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Six tips for start-up success from smoothie kit company Pack'd co-founder

PUBLISHED: 10:21 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 16 November 2017

Alex Stewart (left) and Luke Johnstone, co-founders of London-based company Pack'd, which makes frozen smoothie kits. Picture: Alex Griffiths

Alex Stewart (left) and Luke Johnstone, co-founders of London-based company Pack'd, which makes frozen smoothie kits. Picture: Alex Griffiths

Alex Griffiths

At 28, he's already a successful business owner turning over millions of pounds a year. Co-founder of frozen smoothie kit company Pack'd, Luke Johnstone, shared his tips for entrepreneurial success during a talk to students at UEA.

Top three lessons for starting your own business

Don’t limit your ambitions: Luke spent two years living in his parents’ shed while he formulated his business plan. “Everyone will tell you following a pipe dream is crazy. Throw that out of the window and back yourself,” he said. “The greatest trick anyone has ever pulled is convincing people that they cannot do something. Dream big, because no one else is going to do it for you.”

Focus on your skill mastery: Before starting Pack’d Luke worked with the BBC, which he said gave him invaluable experience in preparing and delivering a pitch. “Rather than choosing careers to give you big bucks, chose ones that will give you the skills to fulfil your ultimate goal.”

Pivot: His first career ambitions centred on professional sport, but after injury took him out of the running Luke saw an opportunity in his dedication to nutrition. “Be adaptable, seek opportunities when others don’t. I lost my sports career but kept my passion for nutrition and turned that into something.”

Top three lessons for maintaining and growing your business

Timing is key: It was forward planning which helped Pack’d retain its supermarket supremacy when others caught on to their idea. “As a business now we always have to think one step ahead. Last year we almost got taken off the supermarket shelves because they started doing what we were doing, but we saved ourselves as we were able to show them our new range of protein shakes.”

Seek purpose: Building a “movement” with genuine supporters is important to Luke and co-founder Alex Stewart. “If you have a mission that is bigger than the brand, it really shows. Our big passion as a company is to as much as possible level the playing field so every person, no matter how disadvantaged they are, can reach their potential.”

Product is king, brand is queen: A strong brand and well-researched has helped Pack’d defeat competition for prime shelf space. “That is what can give you sustainable success, because there will always be copycats. Invest in your product and brand because it is about longevity, not just the short term thinking.”

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