Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Ben Lenart, founder of juice company Almighty.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea
At Almighty, we make delicious, organic, sustainably sourced juice that contributes positively to the environment and the communities we operate in. We believe there is a real opportunity for the next generation of consumers to be responsible, sustainable stewards of our environment and to embrace healthy eating habits in a fun and engaging way.
Almighty is certified organic, using only genuinely recyclable packaging, we promote sustainable business practices and contribute money directly from our sales to food education programmes to help the communities we operate in. In short, we make juice that is delicious, healthy, responsible and progressive.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We have a small, tightknit team with contractors supporting various elements of the supply chain. It’s great as it means we can work with a huge number of people, all experts in their field. It also allows us to be very focused on executing in a few key areas of the business. The support from the local community in Wellington has been a huge help for our business. Wellington also has a great ecosystem that exists to support startups with organisations like WREDA helping us grow into Australia too.
In terms of the bottom line, working with contractors, people that are experts in their specific field has meant we can scale quickly and efficiently. We have welcomed shareholders into the business in order to finance growth and we are very lucky to have a dynamic group of experienced people with a varied range of skills that bring more than just cash to our company.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We have a genuine commitment to sourcing the best organic ingredients to make really delicious juice, beyond the need to make money is our desire to make the best, freshest, most sustainable product out there.
That message is one we really value so we want to make sure consumers know about it. As a result we have invested lots of time in our brand which is simple, bold and cheerful. We are utterly committed to sustainability and contributing positively to the community. These things come at a cost but it is not reflected in the end price that consumers pay.
Community support is not just an arm’s length marketing ploy, we want to actually have a positive influence over the long term. Things like our food education programs which include helping local schools set up veggie gardens, organising healthy eating classes for primary school kids and getting healthy food into the hands of young ones, are about a generational change. It can be quite slow moving and requires a real commitment, but it's worth it to make the community more aware and healthier. It is that combination of the brand and commitment to community, sustainability, and delicious juice that makes us different.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
We’re a young, small business so we need to be agile. Our main challenge is stretching our limited resources as far as they can go, allowing us to widen our reach.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
In terms of running a business, Xero for finance and accounting, Instagram and Dropbox are very important and key to the day to day, but I couldn’t live without Spotify. Having seemingly endless music is the gift that keeps on giving.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
If you're going to spend 8 hours chopping wood, spend 7 hours sharpening your axe.
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