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Blog

Five Things I Wish I Had Known: Rude Health

Tessa Stuart

Nick-and-Camilla-Barnard1

Camilla Barnard of Rude Health's Five Things

It’s Addictive

It's addictive. Do you know anybody who has run his/her own business and then gone on to work for somebody else? We don’t. For all the responsibility, daft hours and frustrations, once you are a business runner, always a business runner. Either that or we're all unemployable.

Nobody Cares as Much as You  

We were confident that we knew cereal right from the start but felt like rank amateurs when it came to organising events, designing exhibition stands and most of the things that you need to do to get cereals to the people who eat them. So it was very tempting to let specialists offer their services. Now we do almost everything ourselves. I think you can interpret this in 2 ways:

1) We are total control freaks who can't delegate anything.

2) Real enthusiasm and commitment are as important as expertise, and no-one is more committed to or enthusiastic about your business than you.

You Don’t Know Anything.

When we started mixing muesli ingredients at the kitchen table, I was confident that we knew about cereals, and could soon learn how to put them in boxes and sell them to shops. How people must have laughed. In four years I’ve learnt a lot about event organising, import laws, labelling regulations, data analysis and myself. Mostly I’ve learned how much there is to learn. I thought running the business was a SATs test, but it’s more of a PhD.

You Will Have A Head Full Of Random Facts.

Even though I now feel as though there is a lifetime of learning to be done, my head is crammed with food facts. Did you know that: cereal boxes are read more than anything except the bible? Cost is not an issue when buying baby food, but becomes a big issue as soon as they are weaned? There’s no such thing as a local muesli? You have 3 seconds to convince a customer to buy your food in store? Whole milk is only 4% fat? You only have to look at our cereal packs to see where this stuff has found its outlet. The point of this is that everything is useful, keep listening.

People Steal Plants.

This may not seem relevant but stick with it. We planted a little garden of herbs and fruits outside our office one Friday afternoon. It was just big enough to grow herbs for lunch, use all our teabaggy compost and brighten up the car park. We arrived at work on Monday to find the plants were gone. Every little seedling. So we cursed the worthless plant thief and upped the ante. We are now the proud owners of the world’s first pallet garden. The pallet goes out every day into the wind, rain and sun, and comes in to the warehouse every evening. And we had pallet-garden basil on our tomatoes for lunch today. Don’t give up.