Years ago, before we even thought about starting LIcorice International, I discovered three business principles that made enormous sense.
Find a product or service people want but is in short supply. Fill the need.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Another piece of advice was from the famous Acres of Diamonds story. The story goes like this. A farmer heard there were diamonds on the continent. Farming wasn’t producing much money and the farmer dreamed of becoming wealthy. So he sold his farm and went searching for diamonds.
The farmer’s search proved fruitless and he ended up bitterly disappointed. He returned to his home and was shocked to discover that the new farmer had become exceedingly wealthy. While in the course of daily working his land, the man had found treasure. Diamonds!
The story is apocryphal but the point is obvious. Work with what you have. There’s treasure in your own backyard.
No, I did not discover licorice growing in my backyard but I came pretty close. Here’s what happened.
My husband loves licorice. Fifteen years ago, finding quality licorice was difficult. When I ordered treats from a man in New York I realized that this was one of the few places in the United States offering European licorice.
Suddenly, all those principles and parables made sense. If Doug liked licorice and we had trouble finding it, maybe other people did too. When I finished ordering from the man in New York, I asked him to let me know if he ever wanted to sell his business. And that’s exactly what he did. One week later!
Today, Licorice International is one of the premier sources for gourmet licorice in the United States.
The first two principles: fill a need and work with what you have were crucial to getting the business started. But the third principle, which is addressed in this blog post is what allowed us to be successful in a world filled with candy vendors. Focus on a single product or service. In a sea of gray and black, wear pink, or purple, or yellow or orange.
In a world filled with sweets, sours, and brightly colored sprinkles, Licorice International wears black very, very well.