At Klarna we are dedicated to the small businesses at the core of our economy, and believe it’s vital that they’re given all the tools they need to survive. Following new research revealing a quarter (24%) of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years, and 46% of owners stating their main priority is to simply survive the next six months, we launched a £3m Small Business Support Package to help British SMEs recover from the pandemic. We hope that the Support Package, alongside our ten-part Accelerator Programme, will inspire and boost confidence across the SME sector. In addition to this, we are hosting inspiring small UK businesses on our blog to discover their stories.
Welcoming George Greenhill, Founder of My Protein Package. From a student start-up to a full-scale nationwide distribution business, Protein Package is reinventing the ‘pick & mix’ for today’s health-conscious snackers. Offering unrivalled choice and quality brands at low prices, its business is growing fast. Here its founder, George Greenhill, shares his story:
Hi George! How was your business born?
Aged 17 as a student starting a ‘healthy lifestyle’ transformation, I got the taste for healthy protein snacks. Problem… most snacks came as expensive individual products or in large boxes or tubs that left me stuck with the same flavour for weeks. The idea came… Protein Package. Using £300 of birthday money, I invested it all in stock, after no time at all, we had our first sale – the rest is history.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced starting up?
Developing the website. I taught myself to code and after 4 months, I finally had a fully functioning online store. I built it on a Shopify platform, a great decision as it had some pre-built functionality and allowed me to scale the business easily.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
It means being in control of your destiny. If you’re willing to put in the long hours after school, university or after everyone’s left work, success will come in some way, shape or form.
What investment decision has had the most impact on your business?
Our new distribution facility in 2021 allowed us to hugely decrease delivery times for customers, improve stock level accuracy and employ more great people. In the early days though it was our first big bulk buy – 10 pallets of NOCCO Energy Drinks. We took a big gamble, that wiped out our cashflow, but it paid off – we sold out in 74 minutes. This instilled the belief that if your product and price are the best on the market, people will want it.
Has the pandemic impacted you and how have you bounced back?
It’s been a rollercoaster. Cardboard packaging prices increased by almost 250%, there were stock supply delays and we missed meeting our great customers at pop-ups in gyms around the UK, However, we remained very busy throughout lockdown as people opted to shop online. And we incorporated a shopping experience on premises so customers can now visit us face-to-face.
What are your ambitions for the future, and what do you want to hold onto as your business grows?
We want to work with other inspiring brands from around the world to bring them to UK consumers; to improve our price competitiveness and be the very best on the market for all products. Eating better, shouldn’t cost more. We’ll continue to offer personal customer support and retain our inclusive family culture.
What advice would you give others looking to launch a retail business?
If you’re looking to start something, no matter how big or small, just go for it. You’ll make mistakes on the way, everyone does, but at least you won’t be watching the news in ten years and see someone with the same unique idea you had making a great success of it.