#O2SmartaBiz winner: Arganic

Arganic

Proposition: One sentence explanation of what your business is

Arganic supplies the superfood and beauty elixir that is argan oil directly from from Morocco for wholesale and retail.

Why are you a smart business?

The argania spinosa tree indigenous to Morocco is an ancient species as old as the dinosaurs. It is impossible to grow elsewhere and is a UNESCO protected species. In the past the locals would cut down the trees to sell for firewood since they had plenty enough argan oil for their own use. We employ local Berber people to produce our oil as an incentive to stop them cutting down the tree. We take this one step further and work with Berber women who didn’t get the chance to go to school, many of which can’t read or write but grew up making argan oil. This helps them gain independence and allows them to be out of the kitchen and in a social environment. Meanwhile we provide this hard to source but very effective powerful anti-oxidant to the cosmetic and food industries.

In a year and a half of trading, we have already been featured in a Food Network TV series that aired in over 90 countries, and have been written about by The Telegraph, Bloomberg, City AM and The Guardian. We stated exporting to the UAE recently, and work with some of the biggest fine food and cosmetic ingredient distributors in the UK. We were lucky to have met the Prime Minster as an example of young enterprise.

What’s the smartest thing you’ve done to help your business grow?

Utilize the free services available in the UK, The British Library Business Centre is great, and Shell Livewire has really helped as a young entrepreneur. I also ask for help from people I look up to, and this has got me far. It’s nice because now I am getting complete start-ups coming to me for help and I can return the favour. I took time at the beginning to start on strong foundations (securing supply, logistics, final product etc.) , which enabled me to quickly make an impact and react on momentum.

What smart things do you do for your customers?

We care a lot about our customers and really aim for return purchases than to sell to everyone as not only is that more efficient but it also makes the whole experience more personal and enjoyable.

We sometimes pop little gifts or notes into our orders and last year we sent out bespoke designed Arganic Christmas cards to all our stockists/distributors to thank them for being one of the early adopters. We also have recently set up a quarterly newsletter specifically for our stockists to help them make Arganic one of their bestsellers.

What smart technologies do you use to run your business?

I would probably have to say the humble email which allows us to connect to even some of the most remote places in Morocco.

What’s your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

Think rationally and don’t make decisions based on emotions. Don't allow yourself to be ignorant/stuck in the bubble, review your business monthly with a trusted mentor or consultant to get an outsiders opinion as this is a great safety net. Use twitter for marketing, it's free! Be resourceful and don't think you have to spend loads at the beginning, often limitation is a great thing as it forces you to be creative and that’s what will make you stand out from the crowd. If you care about your business name, you should certainly get it trademarked or you could lose it. Take up certain opportunities for fun and not just money sometimes, you have to enjoy the journey.

 

 

For more information about Arganic, click here. "Like" their Facebook page here and follow them on Twitter @Arganic_UK.

Check out last week's #O2SmartaBiz here.

Get more details on how to be this week's #O2SmartaBiz here.

Follow @O2BusinessUK and @SmartaHQ on Twitter and tweet us using the #O2Smartabiz hashtag

 

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