When we aim to make big changes in our life, we want to make everything perfect in the beginning. Take eating healthy as an example. In the first two weeks, we have such a discipline that we’ve never had in our entire life before: healthy recipes, weekly meal preps, refusing to eat out. Everything works like clockwork...
But life is messy. Life throws us spontaneous challenges, unforeseen problems, crisis situations, and things don’t always go as we planned.
Guess what, when you start your own business, you end up following the same pattern. Regardless of how ambitious and cautious you were and how much academic knowledge and experience you incorporated into your business, life somehow manages to make your jaw drop. But most of the time others don’t see these things happening. People see the end product, not the beginning, middle, or after. So, we decided to give you a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes in Skosh, because transparency is also one of the core values a sustainable business should be loyal to.
We decided to illustrate this process with three different stages of our business (and probably most startups) went through:
Phase 1. Perfectionism
Beginning of the road. When ideas are flowing so fast that entrepreneurs can’t keep track of them. Ambition and determinism are in their highest points. Making a difference is not only a priority but also the whole life purpose of the entrepreneurs. They think that they calculated all the possible risks and future problems. Nothing can stop them.
Like all young startups, Skosh also went through this stage. We started motivated, ambitious, eager to contribute to society, and with a deep faith in our product. We had a clear vision to build a perfect product that helps people to make their cleaning habits more sustainable and their shopping habits more eco-conscious. Nothing could stop us. On the left, you can see the very first prototypes that we made in our kitchen.
Phase 2. Learning phase
This is when we listen to Lana Del Rey singing “don't make me sad, don't make me cry; sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough, I don't know why”. Turns out the real corporate world is not as smooth as it was depicted in the textbooks and ambition is not always enough. It’s time to forget some stuff one learned in academia. Life prepares such unforeseen and unique problems for ambitious young people who want to change the world, they end up modifying most techniques and theories they learned at school to tailor them to their business.
No one knew the pandemic was around the corner a couple of months ago. In Skosh, some purchases we planned to make earlier, when we started this journey, were either canceled or delayed. But no, the point is not to blame everything on corona and problems it brought with itself. We learned lots of things on the way, the problems textbooks and lectures didn’t teach us. And we’re grateful for those lessons.
Phase 3. Adaptation phase
Having gone through lots of struggles and chaos, having experienced good days and bad days on the way to make the difference, one learns to embrace the chaos of startup life and navigate in it.
As the Skosh team, one of the things we learned is to not get frustrated and accept the change when things don’t go as we planned and come up with more innovative and useful solutions. For example, we developed a test kit to send out to our potential customers to try out the product and give their feedback. Because besides the cleaning effect, for us it is also important to understand how well the Skosh products fit in people’s everyday life and cleaning routine. Therefore, initially, we planned to include both the Skosh bottles and tablets in our test kit. But as the pandemic developed, we were not able to order the quality products from the manufacturers we planned months ago.
After long days of discussion and considerations, we made some changes that didn’t cross our minds half a year ago, when we started first. But the important thing was to stay true to our core values and vision. Providing people with eco-friendly cleaning products to transform the future of sustainable cleaning.
Eventually, we decided to only include tablets in our test kit. After the testing phase, when we start the initial production and distribution, the bottles will also be included in the product kit. Meanwhile, if you’re one of the people who stepped up and signed up to try out our test kit, you can still test the cleaning effectiveness, scent, color, and efficiency of the product. We’re curious to know if the cleaning product we developed accommodates the needs of a sustainable community in their everyday life. The packaging of the starter kit, as well as the tablets, are made from compostable paper. We have tablets for 3 different cleaning surfaces. All of them are developed carefully with our chemical expert partners. We ensured that each tablet gets its own optimized formula depending on the surface it promises to clean. The tablet for multipurpose cleaning has a high pH level which makes it easier to dissolve stubborn grease and similar dirt better and that’s why it’s suitable for the kitchen. The bathroom area has a different kind of cleaning needs compared to the kitchen.
That’s why for the tablet for bathrooms we included more limestone and adjusted pH better by decreasing it so it’s suitable to clean the bathroom the best way possible. Most glass cleaner liquids normally have some amount of alcohol in them that evaporates easily. However, there are no solutions like that exist in powder form. Therefore, we added special ingredients that do not leave any stains or strikes on the surface to make it suitable to clean glass surfaces.
Long story short, life handed us lemons and together with team effort and strong vision, we made lemonade, lemon cake, lemon drops, and I even used the rinds to make lemon art!
We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback on our tablets, so we can improve more and provide the world with more sustainable and eco-conscious cleaning products!
With love and gratitude,