Meet Marcus Wong. Co-founder of Ayomo, a clean eating business serving cold pressed juices, raw smoothies and acai bowls with 3 stores in Melbourne, and over 40 stockists Victoria wide. This is his entrepreneurial story.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
A part of me has always been curious about how businesses work and what better way to find out by starting one myself. We saw a gap in healthy eating so we decided to create a space where health can be accessible and affordable. We made our own frozen yogurt, toppings, juice/smoothie and waffles.
How did you get your business started?
Prior to Ayomo I had my own investment company where I traded and with the money I made, I used it as capital for our first store. We did testings at home, had yogurt, juice and waffles weeks and months to finalise the recipe before going to source for a location and a branding agency. With our testings, we participated in events where we showcased our menu and asked for feedback. I remember our friends came over every day at the same time to try different smoothies and they had to answer a pretty extensive questionnaire about each product.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
Pennywise Pound foolish – invest in good human capital and equipment; don’t try to save on cheap equipment and then have to replace it really soon.
Hire better than you – accept that you are not the best in all aspects and hire the best people for the job.
How important has it been for you to have a mentor?
Very. As an entrepreneur, you surround yourself with advisors. It’s important to surround yourself with people smarter than you and better than you. It is so important to talk about ideas and be challenged constantly.
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
- Work for a start-up – grind and gain the experience, after all its free lessons.
- Start networking – because sometimes it’s about who you know.
- Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – understand and study your competitors business model.