When you were launching the company, who did you enlist from your family for help?
It was really incredible the amount of help I had from close friends and family when we first launched. My brother, Darran and sister, Rachel, particularly.
What did they do for you? Are they still pitching in?
What didn't they do?! Poor things. They honestly pitched in on everything, putting sample packs together, writing labels, spell-checking packaging. The worst I have probably put them through is a really dreadful trade show. I realised, too late, on day one of a four day show, that I hadn't chosen wisely and the target was completely wrong. My brother and sister literally stood next to me for four entire days 9am-7pm trying to sell ice to eskimos, while I tried not to cry.
Could you have done it without them?
Without the support of my family, there is no way I could have got as far along as I am. It's not only the actual physical help, it's the advice and emotional support on tough days.
Do you think you get some of your entrepreneurial flair from your immediate family?
Mum and Dad weren't so much entrepreneurs but they were bloody hard workers. I am definitely hard wired for digging in and "getting it done".
Have you seen other start-ups using substantial family help? Would you help siblings if they needed help too?
I think a lot of NZ small businesses call on their family for help - with the bootstrapping mentality of Kiwis, involving the family is quite a natural option. If my wonderful, amazing, talented siblings needed my help, I would be the first one there to pitch in.
Any instances coming up where you think you might need to pull in some
more family "volunteers?"
Hopefully they don't read this! But yes, we will have samples ready in the next three to four weeks, so there will be a lot of beating the streets giving them out. Fingers crossed, one day very soon I will actually be able to pay them.
Next week: I am interested in hearing from businesses who have come out of a so-called dying industry and carved out a new niche for themselves, taking a different tack to reach a market which still wants a product. If your business fits this description please make contact..