Posted: Fri 26th Apr 2019
Jason Nichols started coffee bag company New Kings Coffee to give the founder-friendly drink the same showcase tea gets. He has already been listed in a number of stockists including Planet Organic which he achieved after pitching at a meet the buyer event for Enterprise Nation members.
The Bristol-based Enterprise Nation member shares his story and how he overcame his mindset challenges.
How did you come up with your business idea?
The idea came from seeing these really nice selection boxes of tea in hotels when I was working in a corporate role. It made me wonder why there wasn't the same for coffee. The lightbulb moment was getting served coffee in a bag on an aeroplane.
What start-up challenges have you faced?
Mindset is by far the biggest challenge. The fact that this is all new. That you don't know everything. That creates doubt, some lack of confidence and decision making challenges. That's all going on in your head constantly.
A couple of things have helped with that. When things get particularly bad, when I'm really lost in my own head, meditation really helps me. Doing a daily 10 minute meditation is enough to create some clarity.
Ultimately, you're going to have to do the thing you are fearing or lacking experience in. You will probably do it and find it's not as bad as you thought.
The time it takes for everything to happen is another big challenge. It does take much longer than you think. Cash and funding are linked to time. The more money you have the quicker you can make things happen. If you don't have the money you have to do things yourself.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
What I've created is my biggest achievement. I've created a brand. It's selling. It's on shelves in shops. The fact I've created it is what I'm most proud of. Then there are more tangible things like listings in Planet Organic and Whole Foods, and selling overseas.
What is your next big business goal?
It's all about sales at the moment. Reaching a certain turnover target for the end of this year. The target is to drive my motivation. Once I have the target it's about focusing on how I'm going to achieve it. Am I going to do more of what I was doing before or try new things?
How has Enterprise Nation benefitted your business?
I'm a regular at the monthly meet-ups in Bristol (the next one takes place on 29 April), I've been on an export trade mission to Paris, attended The Food Exchange for food businesses and listened to a whole stack of online webinars.
The main thing was entering a competition for Enterprise Nation members to meet the head buyer of Planet Organic. I was nervous as hell, it was my first proper retailer. I prepared a one-minute pitch and a full-on PowerPoint presentation. I went into the room and he said "let's just sit down and have a coffee and a chat". We had a cup of my coffee and by the end of the meeting he said "we'll list you".
Which other entrepreneur inspires you and why?
Every entrepreneur is inspiring. It's such a hard job. Anyone that's brave enough and persistent enough to do this job; huge credit to them!
What are your three tips for business success?
I'll give you three 'Ps'; persistence, patience and perseverance. You need all of those to be successful when you're running your own business.