Starting With The Tried And Tested
February 3, 2013 2 Comments
While in San Francisco in 1970, Anita Roddick visited a tiny hippie shop on Union Square owned by Peggy Short and Jane Saunders, two sisters by marriage.It was a fun place, offering “biodegradable” shampoos and lotions made with avocado, cocoa butter, and cucumber, packaged in small, round plastic bottles with hand-written labels that were refillable at a discount.The store carried freshly made glycerin soaps scented with strawberry and lemon and perfume oil redolent of gardenia, woody sandalwood, and honeysuckle. It was housed in CJ’s, a car repair garage so the two founders cleverly named it The Body Shop.
When Anita opened her first shop six years later,she used the original Body Shop as a template.The original Body Shop brochure noted: ‘All of our products are Biodegradable & made to our specifications (Bottles 20 cents or bring your own).’ Anita’s version read: ‘All our products are biologically soft and made to our specifications (Bottles 12p, or bring your own).’The original offered Four O’clock Astringent Lotion; Anita sold Five O’clock Astringent Lotion.
In 1987 Peggy and Jane accepted $3.5 million from The Body Shop to change their name to Body Time.
Many would-be entrepreneurs want to launch completely new products in the market.In my opinion, they are reducing their own chances of economic success.Changing people’s ideas and habits are for people with deep pockets and much time on their side.Most newbie entrepreneurs do not have these options.They are living of their savings or inheritance , raking up debt ,living off the kindness of friends and family ,pegging away at a jobby-job to make ends meet etc Few ideas are funded straight off the drawing board and few such ideas succeed.Being an inventor and an entrepreneur are two things.Originality is important to be a successful inventor.Entrepreneurs need creativity,innovation and a certain amount of putting things together and getting them to work but the hard reality of success is cash flow and the bottom line not originality.