Buy my new book – ‘Bring Your Product Idea to Life’

Do you know what your top 3 sellers are? Do you know what your slow sellers are? Or your average gross margin?

In this episode we dig into the importance of knowing your numbers when looking to scale your business with this week’s guest, Kate Freeman.

Kate Freeman helps product businesses to make more revenue and most importantly more profit! Kate does this by helping you to secure wholesale retail listings, optimise their supply chain and maximise sustainability to drive growth. Kate has over 15 years experience and spent 10 of those years working for a leading female entrepreneur.

We discuss how to tell if it is the right time to scale, and the sort of things that you will need to have in place. We cover the importance of knowing the market, understanding your customers, gathering customer feedback and making sure your supply chain can handle growth. If you are ready to take  your business to the next level, you won’t want to miss this episode. 

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Kate Freeman Website

Kate Freeman LinkedIn

Kate Freeman Instagram

Podcast Episode: How To Keep Your Customers Coming Back with Rebecca Hilliard

This episode is sponsored by Cara Bendon Brand Consultancy

If you need branding & packaging for your product, Cara is my go-to. She and her team create beautiful and unique branding so that your product will impress retailers, stand out on the shelf and look great online.

They also offer packaging and e-commerce website design, so that you can get everything set up and ready to launch, confident that it looks brilliant.

Cara is fantastic at helping guide you through the process and has been a guest on this podcast twice. In fact, she even designed this podcast artwork for me when I worked with her on my branding back in 2021, and I can’t imagine not having this brand now!

If you’d like to chat to Cara about branding for your business, she’s offering a free no-obligation call with any listeners. You can book your free 30-minute call here

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Transcript
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Welcome to the bring your product idea to Life podcast.

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This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd

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like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product

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creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly,

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practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses.

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Let's get started.

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Hi. Today on the podcast, I'm speaking to Kate Freeman. Kate helps

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product businesses to make more revenue and most importantly, more

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profit. She does this by helping them to secure wholesale retail

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listings, optimize their supply chain, and maximize sustainability to

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drive growth. Kate has over 15 years experience and

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has spent a lot of those years working for a female leading

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entrepreneur in the product space. So she absolutely knows her

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stuff, as you will hear during our conversation. And before I

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introduce you to Kate, I'd also like to let you know that Kate and myself

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are jointly hosting a masterclass on Monday, the

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24 June. So just ten days after this episode is

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released, focusing on getting your business ready to scale

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and what to do if you decide that as part of that scaling, you'd

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like to sell your products on Amazon. So all the information and a link

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to book will be in the show notes for this episode. As always,

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really hope to see some of you there. And now I would love to introduce

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you to Kate.

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So hi Kate, thank you so much for being here. Oh, thank you for having

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me. I'm thrilled to be joining you today. So can we please

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start with you giving an introduction to yourself, your business and what you

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do? Yes, thanks. So I am technically a growth

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strategist and sustainability expert and I

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spent the past ten years working for a leading female

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entrepreneur before moving to set up my own consultancy where

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I now help product brands to scale and grow and

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most importantly, to make more money. And I do this through kind of growing

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their B two B wholesale channels, helping them to optimize their

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supply chain and build sustainability kind of into every area

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of their business. So yes, that's me in a

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nutshell. Amazing. Thank you so much for explaining that so succinctly. I think

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we all understand what you do now. So I would love now to talk a

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little bit about how you can help us.

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So let's start by talking about scaling up, although perhaps we can touch

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on sustainability throughout the conversation. Or if not, we'll

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definitely come back to that because I think that's something that'd be really interesting to

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talk about. But talking about scaling up your business

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and making more money, how do you know when it's time to

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scale so if I'm listening to this podcast episode now, how do I know

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whether I'm ready to go into that growth phase?

