We are very new at the idea of running a business and learning how to keep up a website. Especially since we are trying to do this in both English and Spanish, it can be rather intimidating. We know we have a lot to learn. (For example, how to make the pictures always fit in the space, like the soapberry in this post.) One way we are trying to improve is by taking a business class, which in turn is trying to teach us how to write a business plan. That is making us think through details of why we are doing this and how we hope to get to our goals.
One of the pieces of advice we heard recently was to start small, so that you make small mistakes and can learn from small things rather than big devastating mistakes. That makes a lot of sense, just so long as we don’t make too many small mistakes in a row!
Another thing that has come out of this class is a new confidence in our product. While the soapberry’s Asian cousin “soapnuts” is well known in Europe and the US. (at least in some circles), in Honduras, it is the first time that people have been presented with a 100% natural alternative to chemical detergents. It is really fun to see people’s reaction to our presentation, have them try the soapberry powder for themselves and come back enthusiastic. We haven’t figured out yet how to make positive reactions turn into faithful customers yet, but hopefully we will learn that, too. In the mean time, it is encouraging to see that folks really do like our product and what we are trying to accomplish through it.
We have made a lot of small mistakes and will probably make a lot more as time goes by, but giving a go at turning Honduran soapberries into a new opportunity for a lot of people is not one of them. We have a good thing started.