Miss FQ - - Contents -

Olivia Scott’s busi­ness tool­kit

The Raw Kitchen’s Olivia Scott was at univer­sity when she started selling raw cakes on­line and at a week­end mar­ket. To­day, the 24-year-old has a busy café, her own cook­book, and a whole lot of ad­vice to share with bud­ding en­trepreneurs. So, what are the in­gre­di­ents of a suc­cess­ful busi­ness? Here’s Olivia’s recipe


The most im­por­tant thing when start­ing your busi­ness is feel­ing pos­i­tive about your idea. You can’t pre­dict how things will turn out, and it’s ab­so­lutely a risk to get started, but deep down, you should know whether your idea is go­ing to be suc­cess­ful.


Ask your­self, how does this busi­ness work? What is your point of dif­fer­ence? Why are peo­ple go­ing to choose you? How are you go­ing to sell this prod­uct or ser­vice in the mar­ket­place? You must know, or have an idea of what your busi­ness and brand is go­ing to look and feel like. Who will your cus­tomers be? Who will your sup­pli­ers be? Writ­ing all this down, and know­ing your mar­gins and the realistic costs in­volved is im­por­tant be­fore get­ting started to avoid any un­ex­pected sur­prises.


In the early stages of The Raw Kitchen, I was study­ing full time and work­ing part time. I had a small amount of Studylink money com­ing in each week and a lit­tle bit from my job, and what­ever was left over from pay­ing my rent and gro­ceries went into my busi­ness. It was al­ways a stretch — I was lucky that a lo­cal café lent me their kitchen at night in ex­change for a jar of bliss balls a week — but af­ter six months of putting ev­ery­thing I earned back into the busi­ness, I was able to up­grade my kitchen equip­ment and rent a big­ger space. In an ideal world, it might have been eas­ier to take out a loan from the bank, find an in­vestor or ask a fam­ily mem­ber for fi­nan­cial help, how­ever you learn a lot about pri­ori­tis­ing and bud­get­ing when you have very lit­tle money to work with.


Short-term goals act as realistic step­ping stones that ul­ti­mately steer you to­wards your vision. I find that hav­ing weekly and monthly ob­jec­tives that I can tick off as I go helps me to feel like I am mak­ing quick progress to­wards my long-term goals. A short-term goal might be as sim­ple as tak­ing on three new clients that month.


Have a backup sup­port crew to cheer you on when the go­ing gets tough. They don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to un­der­stand your vision, but should be there to share your thoughts and trou­bles with.


The say­ing ‘fake it ’til you make it’ rings true in busi­ness. You re­ally have to be the per­son you as­pire to be, in or­der to be­come it. Trust that you have what it takes to get there, and that noth­ing and no­body will stop you.


I’m a firm be­liever that if you work hard, you will be re­warded. Some­times things don’t go to plan but trust the process and know that even if you don’t see it yet, good things are com­ing to you.


Road­blocks should be treated as op­por­tu­ni­ties. Whether it’s a big sale you are try­ing to get across the line, or a ma­jor project you are in­vested in, if it’s not flow­ing, take a step back. You might find your­self steered in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion that will lead you to an even big­ger and bet­ter re­sult.


Work/life bal­ance is es­sen­tial. In the early stages of start­ing a busi­ness it’s very easy to dive right in and not sur­face for a good six months, but you’ll likely come out the other side need­ing some se­ri­ous time out. A bit of ded­i­cated ‘you-time’ makes for a more sus­tain­able re­la­tion­ship with the busi­ness, and you’ll al­ways see things more clearly when you’re not caught up in the de­tails of your day-to-day hus­tle. Sim­i­larly, when you feel in­un­dated with ad­min or your new web­site, tak­ing on ex­tra work is im­pos­si­ble. You can only ex­pand your busi­ness if you al­low your­self space to do so.


When you get to the point of need­ing a small crew to help your thriv­ing busi­ness, find peo­ple that you can in­vest in long term. Think, will they be able to help me achieve the short-term goals and ex­e­cute the vision that I so strongly be­lieve in? Will they be in­spired to stay with me for two years, not just six months? Hir­ing the right peo­ple al­lows you to fo­cus your en­er­gies into what you are good at and en­joy. Re­mem­ber you don’t need to be a su­per­hu­man and do ev­ery­thing on your own — have a su­per-team in­stead!


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