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Yeah, I mean, that's a super interesting question. And often, one, a lot of

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clients come to me with either that they're kind of stuck and they

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can't reach that next level of growth, or they're

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not reaching their growth expectation that they kind of set

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out at the start of the year. I mean, scaling

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your business is always like, quite a big decision. It's one that

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shouldn't be taken lightly and requires a lot of strategic and financial

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planning. No matter what stage you're at, whether you're taking it from kind of

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startup to that next phase, or you've been operating for three, four years and are

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looking for that next level of growth, I think it's really important

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as a business leader and owner that you really consider, like

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your business and taking it to the next level and what that

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implication might have on you and your work life balance,

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whether you're ready for it. Are you excited by it? Are you ready

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to kind of manage a team if that expansion and scaling is going

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to mean that you increase kind of your workforce and you're hiring and

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outsourcing, more like, are you ready to kind of

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carry that responsibility? I guess

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before you then kind of go on to look at proving

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that you've got market concepts like you've got

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a reliable supply chain, you know, you've got product market

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fit. You've nailed your udp, which I talk about quite a lot when I

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work with clients, which is around your unique differentiating point. So

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what makes you really, truly stand out in your

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marketplace? Hopefully, you've got repeat

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sales and a growing customer base that are kind of loyal.

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And market research shows you that there's growth within

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that sector. I think those are really important alongside

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having a strong cash flow position. That makes

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sense. Thank you. Tell me if I'm

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summarizing this right, Kate, but I guess it's thinking about are you at a

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point where you feel like you could be selling more?

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So obviously we're talking about products where you could be making more sales, and you're

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at a point where you're prepared to invest, whether it's the time,

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money, effort, whatever it is, into

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doing that sounds.

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Oh, that's really helpful. Thank you. So I guess it'd be

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useful to take a little bit of a step

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back because obviously I've been reading up a little bit ahead of us

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speaking, and I'd love to talk a bit about some of the things that it's

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important to know before you jump in and say, yes, I'm absolutely ready to scale

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off. I. And I guess the two big ones are

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sort of knowing a bit about your market and your customer.

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So can we talk a bit about the market first and why you feel it's

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important to know the market, know who your competitors are,

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where you sit within it? Yeah, I mean,

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whenever I work with clients, I'm always like, try not to get too hung up

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on what the competition are doing. Right, because you'll spend all your time worrying about

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that and not focusing on your own business. But at the same

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point, you can't just be oblivious to it. You need

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to know what they're doing, how they're

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operating, what's their price, positioning, how are they positioning themselves

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in the market? Because you don't really want to be coming in and doing exactly

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the same thing. That's just never going to be

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useful or healthy for either of you in terms of generating growth.

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So I think it's about understanding what they're doing, how they're

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positioning themselves. And I like to get clients to draw

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a matrix and you can pick two scales that you want to

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look at, whether that's price or sustainability or

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premium, and then you can start to plot brands

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on that to see then where you sit, because you might find that there's a

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cluster of low priced products that aren't

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particularly sustainable and you're coming in as something that's slightly more expensive

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and more sustainable. So you've got this sort of pocketed niche

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in terms of where you're operating. And it just really helps to inform your

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pricing strategy, your messaging, your sales strategy, your

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marketing piece, and knowing where to go and how to pitch your

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products. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you. And it's such a

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balancing act, isn't it, between not being too hung up on what everyone else is

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doing? Because I say this to people a lot, you know, you can't just focus

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on competition, especially when you're comparing yourself, because that's not

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helpful. But then equally, I guess you need to know

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what other products are they coming out with,

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you know, what's, what's going on in general. You can't just shut your eyes to

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it completely because you need to know where you fit

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and what makes you stand out. So, yeah, I think it's quite a balance, isn't

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it? Yeah. Yeah, it is. Yeah. It's tricky. And

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sometimes it's helpful to follow them on social media. Sometimes it's not.

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You know what I mean? It depends, I guess, a bit on your character and

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how much that might faze you or not phase you

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as to how closely you kind of follow people, whether you can

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distance from it and go, that's fine, they're doing their thing. I'm in my lane

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doing my thing. Yeah, that's true. And you

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can dip in and out as well, can't you? Because, I mean, I've definitely been

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through phases where I followed people or businesses because it's useful

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for some reason. And then you get to a point where you go, actually, right

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now this isn't useful because it's either making me

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compare myself or it's making me feel negatively about myself, my business. And

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then you can just stop and take a break. Yeah, definitely. Yup.

