Richard Reed shared some lessons last week that I thought I’d share with y’all who couldn’t make it to the event at London Metropolitan University. I posted lesson one here: Have a mission that works. So, what’s the second lesson?
Lesson 2: Things that start small can get big; (and then small again) The founders of Innocent Drinks set a target of £6million turnover. They reached this within the first couple years and went on to grow amazingly year after year until….2008. Duh – duh – daaaaah….!
A combination of factors from the credit crunch and fewer purchases of smoothies to increasing costs of fruits and exchange rates working against them, gave Innocent Drinks’ turnover quite a bit of a drop that year and it knocked the team. They sold shares to Coca Cola and took lots of bad press for that.
Oh, and they tried to distribute their smoothies through McDonalds but got criticism for that too – one newspaper quote described the situation as “it’s like finding out your uncle is a paedophile’. Um, hello? Bit harsh?
During the talk Reed jokingly referred to Innocent as a ‘successful fruit distribution charity’ – lol!
But they learnt some lessons during 2008 and it seemed to be along the lines of make your main thing your main thing. They had been distracted looking at things like organising events/ festivals etc but that year they got their focus back – and they were rewarded for it as their turnover increased in 2009 and they’ve been on an upward trajectory since.
A quote that struck me during this portion of the talk, for its simplicity and truth was something along the lines of:
“There are two fundamental qualities of successful people. One is that they get started. The other is that they don’t stop” and “The best way to get started…is to get started”
Lessons 3 -5 will follow in a few days…
(BTW, I tried to scribble down the facts and figures quoted during the presentation as best as I could – but it’s probably best you don’t quote this post as a reference in any university essays/coursework. That would be silly)