Entrepreneur Q&A: Pip & Nut

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In this quickfire Q&A we welcome entrepreneur and founder of Pip & Nut, Pippa Murray. A keen runner, Pip was always on the lookout for delicious things to eat before heading out into the great outdoors. Her rule was that food should be tasty, and packed with nutrients and energy. The result was tasty and natural nut butter, Pip & Nut!

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Breaking Biz:

What was your first ever business idea?

Pippa Murray:

Pip & Nut actually. I never really thought I’d have my own business so the idea actually came organically to me. I mulled it over for a long time before actually comitting to it.

BB:

Why did you decide to start your own business?

PM:

It was an idea that I had and it kind of nibbled away at me for ages. I think at the time I wanted to have a little bit more ownership over my work, the jobs I’d had were always supporting other people so I felt like I wanted to manage my own time and create something from the ground up. That really appealed to me.

Equally I feel like the world of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) is a really exciting place to be, particularly in the food and drink world.

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BB:

How do you identify a real business opportunity?

PM:

It is really difficult to see, because sometimes you get a bit blindsided by how great your idea is and perhaps can’t see whether or not it’s fundamentally something that has the capability of being a good business.

I think the first thing is generally about what kind of business you actually want to have. It depends whether or not you want a massive supermarket brand or if actually you want an artisan brand and then you need to work out if your business tallies with what you want to get out of your company.

I think it’s important to look at market trends and do your research before you launch the company. Yes, have the idea and see whether or not there’s a bigger market and trial it as much as you can on a really low level to see whether or not this business has a potential to scale and if there is demand for it from your customers.

BB:

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

PM:

I think passion for your product. I guess that’s not really a skill so much as a trait.

Determination. There will be some weeks which will be quite hard and I think you’ve got to have the determination and willpower to dig through it and push on past.

BB:

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

PM:

I would always say that it’s always terrifying leaving your job so don’t be afraid to feel that fear because it’s a totally natural feeling. But equally don’t just quit your job straight away, until you’ve actually reached the point where you physically can’t balance the two. I say that because you’ve got to be able to support yourself and still live so make sure you push it as far as you can before you do quit.

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BB:

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

PM:

If you’re in it just to make loads of money then that’s probably a wrong reason, you’ve got to have a purpose behind your business because I’d say that generally businesses with a purpose have more grounding and are driven by the right reasons. It is tough, particularly in FMCG so you’ve got to have a lot of love for the product to push past it.

BB:

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?

PM:

I think one of the most important lessons is to know that you can do it and to have self confidence in the fact that even if you feel like you’re lacking in some skills you can still learn those things that you’re missing.

Also, to ask lots of stupid questions. It’s amazing how much you can get from people if you can just be interested in them and ask lots of questions.

 BB:

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

PM:

Probably one of my favourite business authors for inspiration is David Hieatt and he has a book called ‘Do Purpose’ which I think anyone that has a brand should read. It’s a great way of summarising how you create a story around your product or brand without having to spend shed loads of money.

BB:

What’s the best part of your job?

PM:

I think the diversity that you get from having your own company, I absolutely love that. Although sometimes there are massive lows the fact that you have that real emotional rollercoaster, it’s quite exciting. Say if you get a deal that day and that closes, that’s amazing and you really get that sense of satisfaction.

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BB:

What’s your biggest fear?

PM:

I guess that there’s always the fear, particularly with a product based business, of running out of money. You’ve got such big overheads or so much money tied up in stock so even if you’re being successful with your company, cash flow is always an issue so having an eye on that is so important.

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