Shazi Visram has experienced success in her start-up HAPPYFAMILY, but the road to greatness was far from smooth even though she knew her idea for baby and toddler meals was a good one.
For others who are confident in the idea of their start-up but feel stuck in the bumps on the road, she offers five tips for making it through in one piece and maybe even enjoying the ride.
1. Raising capital is a sales processFull story at Inc..
When HAPPYFAMILY landed a large retail contract we needed to raise money for raw materials and production right away. We were open and frank with our investors but not desperate. Securing money is a sales process and the key to sales is to present benefit. We positioned this as good news—HAPPYFAMILY was growing faster than its projections. We also let our investors see, and share, our passion. Your enthusiasm for your brand is infectious.
2. Find creative solutions
HAPPYFAMILY had almost raised several million dollars of expansion cash when the recession hit. All our money walked and we got creative to survive. HAPPYFAMILY relies heavily on HAPPYMAMAS, our network of real moms who conduct grassroots marketing. With capitol in short supply, HAPPYMAMAS, the mainstay of our branding, was on the chopping block. Instead, we joined with Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby brand, allowing them access to our HAPPYMAMAS in exchange for their help subsidizing the program. Finding a creative solution not only preserved our community-based marketing, it brought us new customers through YoBaby and a corporate partner with whom we share a common mission.