Conferences, Green Business

Honestly Honest Tea 

Seth Goldman, Tea EO of Honest Tea did a great job this morning presenting to the Green Business Conference. He presented a fabulous video of the company – very clever with scenes in India where leaves are grown, to the bottling facilities, deliveries, and in store.

Honest Tea is 7 years old and had revenues of $250 K in 1998. It is now closing in on $10 million in sales. They were the first USDA approved tea and have just launched Honest Ade. He had a great list of top 10 mistakes he has made which he reckons have totalled around $1 million! After the session, we all shared the mistakes we had made which was very liberating.

So his top 10 are:
(1) Don’t leap halfway – fully commit from the get go
(2) Keep the equity structure simple
(3) Avoid Biz School syndrome – spreadsheets lie
(4) Never make gurantees – like guaranteeing X dollars in sales to investors
(5) Don’t underestimate the importance of sales – values, brand mission are all good but sales are the bee’s knees! NOTHING is a sure thing
(6) Fire people sooner right than later
(7) Don’t underestimate the importance of distribution
(8) Don’t underestimate the importance of profits – in year 7, Honest Tea is profitable…but last year they made a $1 MM loss. Same as the year prior. They raised $8 million in total
(9) Don’t confuse what business you are in – we are not manufacturers, we are a sals and marketing business
(10) Don’t forget the market – in developing new products, it always helps to have customers willing to buy it!

All good food for thought.

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