Posted: Fri 12th Apr 2013
StartUp Saturday alumni Philip Crilly is sharing his progress with Enterprise Nation readers as he seeks to get his gluten-free food business Eatibbles launched in just 12 weeks. Here's week seven, and Philip's making strides with marketing and building a relationship with a complementary business.
Anyone who knows me well will know that I'm not a morning person, writes Philip (left). I tend to sleep for as long as I can get away with and struggle to open my eyes when the alarm shouts at me. But something strange has been happening... Over the last few weeks I've been getting up earlier and earlier to work on Eatibbles. I'm not even tired when I do get up and sometimes I can barely wait for my alarm to go off. I want to get working as soon as possible. As I write, it's actually 5.30 amÂ - this is unheard of for me!
I think it demonstrates that when you do find something you are passionate about you just want to do it all the time. I genuinely love the challenges that being a start-up company is presenting me with and I find it so rewarding as I tick off each new step in my Eatibbles launch plan. If you can, find what you are passionate about and do it! It doesn't feel like work and it can be a lot of fun! So what's been happening in the world of Eatibbles this week?
Shell Livewire Grand Ideas Award shortlist
Last Friday I got some very exciting news! Eatibbles has been shortlisted in the April Shell Livewire Grand Ideas Awards. You may remember in an earlier post I mentioned how completing the application form was helping me with my business plan. Well that application was shortlisted and Eatibbles is now down to the final 10 with a chance to win Â£1,000 funding to help develop the business further. I feel so lucky to be shortlisted and really hope we can go on to win the funding because it will help massively to build the brand. Part of being shortlisted involves submitting a one-minute video pitch about your business and why you need the funding. I have absolutely no experience of making videos so at first this challenge scared the life out of me. Once I calmed myself down I downloaded some video making software on my computer and set about making my pitch. I reviewed some of the previous pitches that other companies have done in the past and found some to be a bit stale. I think that, as a challenger brand, we need to be unique and do things differently from other companies so that is what I have tried to do with our video pitch: I really hope you like it and if you do then please, please, please vote for Eatibbles to win. It would help us so much and you would be making a small Irishman (ie, me, not Bono) very happy :)
RelishÂ - From recipe to retail
A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a lovely lady called Jo from a company called Relish Marketing that helps start-up food companies get 'From Recipe to Retail'. I had read an article they wrote for Enterprise Nation and totally devoured all the information in it. Jo invited me to use the Relish membership site to get some ideas and help with launching Eatibbles. I have found the site to be an incredible resource and last night I watched an interview that Relish did with Ella's Kitchen founder Paul Lindley. I wrote eight pages of notes during the interview, trying to gleam as much of Paul's tips for success as I could. I would encourage anyone starting out on a food business to check out Relish because there is something for you to learn regardless of what stage your business is at.
Joint venture with teapigs
"It introduces the brand to a new customer base and it's a great match, especially for the breakfast market."
As part of the branding process I've been researching lots of other businesses to see how they build a strong brand. One brand I discovered and really love is teapigs. I loved their packaging so emailed them to see if they could advise me on where to get some nice labels printed for Eatibbles. They were so helpful and gave me the details of the company to speak to. During our exchange we discussed doing a product exchange - ie, I send them some of my granola and they send me some of their tea. They sent me some amazing teas, including one particularly delicious one - popcorn tea. This actually contains pieces of popcorn in the tea bag and is now a new favourite of mine! They emailed me back to say that they loved the granola and asked if we could work together on an online promotion. They're going to run a Twitter competition in a week or so and they'll be giving away Eatibbles granola as the prize for the lucky winners. This is really exciting for us as it introduces the brand to a whole new customer base and I think it is a great match, especially for the breakfast market - everyone loves their tea and granola in the morning, right? :) That's all for this week. Still so many exciting things happening that I could write another blog right now but I'll save that for next week. I hope you're enjoying our start-up story. Please remember to check out our Shell Livewire video and if you like it please do vote for us in the competition. Until next week, thank you for reading! Philip :)
Our popular StartUp Saturday classes and StartUp Workshops have helped hundreds of budding entrepreneurs like Philip get their idea off the ground. Join the Enterprise Nation Club for just Â£20 and you'll get 25% off all our events, plus loads of other great offers and opportunities. Join the Club today!