Is now a good time to be launching a business?
If you are in the lucky position where you can think about launching a business at the moment, I think you should feel confident that now is a great time to get started – for two main reasons.
Firstly, we’re going through a period of reappraisal. Trends that started before Covid-19, such as online shopping and working from home, have been accelerated. This means a lot of the old business models have suddenly started to feel more old fashioned. There are going to be a whole host of exciting new businesses starting that are better suited to the new normal.
Secondly, there are a lot of online resources and networks that can help new entrepreneurs to learn and be nimble. Shopify is such a simple way to launch an online business. The SEIS and EIS government schemes are great for encouraging investors to back your business. The Business and IP Centre at the British Library is a great place to start looking for everything from free data to business mentors and training.
How did you spot the opportunity for Waken? Do you have a blueprint for spotting these opportunities?
I don’t have a blueprint per se, but the opportunities that interest me the most are those that involve disrupting a big market with a more sustainable version of the future. I want the companies I work for to contribute in a positive way towards industry debate and progress, and I want the products we sell to offer brilliant experiences at affordable prices in mainstream retailers. Accessibility is really important to me.
What do you think gives Waken an edge?
From my perspective, nothing much has changed with mouthwash for a long time, except perhaps that the biggest brands are now much easier to find in discount chain stores. It’s a part of the oral care market that is witnessing a gradual decline in sales and relevance to consumers. On this basis, there is a fantastic opportunity to reimagine what mouthwash can be.
The motto on our pack is, ‘Don’t just clean. Care’. For too long, the dental industry has seen the mouth as something to do things to: we clean it, we scrub it, and we swish it. The typical language feels quite aggressive. Nowadays I think claims around killing 99.9% of germs feel more akin to floor-cleaning products. Over the next ten years I believe we’ll see an increasing awareness of the role our mouth plays as a gateway to our overall health and wellbeing. The scientific community are increasingly finding links between poor oral health and a range of serious medical conditions. In the years to come I think we’ll all be thinking about our dental care in a much more holistic way.