Entrepreneur Q&A: NIX&KIX

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In this quickfire Q&A we welcome co-founder of NIX&KIX, Julia Kessler. NIX&KIX produce all-natural fruit drinks with a cheeky pinch of cayenne. Loaded with lots of health benefits, their drinks also pack a punch during those early morning hours or mid-afternoon slumps.

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Full Q&A transcript:

 

Breaking Biz:

What was your first ever business idea?

Julia Kessler:

My first ever business idea was to build a platform to connect not for profit organisations with volunteers. But as I’m not technical it’s been challenging to continue with the idea.

BB:

Why did you decide to start your own business?

JK:

I just wanted to learn new skills. I’d been working in supply chain and operations for twelve years and I wanted to adopt new skills, learn how marketing and sales worked and try something new as well as experience a new industry.

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BB:

How do you identify a real business opportunity?

JK:

We always apply rapid experimentation so we do a lot of research beforehand and we go out and sample at markets, hold focus groups and test the product with as many people as possible.

BB:

What skill or ability is most important for an entrepreneur and why?

JK:

The skill that is most important is perseverance as well as being open minded and having the willingness to learn. There are a lot of people who give you advice and feedback. Some of it is good, some of it is not so good and you just need to trust your instincts and your product. Also, what’s really important is to look after your finances and always know where you stand financially.

BB:

You know someone who wants to start a business but fears leaving their job. What do you say to them?

JK:

I would say to them test your idea before you leave your job. So come up with a minimal viable product, go out, gather feedback and gain some more confidence in what you want to do. I would also suggest that you apply for a startup loan as early as possible because that will really force you to do your research, come up with a business plan, and get more focused. If you do get the loan it recognises that you have a really kick ass idea and you then should have the confidence as well as the money to start.

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BB:

Are there people who start a business for the wrong reasons?

JK:

I haven’t met anyone. It’s always a journey, it’s always an experience so I guess everybody should try it and if it doesn’t work out you can always go back to the day to day job.

BB:

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?

JK:

No matter how much you plan for a worst case scenario there can always be a surprise and you just need to be open minded and learn how to enjoy that.

BB:

Can you recommend any books or resources that have helped you along the way?

JK:

I swear by ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries- that is great, and it can be applied to any kind of business whether it’s tech or a consumer product.

 

BB:

What’s the best part of your job?

JK:

The best part of my job is that every day is different. I learn something new every day and meet new people every day and it’s just great being part of a startup community.

BB:

What’s your biggest fear?

JK:

My biggest fear is that we’re running out of money (laughs) so that’s why it’s pretty important to focus on finances, especially with consumer goods. You have to have the finances in check and know what you can afford and can’t afford.

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