#SageOne From Day One: Ugly Drinks’ 3 Top Tips for launching a new business

3 years ago

The world of start-ups moves at a fast pace and, since our last post introducing you to Sage One customer Ugly Drinks, so much has happened for Hugh and Joe! After an exciting website launch came a successful product launch at Selfridges no less! Meanwhile the team is still getting used to life as a start-up, learning to work as a team and planning to conquer the world of unsweetened water…

For our second blog in this Sage One From Day One series, we asked the guys at Ugly Drinks which top tips they would give to any other entrepreneurial souls looking to launch their own business. Planning, support and relationships are the fundamentals for Hugh and Joe. Read on to hear why!

1. Planning makes perfect… or as close as it gets

“Things definitely take longer than you think. They really do! It took us 18 months from conception to launch because we realised that to succeed you actually do have to be diligent and plan meticulously. The thought process can help you avoid major disasters (touch wood!)” explains Hugh.

“You can’t plan everything – that’s something I’m still getting used to – but planning can at least help you control the controllables.”

Ugly Drinks on display
“Waiting before we handed in our notice at Vita Coco was a frustrating but good move. It was tough juggling between the two, but in the end planning to gain that experience (and save the extra money!) was essential.” goes on Joe.

“Doing our cash flow forecasting and managing our finances with Sage One Accounting also means everything runs smoothly. Having a trustworthy brand like Sage behind your financial analysis is comforting, as we know we’re set up to grow and Sage One can grow with us.”

Tip: Think long term investment and plan, plan, plan ahead!

2. Support is key

“However much you plan, there will always be obstacles. Some will take you an hour to overcome, others could take you months. Be resilient. We could have easily given up, but for us it wasn’t an option” Says Hugh.

“When things get tough, learn to reach out to people. Depending on people could save your business. We’ve learnt that people really will help. If you go to others with a problem, they will often help you solve it” reassures Joe.

“In fact, you’ll realise people before you asked the same questions and things might not feel as tough any more. We’ve learnt it’s an ecosystem, people pass on the knowledge and we’ll be passing it on too.”

Tip: When the going gets tough, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out and you’ll soon be back on track.

3. Relationships take work too

One of the things we’ve learnt a lot about already is our relationship as business partners” confides Joe. “Sometimes when you see other co-founders on show you see them getting on really well and wonder why things can be a little more complicated for you. Actually, when you see them behind the scenes, everyone is facing the same challenges. It’s all normal, co-founders need to learn to manage each other.”

Ugly Drinks founders Joe and Hugh
“Everything is easier when there’s a process in place” suggests Hugh. “It means you have a good basis for your conversation. Once you learn to manage the relationship you realise you get where you need to be through discussion and even disagreement. At the end of the day, we like to think that if we’re agreeing on everything, one of us isn’t thinking hard enough. Our business has come from a combination of our thoughts and opinions and disagreeing means you are testing things properly. That’s how we get to raspberry ripple rather than vanilla!”

Moral of this story? Don’t settle for vanilla! Learn to disagree constructively, it will get you places.

Thanks again for your tips Hugh and Joe and talk to you next month!

Meanwhile, keep in touch with the team on Twitter @UglyDrinks as well as on the Ugly Drinks Facebook Page.