having lots of experience in it, is a bit of a red flag for some investors like me.

    The essential product category will be a short-term thing and you need to decide what you want the business to be in the future. A short-term pivot to generate some needed revenue is more than ok, however you need to decide how you want to communicate that to investors. Basically, is this a health and beauty company or a food product provider? Confirm the end goal and then craft the message around it.

    Also, don’t build a business because you think people will want to invest in it. Build it because you wholeheartedly believe in it and the problem you are solving for your customers. Investors come and go and do not know everything.

    Happy to chat on Zoom if you want to explore further.


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