You either need to be an expert or employ an expert when starting a business
The popular adage of “you can achieve anything” or variations of such are generally untrue. Chris Rock (the comedian) offered his own take on this with “you can do anything you’re good at, as long as they’re hiring…and even then, it helps to know someone on the inside”.
Essentially, some people are more expert at doing certain things than others. And when it comes to starting a business, you either know a lot about a particular sector or know someone you can hire that does. However, Jo and I bought into the idea that we could accomplish anything we put our minds to, but we ran out of time and money before we best knew how to start a yoghurt drinks business.
Most entrepreneurs will often fall back on the idea that you can just hire a consultant to make up for any loss in expertise. I believe though this will only help so much. Instead, an entrepreneur from the very outset needs someone who not only knows what they’re doing but most importantly has a vested interest in helping you succeed. Take Nicholas Steinsberger, for example, who worked for Mitchell Energy back in the 1990's. He was put in charge of fracking which at the time was losing his company, and others too, a lot of money. With his job on the line, he worked out a way to make fracking significantly more cost effective and ended up making his bosses, rather than himself, a lot of money.
The problem is, that in the food and drink sector which we were competing in, there are about 6,400 small and micro businesses and all of them are chasing an “expert” of some sorts. So the ones who could have helped us, were inundated with generous offers from other small businesses, which we couldn't match.
The closest we came to have experts invest in our business was our manufacturer in Wales. Yet by the time we’d met them it was too late to remedy the problems within our business. The shelf life and lack of capital investment were to be the death of Lashbrook Lassis, which I’m sure they would have pointed out from the very beginning.