Biz Bites with Brianne West: All your questions about Incrediballs answered!

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Our second bonus episode 'Biz Bites' with Brianne answers your burning questions about Incrediballs. Curious about when you can invest, the fizziness factor, or why we're launching into three markets simultaneously? This snappy episode has you covered. We're also tackling the big issues like imposter syndrome and the plastic pollution crisis. Our Snappy Snippets feature business owners changing the world with their enterprises and some big questions around what they are superstars at! No intros, no waffle (okay, well not much), just helpful snappy answers to help you build your businesses!

Our sister podcast is called 'Now, That's What I Call Green'.

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Kia ora and welcome to the second episode of Biz Bites, which is a quick and snappy episode for you to listen to on your way to work. Normally, I would have a special guest on to answer a bunch of questions for you, but actually, you guys have a whole bunch of questions for me, and this is mostly around Incrediballs. So we're going to go quickfire through them. I'll be able to give you an insight to why I'm making the decisions I'm making, and if you've got more questions, well, you know what to do.

Okay, number one, I love this question. When can I invest? It's no secret to anybody who knows my story, I have equity crowdfunded twice with the Teak and the exit for those people a couple of years later was one of the most successful equity crowdfunding exits ever. Those earliest investors made a 4,800% return on their investment. Now that is a pretty damn good going. It's also no secret that I love equity crowdfunding. Not only is it an amazing marketing opportunity, it's also a way to reward and bring your community with you on the journey and reward them for the early support. Obviously, yes, it's risky and you have to bear that in mind because you must treat these people's money with the utmost respect. But I love equity crowdfunding and I am 98% certain we're going to go for an equity crowdfunding round with Incrediballs. The inevitable question of course is, but why do you really need to?

To a certain level, we can fund Incrediballs ourselves. Obviously, I'm in a position where a tick was successful. I had a bit of an exit from it, and as a result, I can fund Incrediballs to a point. But I would love to bring the community that we've already built along the journey with me again. Honestly, there is nothing cooler than an email from someone that I got a couple of years ago once we had completed our private equity deal, and they cashed out their shares and somebody said that this was a life changing thing for them. They had paid off their mortgage, they had paid off some other debts and they were now in a completely different position. They had done that through investment which is great but they had invested in a company that had changed the world and as gross and cheesy and weird as that sounds, I think that may be one of the proudest moments of my life. So I want to do it again. When can you invest is a difficult question. So Incrediballs or Going Well will launch in April and I want some solid months of sales and feedback and understanding how the market reacts, what customers think, before I even think about taking other people's money. So it's not going to be till mid to late next year because this is not something I'm entering into lightly. So stay tuned and I promise I will let you know what we are thinking when we are thinking it.

The next question is about the product. Will they be fizzy? Well, sort of. Fizzy drinks are fizzy because carbon dioxide is dissolved into the solution. With effervescent tablets, they are fizzy briefly. So if you like a super fizzy drink, pop them in sparkling water. Yes, you can pop them in sparkling water, you can put them in warm water, hot water. We're looking at milk because yes, we are thinking tea and coffee bombs because that makes the most sense, right? And yes, the best option is dropping a blackcurrant one in a glass of champagne. I believe fancy people would call that a Kier Royale. I just know it's delicious. What shape are they going to be? Good question. A lot of people assume that they're balls. Fair. I would probably have two. But let me just remind you, not all balls are spherical. Rugby balls, our nation's beloved sport, definitely not spherical. We are looking at rounded tablets. Now, the reason they can't be spherical is twofold. One, a sphere has got the absolute worst surface area to volume ratio, which simply means there is lots of stuff with very little surface, which is where the water and the effervescent product reacts. So it takes a long time to dissolve. So that's one, not a great customer experience. Number two is that because effervescent tablet products are softer, you can't compress them as much and therefore they're likely to break. So rounded spheres.

