Global Girl is probably the about the 15th business I’ve launched. All of these were passion projects and some were successful others were not. The good thing about failing is that there is always something to learn from it.
I am an all-or-nothing type of person. This means when I do anything, I tend toward doing it 125%. When I started Olivia & Ruby back in 2015 I spent a lot of money before I knew if anyone would be willing to buy my products. Here’s where working in IT for 20+ years comes in handy.
My undergraduate degree is in Information Systems and one thing that has remained in my memory is the SDLC or Software Development Lifecyle which is a process for developing software that I learned in college, circa 1990. It started with gathering requirements from users, build the software, test it, then roll it out. Great idea but it was discovered that too often the software delivered did not meet the needs of the users. Sometimes it was because the user needs changed between the time when the requirements were captured and it was rolled out. Other times users forgot to include things. The larger the project, the longer it took to build and the greater the cost. So it was a problem when a software project did not return the intended value. Surely there was a better way.
That way came in the form of Agile. Simply put, Agile is an iterative process for building software that capitalizes on the faults of the SDLC. Agile works by breaking large projects down into smaller chunks, building a minimum viable product (MVP), rolling it out to stakeholders/users to get their feedback, making changes, and repeating the process. Once a chunk is complete you move on to next chunk. Another common term for this is Lean Methodology.
The benefit of Lean + Agile is that by limiting the up-front investment to only what’s needed to get to a MVP and getting feedback before investing more resources you are able to limit waste due to rework or unforeseen problems. You can think of a MVP as the “good enough” version of something. By continuously checking with the users and stakeholders, you increase the probability of delivering a great product.
So how does this relate to Global Girl? My plan is to launch lean which means breaking down the business into small chunks and rolling them out for feedback from the GG Community, and incorporating this feedback into the brand. It could be testing which scents, packaging options, or products you think I should create next. Applying Lean to manufacturing could mean that I take pre-orders for a new product and only produce the number that was ordered. The goal here is to reduce waste that’s common to product-based business who often have to deal with inventory that didn’t sell.
The key part of my Lean strategy is that I need a community. A group of dedicated people who love natural bodycare products and who want to support independent brands. If this is you, I invite you to join the Global Girls’ Club and make your voice heard.
Until next time!