Having a mission is key!

I’ve had a business start-up in the drinks industry before which failed: Lake District Smoothies. It was “going to be huge”, take on the likes of Innocent Drinks, but it never really got off the ground. The branding was good, the model simple, but was the strategy ever really thought out? No, not if I’m being honest.

My business partner and I had come up with the concept, invested money into producing a drinks trailer and attended events to sell our wares, even getting great feedback. But we were looking for someone – an investor – to find us, to sweep us up and help us make a manufacturing facility. This has worked for some people who found themselves in the right place at the right time, but social media wasn’t the same then as it is now. We were operating in the fields of Cumbria so would have had to have been mega lucky to catch someone’s eye! Looking back we were too busy delivering “on the ground”, tactically (and loving every minute by the way), as opposed to thinking about the big picture and how we could take the business to the next level.

© Mark Cant

Mark’s last business venture.

With The Cumbrian Tea and Cumbrian Coffee Co things were different: I had the concept, made it into something viable and then floated the idea with “the enabler”, the person (or company) who had “been there and done that”. They didn’t need to invest, emotionally or financially, but they did.

Why? Because from the outset the mission – driven by a clear vision – objectives and strategy for each objective was clear. Of course together we had to refine things through discussion, but we agreed, captured and fully integrated these fundamentals into the business model.

Sun Tsu the Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher said “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” I stand by this quote and have embedded it into my daily workings – you need to deliver on the ground, that’s for certain, but it is imperative in business to have a strategy, to know which direction you’re going in. Sure, things can change and have for so many businesses recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but knowing which pot you’re peeing in is vital for success!

To discover how we keep everything aligned to our vision and ethos, check our other blog posts

Ramblers' Brew Box

All of the learning has gone into the development of Cumbrian Tea.

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