Someone has asked, why are we launching in three markets at once? Because the prevailing wisdom is launch in one market, usually your home market, and be profitable there first. Depending on a whole bunch of things like your resources and your experience and expertise and networking and so on and so forth, that might be true for you. It's not necessarily true for us. New Zealand is a small market. This product has big applications. So we are launching in Australia, New Zealand, and America at the same time because we have the resources to support them, the understanding of the market, we have networking in each place so we know people to talk to in each market. It's also a part we can do one version of, comply with every single country's regulations. We're also doing online first. Now if you want to hear more in depth about this, I've talked about it in the export episode, but we are doing online first and that does remove a lot of the risk. We will move into physical retail sooner in New Zealand followed by Australia, followed by the States. But online first takes quite a lot of that risk away, although not necessarily the marketing cost. Someone asked me about imposter syndrome, and the answer is emphatically, yes, I never ever feel like I belong in a room. I mean, the standard for imposter syndrome, and look, there's lots of people who say it's not true. It's simply the social conditioning for women being told that we are not good enough. And I believe that's absolutely true, but we coined the term imposter syndrome to cover that sort of that feeling, right? So yes, I regularly feel inadequate, particularly in rooms with like finance bros or people who have done incredible things. And sometimes it's negative and sometimes it's horrible because of the energy they give off and sometimes it's like awe, right? These people have been amazing.

Why are they giving me the time of day? So yes, I often feel inadequate and ridiculous that I'm in this position and ridiculous that anybody is paying any attention to me whatsoever. I just try and ignore it and remember that feelings aren't reality, feelings aren't facts and I move on from there. One of my best friends, her mother is a life coach and she once got me to write down a page of, there was a scenario that was bothering me a lot. She once got me to write an entire page of all the things, all of the realities about that scenario that were worrying me. So I spent a couple of minutes and wrote down all these things like this person thinks this and this will happen and this will do this, blah, blah, blah. And then she asked me to go back and she said, look at each single one and circle all of the ones that are absolute facts. And I couldn't circle any of them because they were all feelings or thoughts that I had that had no basis in reality. That has always helped me move past what feels like an imposter syndrome style feeling. So maybe that will help you too.

Why am I doing a podcast about it? I've heard this question a few times actually and depending on when this goes live versus when the article goes live, Incrediballs will have gone in the media, which is not a surprise because obviously I'm being public about building it and not building it quietly because I believe that building a community before you launch a product has real benefits. But it's also not ideal because you want to have that press launch when you have a product for sale. It is what it is and I'm very, very appreciative that the press want to pay attention and want to tell the story. It's incredibly kind. But I'm doing a podcast for two reasons. One, I want to build that community. I want people to understand the journey of Incrediballs because it's fun. It's so much fun building a product and building a company. But it's also so much fun building a product and a company that will ideally change the industry like Ethique did. The second one is because obviously I mentor and educate a lot of entrepreneurs who are trying to do something similar, trying to use business to change the world, to make it a better place, to solve social and environmental problems. And that's obviously why I have Business Bit Better. Building Incrediballs is the perfect opportunity to show other people how to build that mission led business. So a podcast makes perfect sense. I get to talk to a whole bunch of people about what it is that I'm going through, why I'm making the decisions I'm making in the hopes that they will go and create their mission driven businesses too.

Someone has asked me quite a few questions about the Australian market. Now these are good in-depth questions. I hope these answers live up to your expectations. Is the key to success for Incrediballs, particularly in the Australian market, all about the health benefits. I think emphatically no and that is why I am not launching the health benefit balls. Health benefit balls? The benefit balls. Immediately. We're not launching those first. We are going for taste first. Now there is a couple of reasons. One that I don't want to be compared to Barocca. Barocca is almost at commodity pricing. I couldn't beat them if I wanted to. There is plenty of electrolyte effervescent tablets out there. Again they're priced sort of around 20 cents each. Couldn't make them for that because I'm making different decisions around packaging and what goes in them and where they're made and so on and so forth. So I don't want to be compared to those sorts of products. Yes the balls of benefits are coming later but I want people to buy these and to change behavior which will take time because they taste good, because they're convenient, because they're a better way of drinking without the impact on the planet. It is going to involve a lot of education, so did it take. It's going to involve some changing behavior, which is slow. But Incrediballs are a lot less inconvenient than shampoo bars. If you make a better option for people and planet as easy and at least as good as, if not better than, the convenient, more typical alternative, people will change. Are we going to market them for the non-alcoholic market? Well, this is a tough one because Incrediballs have that many applications. It's kind of bonkers, right? So we have everything from hiking and camping and travel to cocktails and bars and restaurants. I really want to see them on planes. There is so many options that we are narrowing down who we market to and where, because if we try and go broad, it's like a shotgun approach, right? It just doesn't work. The best businesses know who they are for and know who they market to. So yes, you can absolutely use these products as a mixer for a non-alcoholic spirit drink. You can also use them as a mixer for an alcoholic spirit drink. We are marketing them as tasty drinks and you can do what you like with them. We might launch a range like Incrediballs After Dark or something, but it's certainly an option. It is not the option we're focusing on to begin with.