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So let's talk a little bit now about customers, Kate.

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So why is it important to know who our customers are?

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I mean, it informs absolutely everything within your business.

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If you don't know who's buying your product, then you don't know where to sell

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it, who to market it to. Something that I work a lot with,

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with my vip clients is getting them into other

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wholesale retailers, and we don't know which retailers to

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pick until we understand who their core customer is because then it allows

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you to put your products into the right shops and stores

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where your ideal customer is going to be looking for them.

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It also allows you to use

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messaging and wording that, like, really resonates and lands with them when you're

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talking about your product. But obviously, when you run a product

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based business, it's much harder than a service based business to get that

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customer feedback. And you actively need to kind of go out

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and have conversations. And I know that you had previously,

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Rebecca Hilliard, speak a bit about this and looking at the data in

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your business. And obviously, thanks to social media

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and Google Analytics and things, we've got a lot of data that we

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can gather and that's really, really helpful. But you

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also need to move beyond those numbers and actually have like a actual

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conversation with your customer. So customer interviews

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and really picking out and gleaming out words and phrases that they're

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using because that will help you to market the products in a

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really authentic way that lands with your ideal customer.

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So you're just building sales, building customer trust.

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It's such an invaluable tool. And I would always say to businesses to

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look at their core customer and profiling them at least once a

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year just to make sure that they're kind of

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tracking in the right direction and understanding who their audience is.

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That makes a lot of sense because I think a lot of us will think,

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okay, well, I know who my customer is, but I've definitely seen examples. I've had

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people on here who've spoken about the fact that their customer has either

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changed or their customer ended up not

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being the audience they first thought it was. And I think you're right in

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that, especially if you're looking to scale up. And if part of your strategy is

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maybe wholesaling, as in the example you shared, or

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moving your products onto a new marketplace or whatever it is, I don't

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think you can decide maybe which channel you're going to use or which retailers

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if you don't understand who's actually buying your products and where they shop. So

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that was a really good example. Yeah. And in terms of getting this

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real feedback from our customers, Kate, how would you suggest we go about it? Is

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it surveys? Is it emails? Is it focus groups?

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Because I think for a lot of us, we wait. You know, we

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sell our products, the reviews come in, maybe some social media posts,

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but in terms of actively going out and asking

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questions, how would we do this? So

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I would try to go through your

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database, like your email database, and hopefully within there, you're going to have some

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customers that would have bought regularly. You'll have some that have bought maybe once or

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twice but not come back again. Maybe someone that signed up but has

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never bought from you. And I try and get a cross section of those different

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people and I would email them and just see in exchange for like a

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voucher or a free product or discount whether they'd

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speak to you and you do a phone conversation with them and ask them

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questions and kind of gather data from them in that way. Yeah,

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you can run focus groups. I found sometimes when I've done this before, you always

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tend to have like, one or two voices that might dominate the conversation and then

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it sort of sways data and information that you might be getting out. And

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it's harder to kind of dig deeper and keep asking kind of

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why in a larger group setting and the same thing, you know,

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you could do an online survey and get people to fill that out, but that

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only gives you so much. And that might be a great

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starting point that you could start and do an online survey and then at the

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end of it say, look, if you're open to having a conversation,

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like, please fill in your details. And that way you could gather some more

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data from people that are happy to have the conversation with you.

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But normally people love sharing their opinion. They love talking about their experience

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of using your product or someone else's product or why they haven't bought.

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So normally, I mean, I've genuinely found that I've probably had, when

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I've reached out for brands to do this, more people wanting to speak than

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we actually needed, and then you're kind of going, I'm really sorry we can't take

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you this time, but we'd love to speak to you in the future. Like, can

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we keep you on our books as someone that we could speak to going

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forward? But it's so invaluable. And I'd just be writing down, like,

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little nuggets of things that they might say, because those words you can

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use on your social media posts, in your sales

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pitches, like, everything, it's just invaluable.

