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Babies are gift of God and it is very important for any of the parent to take proper care of them. With this respect, it is essential to have proper knowledge regarding the food which can be provided to them. In this context, it got read in an magazine about Ella's Kitchen which provides organic baby and toddler food. It was founded by Paul Lindley in the year 2006. A friend of mine happened to be friend of Paul Lindley. My friend arraigned the opportunity to take interview of Paul Lindley. As the owner for the cited firm was outside town so I took telephonic interview. All the information has been collected through telephonic interview.
He created organic baby and toddler food so that babies can grow fast and get proper proteins which are help them to grow. He is very convincing and is full of positivity, enthusiasm and confidence. These qualities make anyone to feel comfortable to talk to him. He remembers most of the incidents which he faced during this childhood and he is a person who learns from his mistakes. Most importantly he is person who never looses hope and push himself forward to overcome the issue.
What motivated you to get into business?
My motivation was my daughter Ella. I am very passionate to look upon the health of by children and it motivated me to come up with this idea.
Specific trigger that finally got you into business?
I had 9 years experience at children's television brand Nickelodeon. So I had knowledge regarding the product and it enabled me to develop this company.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
The idea for business came partially for my experience with Nickelodeon. This enabled me to get passionate about kids. I was finding issue related to weaning of my daughter Ella as she was finding difficulty in trying on to new food and I am sure that this is one of the major issues which mostly all the parents in the world face. To solve this issue the idea of developing new business came into my mind.
How did you establish it was a viable opportunity?
From my research I got to know that there are not many organizations which provide baby food and in case of fruits there no such firm. Research helped me to know that it was a viable opportunity.
What is your background?
I am a qualified chartered accountant before working for Nickelodeon I was working at KPMG. In know this may be surprising career path as an entrepreneur.
What relevant experience or skills did you have?
I have fundamental and branding skills and this I got from the past experience which I had by working with other organizations.
Why did you think you were ready to start your own business?
In order to start a business one need a good idea which can be implemented and I had one. From the experience and the earnings which I got helped me to start the business.
Who or what were the key influences on the decision to start a business?
I have faith in myself and my wife supported me a lot to start up the business. I also wanted to improve the health of children's as they are the future of the country.
Who did you speak to before starting your business and who did you turn to for help/inspiration? What help/advice/resources did you obtain from them?
Robert F Kennedy and Bob Marley are my inspiration. From them I got learned not to lose hope. There are many ways to come and my doors to open.
What resources did you have to start the business and how did you obtain any other resources needed?
To start the business most important thing is a plan, then come a place where business can be operated and finance is also equally important. For other resources it took help from suppliers who could provide me materials.
What were you trying to achieve with the business?
The ultimate aim through this business is to provide organic food to children and to support them to grow.
What preparation did you do prior to starting?
Two years before the launch, I analysed the market and determined the areas which I should consider. Most importantly, in order to understand the taste and preferences of children's I conducted market research and so new tastes were developed.
Did you start the business alone or did you have partners? If so, are they still with you?
The business was started own my own but the main support was my wife and yes she is still with me.
Who did you employ when you started your business and are they still with you? If not, why?
I employees five people who helped me out in business operations I employed them. Yes they are still with me.
How has the business grown since start-up, and how does this compare to Initial expectations?
The firm has initially done very good from it initial stage itself. We got high market share in Americam market but in UK market the idea failed. But through advertisement we were able to increase the sales in UK market. Sainsbuty's was very helpful in delivering the product to customers. In UK baby food sector, Ella's kitchen as about 20% of share and has expanded it business internationally as well.
To what extent was growth planned or was it thrust upon them?
For the initial stage the growth was expected to be £2000 in first month but we got beyond the expected amount. In first month of sales we got £3690 which was beyond expectation. Every month the sales raised and it gave us the opportunity to expand the business internationally.
What have been the key challenges along the way?
One of the main challenges which I faced in launching Ella's Kitchen was to find a supermarket who will be helpful to find potential customers.
What have you most enjoyed about being a small business owner?
As a business owner I have enjoyed the love which I get from parents who have used the products of Ella's Kitchen.
What have been the good times and the bad times since start-up?
