Background & challenges
Margaret has an organic tea plantation and produces unique products from her tea trees. Margaret realised there was an opportunity to be harnessed from her overgrown tea plants- using the tea seed oil in skincare products.
Margaret’s goals coming into the program were to acquire the knowledge and confidence required to successfully package and market the cold-pressed tea seed oil to the most appropriate customers.
“The program involved a lot of processes that were new to me. The main activities involved getting out and engaging with potential customers to learn what they want and how my product could fit into the market. Also learning how to create attractive content for Facebook advertising was super helpful, and through this I was able to trial different slogans to see which were effective.”
What was the biggest surprise coming into F2F? What was your biggest learning?
“Coming into Farmers2Founders I was really confident in my idea and it being able to sell into the domestic market. Throughout the program the coaches forced us to do a lot of customer interviews and research, and helped me realise that my product needed to have a more narrow proposition in the market. To begin with, it seemed like a lot of work for works sake but I realised by the end that it was so important to understand who our specific customers are so that we could target advertising to them effectively, rather than waste money. This was one of the biggest learnings”
Can you give an example of that?
“We ran a number of different facebook ads offering samples of our product - on one proposition we received more than 35% click throughs, whereas on another proposition we thought was quite strong we received less than 6%.”
Would you recommend this program to other producers?
“I’d strongly recommend this program to other producers because Farmer2Founders has really taught me the value of testing my assumptions and deeply understanding the customer. I think I am more capable of building a successful business now with this understanding - not just this green tea seed oil product but other ideas I have bubbling away.”
“For any producers - or really any new companies - who have a plan for a product, this program and the principles in it are a really valuable experience that will help you avoid common mistakes that are really easy to make, and improve your chance of creating a profitable business sooner.”
“I really believe in producer led businesses and am glad that programs like F2F exist for producers like me who may not otherwise be able to access business coaching and funding.”
Your top tip for Ideas Program participants to succeed?
“My main advice for future program participants to succeed would not to be super attached or dogmatic with your idea. You need to come into the program with an open mind, and with the attitude that the coaches are going to push you to really get into detail about who exactly the customers are, and what value you can offer. If you come in with a flexible mindset you’ll be able to achieve a lot.”
Where to from here? Where do you hope to be in 12 months?
“In the next 12 months we will launch our cold-pressed green tea seed oil product mid year. We are in the process of developing our website and building up our manufacturing capacity to process the product with machinery. We’d like to be selling 500 bottles per month!”
Margaret Wilson graduated from the 2019 Ideas Program and is based in New South Wales.