I spent the first two weeks of 2016 developing a business plan for a small business competition. When I say two weeks, I mean a full two weeks. Sitting at my desk, crunching numbers, summing up what we’ve done and painting a picture of our guaranteed success where we’re headed. It was an interesting, exhausting, challenging and rewarding process. I hired my talented friend Bridget to edit my writing, I reached out to one of my college professors for feedback on our strategy, I even made my husband Mick paint a wall in our house white so I could have a bright, blank canvas to film. The prize was $100K and I was committed to winning.
I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that last Friday we found out we did not advance to the next round. I know I really shouldn’t have felt too bad—there were over 500 applicants and only 30 spots—but I did. Or perhaps I was more shocked. By the time I submitted our application, I was really proud of it and our company overall. Who wouldn’t want to pick us?!
Since we launched our online shop in April, we’ve sold over $16K in goods with 25% of our customers coming back for a second, third or fourth purchase. This is on top of what we raised with our Kickstarter campaign and on less than $200 in ad spend. We’ve built an established brand, efficient production system, healthy ecommerce platform, landed four retail partnerships and five corporate gifting accounts. With much, much more on the way.
HLO Year 2 is going to be focused on growth, and we’re ready for it. I’m so proud and excited by what’s in store for this little company. If 80 hours of self-evaluation was necessary for me to feel even more sure of this, then so be it! That’s time well spent.
Plus we have this snazzy video that doesn't really serve any other purpose, but for business plan competitions. If you’ve ever spent 6 hours filming yourself, by yourself, and then 8+ hours editing it, you can appreciate what a surreal experience making this was. Hate the sound of your voice on your voicemail? Try listening to it on repeat for two days straight.