Friday, 4 January 2008
For the first time since we embarked on our mission to start Soupa, I've had serious doubts about our ability to pull it off. It's been a long, stressful and frustrating path since the inception of the concept during Christmas 2006 with many twists and turns keeping success from our sights.
In the time since then, we've had highs and lows a plenty. I cannot understate the emotional rollercoaster that we have put ourselves through. On a number of occasions the mood within the team has changed from pure euphoria to abject terror in the space of only an afternoon.
In fact if there is one thing I've learned it's that you must be able to take the rough with smooth. For example, after 6 weeks of hard work performing the Soupa Size Me challenge we were overwhelmed with the news that the subject had lost 5% of her body fat and that the Yorkshire Evening Post were so interested that they were to run a half page colour editorial about the results and our story.
However, the joy was short lived when it became clear that we were to receive not a single call of interest from the article and that the website we had painstakingly built would receive a couple of extra hits at best. I really feel sorry for companies that pay for advertising space in the paper to achieve these results and shudder to think at how much the coverage we received would have cost to buy.
Or take the whole Leeds University Union fiasco. We were over the moon when the director of Leeds University Students Union agreed to us placing a trolley unit in the Union building, which we spent months developing to be told at the last moment "that we have decided to find a soup manufacturer and do it ourselves". Another crushing blow.
For all the highs that we have achieved there seems to be equally crushing blows to follow but as they say, that's business - nobody said it would be easy. With no retail unit to fall back on we've been forced to rely on our office delivery business, which is taking off slower than expected and may yet deliver us our final, killer blow.
I'm now in charge of Sales, so the pressure is firmly on my shoulders to deliver and you can be sure that I will give it every ounce of my being but I can't help but think about the grey future that lies ahead if I fail...