Being an entrepreneur in itself is a huge role to play. The idea of being employed by yourself and in turn employing others gives a added sense of responsibility and drive to succeed.
While I learnt a lot with Earthlings Live Naturally as an entrepreneur, I feel there are key traits or skills inherent, which I enhanced and utilised.
1. Supply Chain Management
Part of my Masters in Information Systems studies program was supply chain management which helped me to understand and adapt the same at the retail level of my business.
The logistics were the key to receiving fresh stock on time and delivering them to clients on time. We used multiple logistics agencies to manifest the timeliness of the service and consistency.
2. Licenses and Taxes
Absolutely one of the most critical aspects of owning an business are the taxes and licenses which are often overlooked.
I started the business with the essentials, Shop and Establishment license, license to display hoardings, local municipality taxes and fire alarm certificate. Going forward I had to apply for GST ( Government Sales Tax) based on my expected income, FSSAI license, mandatory license to package/sell food products.
I learnt that the taxes and licenses had to be renewed periodically and were checked for expiry against which fines were levied if not paid on time.
Another critical factor was the insurance on the shop, products and white goods, which we maintained very strictly against any unforeseen events.
3. Stock Expiry
Any business to succeed especially in the space of retail products have to manage the expiry on the products.
We created a spreadsheet for managing inventory with details of the stock received/date of manufacture/expiry. This helped us to closely monitor the sale as well as the expiry dates.
Negotiations with suppliers/vendors was the key to succeed here. Our terms and conditions to buy with our vendors was largely dependent on getting the expired stock either exchanged or credited for the next order.
A very important skill, discipline, brings in a consistent approach in building the business.
I created Whatsapp groups of our customers and a Facebook page which was updated everyday without fail with either a new product information, upcoming events and offers. This kept our customers totally engaged and excited with the new products and services. Our customers appreciated the strict rules of no forwards on the group and other irrelevant chats to maintain the ethos of the group.
Visual merchandise is a treat to the senses and we capitalised on it by changing our main display every day to showcase and enhance our products. This brought in freshness and grace to the store.
Another discipline which we followed was maintaining the cleanliness of the store and adherence to the opening and closing hours which helped retain customers loyalty.
5. Create A Need
The best learning as an entrepreneur I’ve had is that, if you create a need and then supply, the quality of your business improves and you are in charge of setting trends.
Gluten free, lactose free, chemical free, were some of the key needs which people needed to be made aware of and supplied consistently.
For example, before we started our store, customers were unaware of benefits and quality of natural Apple Cider Vinegar. I started promoting ACV with benefits, recipes and saw huge increase in the sale of ACV.
The group engagement everyday with the new products brought in customers to the store which in turn inspired me to launch new products, not available anywhere in Goa.
We got compliments on stocking products which were not easily unavailable in major metros of India as well and we saw brisk sales.
Finally an entrepreneur is one who always is a multitasker, yet will delegate responsibilities so that the inherent skills are not diluted.
Earthlings Live Naturally, as a business for me has always been about team effort, hard work and passion🍀
I’m happy to be part of your entrepreneurial journey if you need a guide or mentor👍