I never imagined that I would end up not only running a business but expanding it globally – and a supplements business no less! Supplements were the furthest thing from my mind. I was on track to a long-term law career and was blindsided by an autoimmune disease, which forced me in and out of hospital for over a year.
I promised myself that if I made it out of hospital, I was going to dedicate my life to helping other people avoid disease and illness through nutrition, exercise and lifestyle improvements. I left law, and opened a small fitness supplements store in Randwick, but my search for the most effective supplements to not only retail but also to assist my own health, left me disillusioned. I made the decision to start formulating my own.
It’s no easy task getting noticed – but one thing I noticed was the increasing popularity of a local personal trainer on Facebook. Before influencers and social media was a staple of the marketing mix, I reached out to her and asked if she’d kindly try my first formulation, OxyShred, and if she liked it, to leave an honest review and post a photo of the container on her Facebook account. Incredibly, she agreed and posted a great review alongside an amazing photo. This Facebook post went viral and I was inundated with enquiries for the product.
It’s a cliché to say “and the rest is history”, but that truly was the turning point for my business and it’s where the expansion began and became possible. By focusing on building a community and genuinely helping people on their health and wellness journeys, brand loyalty has naturally followed and EHPlabs has grown organically and relentlessly for the last 8 years.
A key ethos to our brand is the belief that we rise by lifting each other – our products are about giving people opportunity to better themselves, and that belief in bettering yourself and each other flows through every facet of the business. I’m not suggesting by any means that the last eight years have been easy, but the unwavering belief in our products, our brand, and our way of doing business, is evidence that a small local business can become a big global business if you want it to be.
In summary, my top five pieces of advice for starting, growing and scaling a business globally are:
- To be a market disruptor, you need to create a product that is better than the competition and sell it at a price point equal to or less than the competition.
- Know what you’re good at, and never outsource that. Outsource everything else that may limit you.
- Your USPs may be unique, but what makes them “sales propositions” is if they resonate with your target market – and your marketing and comms should be focused on what people care about. Price should never be your sole USP.
- Control the “narrative” with your target audience. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – your focus should be building and nurturing your community, and adding value to them.
- Invest in hiring good people. This sounds obvious and easy, but it’s not! Finding the right people is one of the important aspects of building a successful, scalable business and it requires thought, culture building, and ethics and values. You will attract and retain the right people if you work yourself out first. Be selfless. Be generous and kind and empathetic. Performance will come if there is a common goal and a reason for people to want to perform.
Izhar Basha, Founder, EHPlabs