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Entering a competitive marketplace can be a daunting prospect; but a “different way of doing things will attract a different customer”

Orchard St. founder, Kirsten Shanks

Orchard St. founder, Kirsten Shanks

It’s not always what you do but the way you do things in business that secures your place in the market and a loyal customer base. The mistaken belief that you have to reinvent the wheel will only serve to make your experience more overwhelming and limit your options.

“They think they have to come up with something that no one has ever done before – a new invention, a unique service.

“The issue should not be coming up with something so unique that no one has ever heard of it but instead answering the questions: “How can I improve on this?” or “Can I do this better or differently.” (www.entrepreneur.com)

‘Courage wasn’t needed, there was never any doubt!’

With a clear idea about ‘how to do things differently,’ Kirsten Shanks tells Dynamic Business how she is navigating the highly competitive waters of the health and wellness industry with a business – likewise – in good health.

Orchard St., a cold-pressed juice retailer, was far from a new invention; the very idea itself, sparked when founder Kirsten was sipping juice in a cold-pressed juice bar in Manhattan, New York. Any suggestion that the market was already awash with similar offerings would have no discouraging effect for Kirsten.

Kirsten said “Orchard St. really came about as a vision, one of those moments when something enters your mind with such clarity and impact that it leaves no room for doubt.

“Courage wasn’t needed, there was never any doubt!”

And Kirsten was right to keep doubt at bay. Since starting the business from her home kitchen in 2012 with her own funds, a website and “a little stock,” Orchard St. has quadrupled it’s turnover, grown from 2 to 38 employees, and now has 3 retail stores in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

“We have grown from being an unknown brand to establishing ourselves as the premium name for organic juice cleanses in Australia with a significant annual turnover,” said Kirsten.

‘Building a mindful business’

In what comes as her most critical point, Kirsten comments: “amongst it all, we have continued to refine our philosophy, maintain our integrity and build a community.”

And that philosophy, spawned from her childhood experiences in the jungles of Borneo where her father worked as a structural engineer, is about “sharing the experience of wellness” in a holistic and supportive manner.

Speaking about the philosophy, Kirsten says it’s about building a mindful business – and a ‘mindful business’ is one built on foundations of integrity and awareness for a purpose greater than financial gain. According to Kirsten, Orchard St. is comfortably distinguished from competitors who, although deploy the right branding and appearance, are operating solely for profit.

‘A way to operate that resonates with your customers’

Kirsten said “when you are in the wellness marketplace you need to be transparent; authenticity cannot be built but must be at the core of a business.

“It is about the way you conduct business day-to-day and the personal practices you and your staff utilise to ensure alignment and productivity.

“A different way of doing things will attract a different customer,” said Kirsten.

The lesson to be drawn from Kirsten’s experience could be applicable to a variety of industries where competition is rife: reinventing the wheel is not a prerequisite for a standout, successful new business. “Customers are very sensitive to the integrity of a business,” says Kirsten, so finding a way to operate that resonates with your customers is key. After all – this has worked for Orchard St., a confident business now looking for an investor with the right of vision and value to expand further.