Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food supplements but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexandre Garnier, Co-Founder of Novoma, located in Toulouse, France.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Novoma is a French food supplement company. At Novoma, we offer a wide range of supplements, including vitamins, minerals with vitamins, minerals, and plants, which help for boosting immunity, increasing energy, improving sleep. These food supplements are designed for all those seeking greater well-being, and we sell them on the internet, as well as in shops and pharmacies.
Tell us about yourself
My partner and I used to take supplements, mainly effervescent vitamin C tablets, every winter. One day, we took a closer look at the label, and we realised that this vitamin C supplement - as well as many others on the market actually - was often poorly dosed to be really effective and contained controversial chemical additives. So ten years ago, we decided to launch our own range of supplements, paying particular attention to the quality of the formulation. This adventure started with vitamin C, an essential nutrient for the body, which we then offered in powder form, and that was, of course, 100% pure!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In the first few years of business, as we were only the two of us, we had to deal with so many things: expanding our range of products, developing online and offline sales, managing logistics, customer service as well as administrative tasks. Our biggest accomplishment was when we hired people to expand our team. The most rewarding and enjoyable part of our entrepreneurial adventure is now to be surrounded by people who are better than we were at that time in their respective jobs!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In my opinion, the most difficult things are the days when problems pile up (and we all have days like that at one time or another!). Not only does it create stress and negativity, but it also leads to a lot of frustration as it feels like you're not getting on with the things that really matter to move the business forward.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Go straight to work
I confess I'm not a fan of business plans! When we had the idea of creating our own brand of food supplements, we made a choice to start the business immediately. This allowed us to validate our idea as well as get a head start on our SEO positioning because ten years ago, there were far fewer supplement brands on the internet.
- Hire as soon as possible
If you believe in your project, don't wait to hire. We regret having waited too long before recruiting, telling ourselves that we didn't have enough cash flow or fearing a turnaround, but in reality, it was recruiting that would have allowed us to grow even faster!
- Define your business values from the start
In the beginning, we didn't consider the importance of establishing our corporate values at all. However, this is essential both internally (in particular, to make good recruitment choices, or at least to avoid choosing people who do not fit with these values) and externally (customers, partners, etc.).
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you are an entrepreneur, your lifestyle is bound to be very active! However, don't neglect it, especially by eating as well-balanced as possible in order to get the right amount of nutrients. In my opinion, the ones that I think are essential for entrepreneurs (to be found in your diet and if needed by taking supplements) is vitamin C, which helps support the immune system and reduce fatigue, and magnesium, which contributes to energy production and stress reduction!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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