We all know that having an amazing business idea is only the beginning of the journey. There is so much more to creating a successful business. To find out what those essential ingredients are we caught up with Kate Save, CEO and Co-founder of Be Fit Food.
In the past six years Kate, an experienced Clinical Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist and Diabetes Educator, and co-founder Dr Geoffrey Draper have taken their fledgling business from a tiny shared kitchen space, to a successful company with national distribution. Her entrepreneurial spirit saw her appear on Shark Tank Australia in 2017 and achieve the entrepreneurs dream of getting an investor on board.
In July 2018, Be Fit Food won the Victorian Telstra Business of the Year. In July 2019 they were a 2019 Telstra Business Medium and Making Waves Finalist and in March 2020 they ranked #29 in the 2020 Australian Financial Review Fast Starters. Good news!
As an entrepreneur, we asked Kate what she felt were the top five things that made a difference to her journey. She shared the following:
The reality is that you are not an expert in everything so you will need to surround yourself with smart people. As an owner you cannot do it all. If you are only a team of one, you will need to get advice from experts that have skillsets different to yours. If you are employing people, hire the talent to make it happen. Choose your A-team for finance, marketing, sales, research, HR – whatever you need. Like author Seth Godin advocates in his book “Tribes, we need you to lead us” if you build your tribe then each area will be optimally functioning and you can get on with the business.
Every business has a different pulse, defining its approach and standard that it operates at. As an entrepreneur you need to make sure that you instil the right sort of culture in the business. You should always lead by example. If you love change and want to continuously evolve, you need to hire the right people to fit with that culture. If you want a can-do company, then employ people that can help you to make that happen.
For a business to stay innovative, the people you hire need to have a growth mindset.
Make the time to write down your company’s core values. These should become the primary guide for making decisions in the business. It’s not enough that they guide your own decision-making, make sure that the team are aware of the core values of the company so that it drives their decision making and approach as well. Their passion for your customers’ needs to be strengthened by the company’s values. It empowers staff and means that they can make a difference. It helps customers to connect with your business on a deeper level. Having clear values will help people come along with you for the longer journey.
Everyone needs to love the customers – this needs to be your whole business’ focus.
Having a clear vision for the company keeps you focussed. It means that everyone from your investors, to your staff, to your customers knows and understands the journey you are on. It’s the ‘why’ that makes you get up in the morning, push through the hard times, and makes it all happen. Its not a set-and-forget though – its important to keep revisiting the vision to make sure you are on track and to update it if necessary. Involving your team in this process can create a strong team focus and bond, and help identify future opportunities.
You need to really believe in what you do. If you truly believe, then you will find a way to make it work.
Networking is critical to tap into the talents of likeminded people. There is strength in sharing experiences and stories. Everybody goes through fundamentally the same things in business – it just looks a little different from the outside. Talking things over can highlight solutions and identify opportunities. Organisations such at the Entrepreneur Organisation Melbourne can connect you with others of a similar mindset locally and globally. They offer monthly catch-ups and a chance to share experiences and learn from each other.
Peer support and relationships are really important for your mental health and to problem solve.
Content reviewed and updated November 2023
The Mornington Peninsula has an abundance of talented, local people in business. As part of the Support Local campaign, we are connecting our local business community to these local experts. Through sharing their expertise and insider knowledge, these experts hope to play a part in re-energising the economy with new ideas to Support Local.