The DU’IT skincare products – first established in 1998 – are now stocked in pharmacies including Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, as well as major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles. The company is now worth about $35 million.
Today, Pynith and Zina (owners) are still at the forefront of product development and market research, and are still very much hands on, running the company with their now adult children, along with a dedicated professional team committed to delivering new and innovative products.
Here are Pynith and Zina’s top 5 things to remember when starting your own business:
Don’t be scared
After working in hospitals and health care facilities, and seeing elderly patients dealing with uncomfortable skin-related foot issues, Zina and Pinyth grew increasingly frustrated with beautifully packaged skincare products which promised the world but didn’t solve real skincare issues. Their passion and determination led them to spend many years working with pharmacists and specialists to create the perfect foot and heal balm.
When we made the decision to start our own business, we had two young children and we made the choice to leave our stable jobs which was a massive risk. Many of our family and friends voiced their concerns about our new business direction, but we were ready to take the risk because we knew our product could succeed.
Little sleep will be done
The first few years of running the business are always going to be incredibly hard and long. Many think that working long hours constitutes as a few extra hours beyond the 9-5 working day. In reality, you’ll end up living and breathing your work and you’ll also find yourself spending all hours of the night working behind the scenes.
We spent all hours of the day working in the garage, packing boxes, cold calling and organising face-to-face meetings, and we even got our young children at the time to help with the little jobs. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our business and we only wanted to succeed because we believed in a problem, even if that meant we got little sleep.
Giving up is never an option
‘Never give up’ almost seems like a generic term now, but when you’re packing boxes in all hours of the night and getting rejected by retailer’s time and time again, giving up often seems like the easiest option.
Our future was dependent on whether or not our business was successful and that’s why we never gave up. Every missed opportunity, every time a retailer would tell us no, we would work even harder and search for that better opportunity.
When running a small business, you end up finding yourself investing all or nothing. Many people invest their whole life savings or dive into financial risks despite knowing the consequences of their actions.
Failure definitely wasn’t an option when we had so much on the line. We believed in our product and we worked and worked until we saw results and with every new order, it was an amazing achievement and we would celebrate.
Silver linings do exist
Being agile and learning to adapt are two key lessons we learnt when developing our business. We learnt that being agile was essential to success but we also knew that we had to remain true to our brand. Engaging with our customers on a regular basis helped our brand not only develop its unique identity in the market, but it allowed us to understand the adaptability of the products in the mind of the consumers.
Every time we accounted for the feedback, we surprised ourselves with an even better opportunity for our brand. Nevertheless, nothing comes easily, a silver lining never falls into your lap, you have to work hard and perceiver even if it seems like you’re going around in circles and the feedback from customers isn’t what you expect.
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