Tony Small

Tony Small, Business Owner, Auckland

What was your money moment?

A big shift in mindset for me was realising I didn't need money to launch my business. If anything, not having much money to start my company was a really positive advantage, as it made me think differently and work harder to hustle even more.

I realised that all I needed to start a business was a good idea, and if I could pre-sell that idea it would save me a load of time and money, meaning I could fund the business with very little risk. This is how Innocent Packaging was born.

I pitched the idea of a small run of branded cups to cafes that were stamping (which was time-consuming) or stickering cups (costly). I realised I could offer them a better, more sustainable product at a lower cost. All they had to do was pay me a 50 per cent deposit, which covered the cost of producing the cups.

After eight weeks, I had enough orders to import my first container and three years later we now bring in a container a week.

Pre-selling an idea not only saved me time and money, but lowered my risk massively. It also gave me the opportunity to discover a wide range of business opportunities before spending a single cent.