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I love that. Thank you, Kate. And it's so interesting. I'd love

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to know how many people, if you're listening and you're doing this already, please tell

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me, because I'd love to know how many of us are doing this already. Because

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as you answering the question, I was thinking, wow, it's so strange that

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I have to ask you how to do this. And then you say, well, you

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get on the phone to people, because I feel like over the last couple of

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years, I don't know whether you feel the same, Kate, but that's almost a bit

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of an alien concept, isn't it? Actually picking up the phone and having a conversation

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with somebody. And I think maybe ten years

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ago, that would have just been accepted, that that's what you would do

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if you wanted to. In fact, I remember back in the days when you used

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to just get phone calls on your home phone, did you ever get these people

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doing surveys and they would just phone you at home and ask you

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questions? And now it just seems such a strange concept. But

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I think. And I think it might feel daunting to do that.

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Yeah, it is. Yeah, definitely. You've really convinced me of

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the benefits of it. Yeah, I think you've just got to kind of put that

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aside and go, actually, people love chatting, they love talking about their

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experiences, good or bad, and you're

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offering them a little reward for doing it, which would hopefully drive sales to

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your own site as well. It's a bit of a no

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brainer. I mean, sometimes you might find it helpful and it's quite difficult, if

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you're the owner and founder, to receive the negative feedback. So

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that's where often brands have worked with me to come in and I kind of

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manage that interim bit for them so that the person can feel they can

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be totally honest without offending anybody.

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But, you know, for every bad review, there's always going to be positive

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things that people are going to say. And actually, sometimes the

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negative things are really helpful. Right. In helping you to grow and

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develop and build the brand.

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So. Yeah, absolutely. That makes a lot of sense.

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And also for anyone who's still feeling a bit unsure about it, I mean, obviously

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you're asking people's permission, you're not cold calling them, you're putting a

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request out or emailing people saying, can I speak to you? So just to

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sort of get any of those fears out, because I think it sounds like something

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that all of us should be doing. I mean, whether you have a

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product or a service business, because, I mean, in my business, I could definitely be

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speaking to my clients and say, how would you feel about working with me? And

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I think that it's just that thing about isn't there? You're just scared of

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what people might say. Although I will say if people are buying your products, they

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probably like them. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

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So you're only likely to get maybe more negative

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feedback off of someone who hasn't bought or was buying and

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stopped buying. But generally it's probably because of price I've often found,

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or their needs have changed. And so actually you just kind of go,

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okay, well, there's a reason that they've stopped buying because they don't need our

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product or service anymore. You know, they're,

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they're not our ideal client. And that's fine. And, like, we can take what they

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say, but we don't have to use it. You know, it's about picking the data

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that's helpful and reading between the lines and understanding that they might not be

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your core customer. Yeah. And people's circumstances change as well. I mean,

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I know that this year there was things that I used to buy regularly or

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have on subscription that I've just gone, you know what? Actually, right now I'm not

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going to spend the money on that something, you know, things change,

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you might pick up again. But I think often, in

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my experience anyway, I think often if someone stops buying from you, it's

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about them rather than you. That their circumstances.

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Yeah. And understanding and reading that between the

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lines and just going, okay. And that's, and that's fine because for every one

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of those, there's going to be ten more people that will buy my product, that

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are buying my product, that love it. So, you know, let's focus

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on what they're loving and enjoying. And if there's anything that we need to tweak,

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we might. But also, that's an another valid point. And I see this so many

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times, I'm like, please don't do it. What happens is someone will get a customer

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that's like, oh, I'd really like it if it was in red. So

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off everyone goes and makes like a 300 red

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whatevers. I'm just like, no, no, no. Because what you've then

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done is like created more products, you've tied up

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more cash in stock just because one person said to you, oh, I definitely

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buy it if it was in red. So whenever that happens, it's always

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about just taking a step back, going, okay, that's helpful.

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Let's do some competitor research. Like, has another

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brand got a red version of whatever it is? Has

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somebody else asked for it in red? And just build

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up more of a business case for suddenly

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diversifying your range into something that you

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previously might not have been doing. Because especially as

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a small business and as a startup business, having lots of cash

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tied up in stock is not that helpful.

