Seeing your business idea through to success - Advice from Giles Mitchell

Susie Parker
Digital Marketing Manager | Business West
10th October 2014

Coming from an office culture, the three founders of Office Pantry know what it's like to feel peckish in the office. Not satisfied with the mostly unhealthy snack options available during the working day, usually in the form of a bad-tempered vending machine or an inconvenient run to the shop to grab something instantly gratifying but ultimately guilt-riddling, they set about filling a book full of ideas and gave each idea a week to test it out.

They finally agreed on a unique idea that could offer an alternative option; to provide a choice of tasty, locally produced snacks that would be so easy to access that it would become a 'no brainer' for the customer.

Gathering together some apple-crate wood they designed a special box, including an integral honesty box, and filled it with tasty goodies - a worthy balance of healthy snacks and guilty pleasures - rigorously tested by their grannies, and trialled it in a number of offices in Bath. The concept took off, leading to more box-making and a developed business plan to help them scale up as they grew the business.

So Office Pantry was born.

The business is doing well since start-up and have expanded the team from 2 to 8. They have established a wide-ranging delivery run across the country and their customers include Expedia, Mashable and Karen Millan. They are also looking to launch soft drinks and Friday beer and wine in the near future to add to the Office Pantry offering.

Giles Mitchell, one of the three Pantry founders, talking at a Virgin StartUp Live event in Bristol, gave us his top three tips on starting out and seeing an idea through to success.

1. The Big Idea

Take one good idea and think it through, test it and trial it; ultimately making it a 'no brainer' for your customers.

2. A Pinch of Salt

Welcome feedback but keep a steady head. Take all comments you hear about your business with a pinch of salt. This could mean keeping faith in your concept amid naysayers, or keeping your feet on the ground to ensure your plans are realistic and achievable.

3. Team Spirit

Get a great team together to progress your business; and help each other to pull through the highs and lows. Getting a mentor at the beginning is also an important part of developing your idea and taking you through each stage to get your business up and running!

"And, within your team, humour keeps you alive! Well food and humour, don't forget food. You can't go a week without food."

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