Julia Beyer - Suntribe
Julia Beyer - Suntribe #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
My name is Julia and I came to Sweden to study a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Lund University. Luckily, I became friends with Karl and Hampus and we decided to work on an idea that combined our common passions: sports and nature. The outcome is a 100% natural sunscreen for active people made to withstand the harshest of water, wind and sun conditions that does not harm humans or the environment.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
My background is in Business Administration which I studied in my hometown Munich in Germany. I also spent a year abroad in South America, mainly studying in Valparaìso, Chile, but also travelling and selling Spanish tortillas – my first dip into entrepreneurship. After my Bachelor, I worked for four start-ups across different industries and helped launch an app and a smart home chip for which I was part of a successful Kickstarter campaign.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
Our focus during the three Leapfrogs months lies on sales and scaling up our venture. We have already started collaborating with a fulfilment centre and are currently in the process of finding a suitable contract manufacturer who can produce our sunscreen on a much bigger scale. To win more resellers, we will also conduct direct sales as part of a road trip down the coast of France and Spain.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
We want to achieve three main goals during Leapfrogs:
1. We aim to increase our base of resellers that frequently re-order our sunscreen,
2. We want to expand our growing community of B2C customers through online and social media channels,
3. We plan to fully outsource production and fulfilment of our orders in order to be able to focus on our core strengths: sales, marketing and design.
Julia Beyer - Suntribe #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
We focused on production, marketing and sales activities. We produced a great amount of tins, a few hundred of which we deposited at our fulfilment centre (our new partner). The rest will accompany us on our sales trip to France and Spain. We also revised our sales sheet and prepared sales posters. We furthermore made our first sales in Germany when I went there to visit my friends and family. Furthermore, we continued the cooperation with our brand ambassadors and hit the magic number of 2,000 fans on Instagram (@suntribesunscreen).
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Everything has gone pretty much according to plan, or better. We were really happy that our first business customers started re-ordering and private orders went up as well. Something that could have been easier was the overhaul of our website where the communication with our external web developer turned out to be more time-consuming and challenging at times than expected.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
We will follow the original plan of focusing on sales, marketing and outsourcing to a great extent. What has changed is that due to the increased demand we will gear up our production and produce more tins than originally planned. Other than that, we will stick to our original plans of fostering both B2B and B2C sales and outsourcing production and labelling of our tins.
Julia Beyer - Suntribe #3
How did you experience the three months?
It was a wonderful experience! It felt awesome to see all the work that we had already put into our project over the months prior to Leapfrogs pay off and turn into real sales! It was also really helpful to have the Leapfrogs meetings as a guiding beacon where we could update each other about our progress and motivate each other.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The hardest part has definitely been to set up processes that would allow us to work more efficiently with our time. With every new customer and every new contact, we learned a lot. And that was certainly the most enjoyable: to be in direct contact with our resellers and get immediate feedback.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
The summer did turn out even more favourable for Suntribe than we had hoped for. We are for sure going to continue working on our project full speed!
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The most important lesson I’ve learned over the summer (and that I’m still not incorporating enough) is that you can allow yourself some confidence about your project and the progress you’ve achieved so far. Don’t give in too easily, ask your customers to pay shipping costs e.g. and take you seriously!
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
My tips are, never miss an opportunity to talk to a person you don’t know yet – everyone has the potential to bring your idea forward / at least give you some feedback. Secondly, try to test your product / make your first sales as early as possible. Your product is never going to be perfect anyway! Thirdly (complementing tip number 2), check regulations thoroughly before setting out into international / national waters! Try to find other companies that can give you tips on how to approach your market entry strategy.