Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding

Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding

Seth Goldman, Sungyoon Choi

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0770437494

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding

Seth Goldman, Sungyoon Choi

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0770437494

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven business, offering a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and millions of Honest Tea drinkers about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business--and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff began Honest Tea fifteen years ago with little more than a tea leaf of an idea and a passion to offer organic, freshly brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea. Today Honest Tea is a rapidly expanding national brand sold in more than 100,0000 grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and drugstores across the country. The brand has flourished as American consumers move toward healthier and greener lifestyles.

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full owner in 2011. Seth is still running the business from Bethesda. Barry is still teaching at Yale. Seth has been sleeping better, partly because there are no loan guarantees hanging over his head and partly because he and Julie bought a better mattress. Barry lost over 40 pounds and managed (with a lot of help) to sort through enough piles of paper in his office to find the desk. As promised, Nestlé did buy a tea brand—indeed, they bought two: Tradewinds and Sweet Leaf. Pepsi took over the

Early Marketing Efforts 22. Mission Driven 23. Lessons Learned from the Start-Up Phase II. GROWING PAINS: 1999–2004 24. Raising Money to Stay Afloat 25. Distribution DIY 26. Buying Headaches, Distractions—Oh, and a Bottling Plant 27. Building a Board 28. Misadventures with Tea Bags 29. A Losing Case 30. A Painful Separation 31. The Key to New York 32. Distribution Goes Pro 33. Are Two Labels Better Than One? 34. Free Marketing 35. Success Not Guaranteed 36. A Stiff Drink 37.

in the beginning it was a real challenge. We had to write off almost 10% of our revenue. Remember what I said about manufacturing runs. In order to get to market, we had to take chances on distributors, and the result wasn’t always pretty. TRACK YOUR CASH. Make sure your operating plan tracks your cash flow—how much money you have in the bank—and not just your profits. It’s actually possible to grow yourself out of business. Your profit statement looks great, but there’s no cash to meet payroll.

our mistakes and bad luck to still be around when the good fortune arose? Before revealing my thoughts, let me first explain why survival is such a challenge. The business world can be unforgiving. On a math test, getting 9 out of 10 problems right earns you an A. But in a start-up, any one thing that goes wrong can bring everything else down with it. Fast growth can lead you to run out of cash. A global financial crisis can lead your bank to freeze your line of credit. Bad contracts can make

market. The absence of data makes it hard to prove the size of the potential market. This leads everyone to go after the same established customer group. We’d rather have 10% of the market to ourselves than be one of 100 products competing for the well-defined 90%. Big companies are designed to defend the mother ship. Imagine an established beverage company creates a new division to sell less sweet drinks. The newbie would want to knock the syrupy sweet competition. If that includes the

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