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So it's just being really mindful of that and like, taking the data and

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like using it and then gathering more data

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to build a reason behind maybe

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diversifying or expanding your range. That makes so much

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sense. Thank you. And I can see why people do it because I think as

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business owners, we're just, we just really want to please our customers and

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it can be really easy to go, that's a great idea, and run off with

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it. I can totally see why that happened. But thank you. Because that's a really

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great reminder that a good idea is a good idea.

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But as you say, you need to think a bit more before investing cash,

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especially in something. But then on the other

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hand, I think as well, something else to be mindful of is that

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if you're hearing over and over the same thing, for

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example, this would work better in red. Let's just say

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this would work better in red, or this could be fixed.

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I think there can also be a tendency to sort of bury ahead in the

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sand a little bit as well. Yeah, yeah. And just go, oh,

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it's always very complicated to change it. So it's like, actually, no,

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if the feedback is consistent, then it's

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time to, like, you know, listen and take action. And if

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you're sat there thinking, but I can't afford to do another one in red. Okay,

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well, what color isn't been selling? And this is where it's really important to know

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your data, and that's so important in any phase of

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scaling is to know your kind of sales data, your

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numbers in your business, what's selling, what's slow moving, is there any

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seasonal trends? Because all of that will help to inform

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the potential switch to something in red,

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because actually that's the right thing to do for the business and the numbers are

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giving you the confidence to make that decision.

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Thank you, Kate. So I think we're hopefully clear on

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when it's, when to think about scaling our businesses, what kind of time

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and how. Before we even think about

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scaling, we need to have these fundamentals. So we need to know about our customer,

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we need to know the market, what else do we need to have in place

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before we either make the decision that we're going to scale or we

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actually go ahead and do anything?

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Well, money and finance, right? Because as a product based business owners

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and you're creating scale and growth, you're going to need more products.

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So it's about ensuring that you've got the finance and the money to

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fund that stock. And if you don't, are you taking

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preorders and then using the

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pre order payments to fund that stock, coming through to fulfill

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those orders, you know, that you've got

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product market fit, it's been achieved. So your customers are loving using

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and continuing to use your product. So that gives you the kind of confidence and

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minimizes the risk slightly.

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But you need to make sure that you've got your solid profit margins in place.

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And obviously the benefit of scaling with a product based business is

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hopefully that, you know, the additional numbers lead to better

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product costs, which lead to better margins. So it's kind of self

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fulfilling in that sense that you're able to buy better,

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but you need to make sure that your supply chain can support that

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growth. And if it can't, I'd be starting to

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look at, how can I switch? Who's

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supplying this? How is it all working in order to. Because the last thing you

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want to do is have massive growth and this wave

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of orders and new customers, and then you can't fulfill it and

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can't keep up with that demand

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because it would just be catastrophic almost for

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your business. You've got all these hungry customers they can't buy. They've kind of bought

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into your concepts. They're going to go elsewhere, aren't they, if they can't buy it

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from you. So I think it's just making sure that you've got that really

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robust supply chain set up to support the growth

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along with the finances. That's so helpful. Thank you.

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And I know, as you say, these are all fundamentals, but they're just good things

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to just go through and just make sure everything's in place

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because as you say, I'm sure you've seen this before and I certainly have,

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where businesses have grown at a rate where they're perhaps sold

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out of stock and they have a waiting list, which is obviously a really good

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place to be. But as you say, it's really hard when you can't

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actually take money and deliver a product. Yes,

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customers there waiting and often having that

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out of stock for a period is great because it drums demand, but it can

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only be out of stock for so long before you start to annoy people.

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You know, it's just being mindful of that. And especially, and you

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will know this, working with Amazon, they do not take that out

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of stock favorably. Neither does a large wholesale retailer. For

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them, going out of stock is a big kind of no no. And

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all the growth and traction that you'll have built in that

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channel sort of then I don't know, the algorithm just doesn't

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like it, does it? And it's just like you've upset us, you've run out of

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stock and then you have to work to build that back up again.