Back to the Australian market. How do we feel the Australian market will work with the success of the return and earn schemes? Now I'm going to answer this question with some statistics. I very much believe that whilst recycling is a useful tool if we invest way more in the infrastructure and education about it, but we cannot recycle our way out of the plastic waste crisis and we will be vastly better off turning off the tap, stop making more plastic. 44, this, this, when I read this, it blew my mind, right? 44% of all of the litter in New South Wales, so that's Sydney and the surrounding state, is small volume, so that's under a litre, drink bottles. 44%! That's nearly half! That is absolutely bonkers. I couldn't find anything about the pick up of return and earn schemes. Certainly they have collected a lot of bottles. The vast majority appears to be glass. And it does appear that Australia is great at recycling glass. However, there is a shitload of plastic bottles made and used every single day in Australia. Do you know how many plastic bottles Coke makes every year? That's just Coke. 100 billion plastic bottles every single year. And they have pledged that by 2030, all of their bottles will be made of 50% recycled plastic. But I think it's also worth noting that Coca-Cola has made an absolute bucketload of sustainability pledges and not achieved a single one. We just quietly forget about them. Yes, return and earn seems to be great for glass. I can't find any information about how many people are actually doing it. But here is the worst part for me. According to the scheme's own annual report, just 25% of the plastic collected was recycled in Australia. The remaining 75% is exported. Typically, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, we export our waste to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, despite knowing full well that they cannot cope with the absolute deluge of plastic, and that is typically where plastic ends up in the ocean. So, wonderful that we are collecting and paying people to return their containers and therefore getting them to have a think about what it is they use. But what are we doing with it afterwards? We're shipping it off, where it will end up being stored, and then through typhoons and proper storage so on and so forth often end up in our oceans and I am not blaming those countries I am blaming the manufacturers of the plastic and the countries that ship it to countries knowing damn well they can't cope because it is too much and the infrastructure is not up to the job. That's another rant for another day. At current rates, the current investment Australia is putting into its recycling, Australia will only be able to recycle about 36% of all plastic waste by 2025. So yeah, I love container return schemes. I do. And I wish that New Zealand would introduce one at the disgrace that we haven't. They're not a silver bullet because unfortunately, what do you do with the plastic? We need to turn it off at the tap. And that is a solution like Incrediballs.

And then finally, my last question was, what is the sustainability of an Incrediballs like versus a SodaStream? It's not really an either or. So SodaStream might well. SodaStream and other sparkling water makers, I see as being like Incrediballs as an add-on for them. You know, there's Drinkmate, there's a Philips one, there's a Breville one, they've all got one. And they do tend to sell flavors, but they're in plastic bottles, and I personally don't like very many of them. So we're an add-on benefit largely, we're not a competitor. One Incrediball makes 350 mils of liquid deliciousness, right? And it weighs less than 1% of the weight of a pre-made equivalent. So I think the question is if you're looking at whether to buy a SodaStream or whether to buy an Incrediball, an Incrediball without question will be more sustainable because there's so much more resource involved in the SodaStream. But if you want a really fizzy product, which is something an Incrediball at this stage, at this level of R&D can't provide you, like it cannot be as fizzy as a bottle of Coke, then buy the machine, use it, and use it to death, and flavour it with an Incrediball. And that is a pretty damn good solution.

That has been Biz Byies on Now That's What I Call Business. I hope that answered some of your questions. If you have anything further, please let me know. I'm available on pretty much every social media platform, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or just send me an email. I'm easy to find. Thank you for listening. This has been Now That's What I Call Business where we're not just talking business, where we're not just talking business, we're changing the world.

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