Startup FMCG Mentoring in Australia

The FMCG market in Australia is huge. We’re talking a $173bn industry with over 72,852 businesses. It’s a highly competitive industry that needs to be readily able to adapt to change — yesterday. Creating a successful startup in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Industry is a tough ask, especially if you want your business to last longer than three years. Stats show that half of all small business startups fail within three years, or an Australian business fails every two minutes – that’s staggering!)

So, how do you create an FMCG startup with survival capacity in one of the most competitive spaces in Australia in which many multinationals mass market to large retailers? For a start, getting support from a specialist startup FMCG mentor can double your chances of survival…

Startup and Small Business FMCG in Australia Develop and Grow Entreprenuerial Skills

What is FMCG and how does it work in Australia?

For the uninitiated, FMCG stands for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (also called Consumer Packaged Goods or CPG) and it covers non-durable goods that are sold quickly. Examples are beverages, pre-prepared food, cosmetics, dry goods, cleaning products, cosmetics, skin care and personal care products, lollies, over-the-counter medications etc.

FMCG products are characterised as low cost, high-frequency purchases. Therefore, FMCG products tend to have a short life-cycle that needs to be easily adaptable to market changes. Being responsive to the market is a key factor in success. Your ability to adapt to the market can make or break your business.

In the past, the FMCG market was characterised by push marketing – get the product on the shelf and sell on price and value. Today this is no longer a strategy, it’s a necessity. The pull approach, where the demand for the product comes from the consumer to the retailer, has also changed. It’s no longer the end-game, but the starting point for a successful strategy. How so? The consumer journey needs to continue after purchase. The consumer needs to feel connected to the brand in some way; that the brand supports them with information, instructions on product use, is easy to deal with if the product is problematic in any way or even just enables them to be part of a community. Social Media has been a game changer here, changing expectations, creating a need for instant gratification and speeding up the need for immediate responses and product support. There is a new paradigm and it’s even faster than before.

While there are a lot of things to consider when entering the FMCG market, we believe that to be successful in this space you need to understand product positioning. With the advent of online retailing, this has become even more paramount. Your distribution channel(s) will greatly impact your chosen market strategy. You have a plethora of options and need to pick the one or combination best suited for your product e.g. online, discount store, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, grocery retailers, direct to consumers etc. Getting specialist support for these important decisions can make all the difference and this is where the real benefit of getting a Startup FMCG Mentor lies.

Startup FMCG Mentoring: The what and why

A Startup FMCG Mentor is a person with specialist FMCG and startup knowledge that is geared to help you in your business through guidance, teaching, knowledge sharing, networking and general support. It’s a person with experience both with starting a business and succeeding in the FMCG space. A confidant to talk to when the tough decisions need to be made, who can bring their invaluable experience to you. Someone who can guide you in the long-term strategy and survival of your business.

As stated at the beginning of this article, research has proven that the right kind of mentoring can double the chances of your startup surviving more than three years. For the mentoring to work, you need to select someone who has specialist knowledge in FMCG as the industry comes with unique challenges and characteristics that a one-size fits all mentor may not know. If you cannot find a single person with the right experience, then don’t be afraid to call on a team of specialists to help you with different aspects of your business. Should you be lucky enough to secure a great mentor, you can be assured that your decisions will be challenged and validated with a greater chance of success.

Startup and Small Business FMCG in Australia Develop and Grow Entreprenuerial SkillsDIY versus Mentoring

It’s not to say that you can’t ‘do it yourself’ by being an avid reader and following industry leaders and thought-leaders on social media (which we encourage anyway). It’s just that having someone who has ‘been there and done that’ makes it more likely that you’ll avoid some of the pitfalls of the industry. Country-specific knowledge. The Australian market has unique characteristics, so a mentor with Australian experience is important.  Your mentor can reduce the time taken to make decisions and navigate roadblocks dramatically if he/she has the right experience. The aim is to reduce your time to, and for, execution.

Other benefits that come with Startup FMCG Mentoring are:

  • Helping you become startup ready
  • Assisting you with the development of a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Helping you to build your business so you can attain real commercial outcomes
  • Access to vital expertise to help you start and grow your business
  • Support and guidance to commercialise at scale
  • An expert to help facilitate learnings
  • A confidential sounding board to support you as you navigate through current business and industry challenges.

All of these are great reasons to connect with a specialist startup FMCG Mentor that has Australian experience and knowledge.

Meet our Founder and Lead Mentor

Startup FMCG offers specialist mentoring as part of our services. Our Lead Mentor and Founder, Anthony Harb, has worked on over 1000 product lines during his career including tuna, salmon, vinegar, juices, toilet tissue, facial tissues, sustainable FMCG products, a social enterprise, baked goods, frozen goods, chocolates, oils, skin care and many more.

Anthony brings a unique perspective having worked in marketing management, sales and retail buying. He’s had the opportunity to mentor and develop entrepreneurial strategies for both startups and established businesses during his career in food, health, beauty, incubator/accelerator programs and social development.

For startups, in particular, Anthony likes to first understand the ‘why’ before reviewing the concept and offering objective critique. If you’re a little further along the business development pipeline, Anthony is happy to support you with the set-up of your structure, equipment and facilities and isn’t scared of rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty in the process.

If you’re looking for a mentor with a vast knowledge base who likes to get stuck in and support you throughout your journey, get in touch.