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So it's just being really mindful of that. Yeah. And that's

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so hard because, yes, you're absolutely right on Amazon, as soon as you go out

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of stock, your rankings just drop. All the hard work you've done just day

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by day just falls away. I'm not saying you can't get back to where you

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were, but it's a slog again. Yeah.

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So I never recommend going out of stock if you can avoid

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it on any platform, actually. Yes. Yeah, yeah, they do.

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They really penalize you. And if you've really worked hard to

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generate that growth and you've put money into all the advertising and

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things behind it and the listings, then yeah, you want to, you need to maintain

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that and maintain your position. And the other sort of practical thing around

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that, that I'll just let people know is to consider if you're thinking, oh, it's

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not so bad, is the other thing is if your product has been selling well,

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when it goes out of stock, presumably there'll be someone else on, whether it's Amazon

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or whatever marketplace selling something similar to you. If your product isn't

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there and someone else's is, they're probably going to buy that rather than

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wait around for you to come back and stop on your own website. You know,

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you can have pre order lists or whatever, waiting

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lists. But on a platform like Amazon or Etsy or anywhere else, I

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think nine times out of ten someone else is going to get that sale. Yes.

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Yeah. They're going to swoop in. Yeah. Yeah.

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Well, thank you so much for letting us know what we need to have in

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place before we think, okay, we're going to scale our business now.

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But. So I guess my final question is how

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would we know exactly what we need to focus on? So let's

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say we've got to a point where we're getting consistent sales and we think, you

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know what? Be good to have some more. In the

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very simplest terms, what then how do we know

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exactly what it is that we need to focus on to grow our

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business? So I would first

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of all, well, I think there's two things that you need to focus

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on. One, if you've got the demand and you've got more customers coming through, whether

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that's through your own channel or a wholesale retailer, to go, okay,

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how much growth is there within that particular market that I want to focus

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on? And if I do really want to scale and grow, what other markets do

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I need to look at? Because

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obviously selling is always your number one focus within your business.

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But then I'd also at the same time be looking at myself supply chain and

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going, okay, can they support me upping my

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orders? And if I do, what price are they going to give me? And it

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might be time to go out to tender and get, you know, two or three

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other businesses to give you pricing for whatever your

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product is. And I'd be starting to look at that and

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really build out, okay, what does this scale and growth mean

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to me if I'm picking and packing the orders myself, right, is this now

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got to a point where because I'm picking and packing and doing all the orders

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and running to the post office, I'm now not able to do x, Y and

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z within the business. Actually, do I need to start to look at getting a

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warehouse in that can do the pick pack and distribution for

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me? Okay. Yes, I do. Right, let's start costing that

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into the product costings and the business model because

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what was free, you pickpacking is now going to start costing you

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money because you're having to pay someone else to do that and store the stock.

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So I'd just be looking at making sure that all of those

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numbers are kind of added into your product costings to make sure that

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you're still operating profitably with the correct margins.

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So, yeah, I would be really focused on those kind of more

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logistical pieces as well as. Right, like which

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sales channels are right, which you will know off the back of having done your

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core customer profiling work. So you'll know straight away,

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actually, yeah, it's these channels I need to be going after, and that's going to

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be my focus. And what do they need

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in order to service them? Because if you're going to a big wholesale

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retailer, it's going to be things like barcoding correctly. You know, are your products

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in the right size boxes? They got the right codes

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on product codes, their codes, you know, there's all these things that

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suddenly become quite demanding that you

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maybe didn't have to worry about before. So it's just getting all of that knowledge

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in place as well. That's so helpful. Thank you, Kate. And

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I guess what you're saying is that by doing the work on looking at

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the market and speaking to your customers, that will actually inform

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what your next steps would be, because you will know

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who your customers are, where they're shopping, how they're shopping,

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what the rest of the competition is doing. That's so helpful. So I guess there

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isn't a definitive answer. It's looking at

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your product, your customers, the market, and

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figuring out what's the next logical step. Yes. Yeah. Because it might be

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that your business is already set up for that in terms of

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supply chain, for that growth already. So that's not your worry. Yours is

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more about sales and selling and the correct sales

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channels for you. Whereas other people might have the flip reverse that they've got all

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of this demand and they're on different marketplaces and they've got retailers

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chomping at the door ready to buy the product, but you haven't got the

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supply chain set up to meet that demand.

