This article was written by Jade Kuhn, ThermoBrush
2017 Bronze winner of AusMumpreneur Productpreneur Product Innovation award
Do you have a great business idea, but you’re unsure where to start and what steps to take? Are you passionate about something and truly believe in your idea, but not sure what to do next?! That was me 3 years ago.
Hi, I’m Jade from ThermoBrush. My business journey started with an idea and a dream 3 years ago. I had purchased a Thermomix® and soon after had an idea for my product. Like many productpreneurs, the idea came from a frustration.
I was new to the Thermomix world, and I used my machine every day! The one thing I struggled with, was cleaning that little gap in the blade.
One night when my husband was cleaning up after dinner (rare but true!), he pulled the blade out of the Thermomix® and started to clean it. The little bristle brush that we had did a good job, but still very awkward to use and hard to get in the tiny gap of the blade.
Next minute hubby yells out, ‘Jade, invent a brush that cleans the Thermie blade better.’ With not much thought of what he had said, we went about our life as normal………..until I had to clean dough out of the blade!
It was then that I started researching the market for Thermomix® brushes, and researching how many Thermomix® had been sold worldwide.
I discovered that most people were using disposable mascara brushes! 90% of those brushes being used only once and then ending up in landfill. This was not good on the environment, and was still time consuming to clean the blade.
There was a need for a more hygienic, and reusable brush.
My vision for the ThermoBrush was very clear from the start. I wanted a brush that was easy to use, and that gave the gap in the blade a superior clean. The brush needed to mold around the base of the blade, making it an easy, one-motion cleaning step. The brush needed to be food grade, and of high quality.
This was the dream! I had the idea, now how do I get this to work? Research is one of the most important steps to take when you are starting your company.
But where to next, where do you start? I live in a small rural town, famous for their Oysters. So, I went to ask for some help from one of the local owners. I asked him everything I could think of! I knew they had Oyster baskets made, so I wanted to know all the ins and outs!
Who made your baskets?
Who did your tooling?
Do they do small start-up jobs?
Do I get a Patent?
Do I need a lawyer?
I asked for contact details of anyone that they thought would be able to help me. I wanted to make sure everything was done locally, so talking to locals first is very important. I walked away from there with a little confidence on where to go next! And I went home and started ringing those new contacts.
Months later, after tooling had finished, I contacted the manufacture. I recognize the importance of supporting the local manufacturing industry, an industry which has been in decline over recent years. Our tooling company gave us a local manufacturing companies details.
It was here that our business truly came to light and become a reality. This family owned manufacturing business was very hands on, and always available to answer questions and help me out. The relationship I have built up with them is amazing. Their knowledge in the industry helped me built my business.
I work closely with our South Australian manufacturer, to produce a superior product. Cresta Plastics is now able to grow their business alongside ours, and their commitment to scale production capacity as we grow is outstanding.
My 5 top tips for starting up a business when all you have is an idea
1. Research – know who your customer is. Is there a market for your product? Who is your competition?
2. Ask for help! Talk to locals or other business owners to get an insight.
3. Shop local! If you are a Productpreneur, support Australian manufactures if you have the opportunity. Build a great relationship with your manufacturers.
4. Go with your GUT. If you are super passionate about your product/business, follow your gut as it is usually trying to tell you something!
5. Enjoy the little wins and remember to enjoy your business journey.