The LaunchAt 21 I recognised that I did not know a lot about business so upon hearing about the government’s NEIS program I signed up. The NEIS program provided a training course which helped me understand the fundamentals of business- this includes writing a business plan, marketing and accounting. Not only this, but the NEIS also provided me with a fortnightly income for the first year I was in business so I was able to cover my rent and focus on building my business.I began by designing the packaging, building a website and seeking some mentors in the health food space. It was only a few months until Zen Green Matcha Teawas ready to launch.Growth and Challenge
Isolation: The biggest challenge for me when I first started Zen Green Matcha Tea was feeling isolated as I was working from home. The business was not making enough money. Nowadays however I have joined many business support groups and surround myself with other business owners.
Marketing: Knowing how to market my business on a shoe string budget has always been a pain point for me. I originally tried to have my matcha stocked in health food stores but at that time no one had heard about matcha. I decided early on to focus online and developed a mission to offer amazing matcha at a good price with excellent customer service. This mission saw my business grow organically through word of mouth.
The Tipping Point
The tipping point of growth came three years after I first launched Zen Green Matcha Tea. At the time, I saw a huge rise in awareness for matcha green tea in Australia and I was in the perfect position to meet this demand. I received an email from Unique Health Products, one of Australia’s best health food distributors who wanted to sell my brand into stores across Australia. Within one month of joining Unique my business had quadrupled in size which meant that I could finally pay myself a decent salary and implement some processes within my business. With the rise in awareness, my customer base continued to grow. I was also amazed to see my brand featured on national television on My Kitchen Rules in 2017 when it was used by contestants to make incredible matcha desserts.
I want to continue to grow my brand and see more customers enjoying the health benefits of matcha tea in in Australia. I have also launched a USA matcha company too named Evergreen Matcha.
Get your business growing
Did you know there are programs on offer to help you hire or train a staff, including financial incentives up to $10k to employ eligible staff?
Stay up-to-date with law changes that might affect your business…
National minimum wages increase
From 1 July 2018, the national minimum wage will increase in Australia on 1 July 2018 by 3.5%.
The new national minimum wage is $719.20 per week, for a 38-hour week, or $18.93 per hour.
Single Touch Payroll
From 1 July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will introduce the Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you employ 20 or more employees, you will need to report to the ATO each time you pay your employees. The information you need send to the ATO includes your employees’ salaries and wages, allowances, deductions (for example, workplace giving) and other payments, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation.
Country of origin food labelling
From 1 July 2018, if your business grows, produces, manufactures, distributes, imports or sells food in retail stores in Australia, you will need to comply with the new Country of Origin Labelling laws. This means food products sold in Australian supermarkets or retail outlets must display the new food labels.
Changes to gift card expiry dates and fees for NSW
From 31 March 2018, gift cards and gift vouchers purchased in NSW will have a three year expiry date. NSW businesses that issue gift cards or gift vouchers will need to honour the purchase if it’s within that period. Businesses issuing gift cards or gift vouchers prior to this date are not affected by the changes.
Updates to the National Privacy Act – Data Breach Changes
From 22 February 2018, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million are required to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme under the Privacy Act 1988. A data breach occurs when unauthorised personal information is accessed or released. If the breach is likely to cause serious harm to an individual, businesses are obligated to notify both the individual involved, and the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
Changes to casual & part-time entitlements in some awards
From 1 January 2018, the Fair Work Commission made changes to some award rates and minimum shift entitlements for casual and part-time employees come into effect. This means business owners need to pay staff affected the updated award from the first full pay period after 1 January 2018.