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So, yes, it's normally, it's very

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business, you know, it's business bespoke, isn't it? Depending on your

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product and if someone. Still isn't sure what that

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is or what the things specifics are they need to focus on. Is

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that something you can help with? Yes. Yeah, definitely. So I work

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a lot with clients, either one to one on a three or a

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six month program, and we work together to kind of help to grow and

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scale your business. Looking at both supply chain but

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also sales channels, and I guess I'd say my kind of magic

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superpower is uncovering those kind of hidden opportunities that might

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be within your business that you can't see but also

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costing commercial certainty into all of those deals that you're doing to

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create the scale and growth. I think it's very hard

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sometimes as business owners. You know, you're so in the weeds and doing the do

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of your business to kind of step outside and see

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from a fresh perspective. And so that's something that I definitely offer

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clients when I come in. So, yes, that is absolutely something I can help

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with. Thank you so much, Kate. And I'm going to link through to your website

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and your socials in the show notes for the episodes. People can find you really

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easily. And so the final question I

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have for you is what would your number one piece of advice be when it

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comes to scaling your business?

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Know your numbers. Know your numbers. Know your

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customer. The number of businesses that

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don't know the profit margins that they should be operating at, what their top

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three sellers are, what their slowest moving lines are.

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You just need to be able to know these numbers, like, off the top of

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your head, what's your average gross margin? All of this is

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so important. And who

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is buying your product? And as we kind of touched on, it might not be

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who you initially like, kind of thought and set out to

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be. And that's why it's really important to have the conversations with the

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customers, because as your brand grows, it might change.

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I mean, I definitely had it with a brand that I launched with the,

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with the entrepreneur. We set out in our minds with,

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like, the brands for this audience. And it was only after kind

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of six months of selling and we did our market research that we went, oh,

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we weren't expecting them to buy it. That was a bit left field,

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but we'd done that research. We'd had the conversations that then

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allowed us to kind of shift the marketing slightly more towards that

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target audience. But it was fascinating. We just really didn't

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expect it to be more male dominated in

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our marketing. We thought we'd have kind of a 70 30%

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split, like female to male purchasing, but actually it

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was the other way around and we had more men than women purchasing the

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product. So, you know, it's important to do the

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research of whatever stage your business is at, because who might have

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bought it in that kind of growth innovation stage may not be the person

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that's, that's buying it three, four years down the line and the

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brand's growing. That's such an interesting example.

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And did you actually find out why that was so, why more

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men were buying than women? Were you able to get that?

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I think it was to do with the marketing messaging

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that we'd put around the business. Funnily enough, it was

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a completely female led team, but clearly we'd written the marketing and

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the copy in a way that appealed to a male audience,

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which wasn't at all our intention, but that's how it landed

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and it was. We were category

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disrupting. And I think that often makes it harder to

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identify who your customer is going to be. When you come in with a challenger

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brand, that's kind of upsetting the norm. Which,

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side note, retailers do at times find a bit challenging to deal

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with because you've kind of come in and gone, well, I don't sit in that

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category and I don't sit in that category, but you need to take it seriously

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because we're doing something different in the market. That's always going to lead to

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a bit more of an unknown in terms of what you're

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doing, because the customer's kind of not expecting

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it either. You've changed the status quo a bit from what they're

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expecting. And that's why it's even more important to do

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much more regular kind of customer research versus someone

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coming in and going, oh, I sit neatly in this category.

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It's probably a bit more predictable about who's going to buy it.

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That's really interesting. Well, thank you so much, Kate, and thank you for everything that

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you've shared. I mean, I'm definitely taken away from this, that knowing your

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business inside out is key. Really? Yes. Yep,

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definitely. Thank you.

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Thank you so much for listening. Right to the end of this episode, do remember

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that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my

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website, vickywineberg.com. please do remember to rate and review

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this episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you

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think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.