Since the start up the good times were the growth of the business and developing awareness about the product. Bad times are the issues which consumers face regarding the product.
What challenges have you faced and how well have you managed them? What impact have they had on you and the business?
The main challenges which I faced was promotion and web page designing. At initial stage I was not able to get sufficient amount to promote the product and when sales increased, then the first thing which I did was to develop an attractive web page for Ella's Kitchen. When promotional and web page were developed, then it had high positive impact over the business.
How has the business changed since start-up?
From the initial stage, I started with one supermarket that is Sainsbury’s and then we started focusing on providing the product through Amazon. Further, now we have also business expansion.
What have been the key actions that you have taken that have helped the business grow? What actions (if any) have you or anyone else taken that have impeded the growth of the business?
There are many actions which were taken among which the most effective decision which I took was regarding developing attractive web page for the firm. There were many doubts among the mind of customers and this web page enabled to clarify all the doubts regarding the product. This proved to be very helpful for the organization.
Which companies do you see as key competitors, and why? Which companies do you most admire, and why?
The key competitors are Cow & Gate, Hipp, Heinz, etc. Among these organizations one which I admire is Cow & Gate as it has frequently come up new innovations so as to satisfy their customers.
How do you continue to keep abreast of what your customers need?
Our organization conduct research and survey with the help of which they get to know the areas in which improvement can be made. This enables to understand customers and in satisfying them.
How do you market and promote your business?
Promoting the product advertisement are been made and tools like television, newspaper and social media are used so that proper information can be provided.
Who helps you develop the strategy for your business?
Employees and suppliers are very helpful in developing strategies as they have close interaction with their customers.
How has your role changed since start-up?
At the initial stated maximum role were played by me but know I just need to make plans and employees would support me to achieve them.
Do you still enjoy being an entrepreneur and what keeps you motivated?
Yes I still enjoy being an entrepreneur and I believe that till one person dies he/she is a learner and I love to learn new from my work.
Do you maintain a good work/life balance?
Some times I find difficulty in balancing my personal life but somehow I do find time for my family.
What sacrifices you have done in order to grow your business?
My involvement in family became less. As I had to work late night and I do not find time to take proper care for my health.
How do you measure success?
I measure success when customers needs and requirement could be satisfied effectively.
What would you do differently, looking back?
There is nothing which I would like to change. I am happy with my life and what I have done.
Who else has been involved in growing the business?
There are 35 employees currently who are supporting me in delivering high quality services to customers.
Who do you talk to about your business?
Mainly I talk to my wife regarding the business she is very helpful and supportive.
Do you have any guiding principles in business?
Yes I have guiding principle, new say no to anything just be yourself and be punctual.
What lessons have you learned about being a small business owner?
One of the main lesson which I have learned is new loose hope there is something special waiting for every one.
Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur?
Yes, I believe that I am an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give toy someone start a business?
Never loose hope and believe in your product or service, have faith in it.
Where next? What are you key objectives for the next few years?
There are many market in which I need to deliver my product and in next five years we are aiming at expanding our business at countries like China, India, Sri Lanka, etc.
Is it important to have a clear vision of the future?
Vision is the path through which one can achieve their goals and objectives so they are very important.
Where do you see your role in the future?
I do not think that there will be much difference in by roles.
What are you trying to achieve now, both for yourself and the business?
The main aim for the business is to reach new markets and to provide employment opportunities.
Would you ever consider starting another business? If so, what lessons would you apply from your experiences to date?
I have already started a new business which is Paddy’s Kitchen which is an organic bath products for kids. The experience which I would apply is hiring trained and energetic employees.
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
From this it can be stated that Paul Lindley has made effective research which enabled him to develop opportunity. In order to do it more efficiently he has spent highly on research and development. Even after product being developed, he still makes high investment on research so as to develop new tastes for kids. There are many situations in his life where he failed but in all those situations he never loose hope and continued to believe in himself. People are filled with ideas but those individuals who achieve to formulate it into a proper plan only they develop a business. Have confidence and faith in yourself and do believe in your product, until you yourself believe in your product only then one can not make others believe that product would satisfy them or fulfil all their needs.
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