Osome were delighted to have recently hosted Spencer Matthews as part of a mini masterclass series on getting your side hustle off the ground.
You probably know Spencer from TV’s Made in Chelsea, but if you don’t know his story you’ll soon find it’s an interesting one. A family tragedy and hectic career in finance has given him an entrepreneurial spirit and fire that has since led to the creation of CleanCo.
CleanCo sells non-alcohol spirit alternatives and the brand centres around the concept of living a 'Life Less Wasted'. Since it’s launch in 2019, the company has secured £9.1 million in investment and is trailblazing the non-alcoholic drinks category.
To listen to Spencer chat about his business journey, check out the full six-part mini masterclass. Or, read on below where we’ve cherry-picked the key advice for levelling up your business.
Business Is Personal
Born from Spencer’s sobriety, CleanCo is very much a personal endeavour. Before starting the company, he was a city broker with a lifestyle that centred around alcohol. From entertaining clients to after-work drinks with colleagues, drinking came with the territory.
When this started to take a toll on his health, Spencer gave up the alcohol. Soon after, he tried a non-alcoholic spirit - back when they were still relatively unknown - which turned his head:
“I decided that I could do it better than the brand that was in my hands. I wanted to create a non-alcoholic range of spirits that could directly replace their alcoholic counterparts, and provide people with choice without compromise. And I haven’t stopped since.”
Successful products and services are all about acknowledging and solving customers’ pain points. When you’ve experienced that pain point yourself, you know better than anyone why you want to fix it and how to get the job done. You’re already fully immersed in the issue after all.
Not only does this mitigate the need for expensive user research and customer profiling, but it gives you exclusive insight and understanding into the minds of those you’re trying to reach. Keep your business personal and you can go above and beyond in customer experience and expectations.
For a little inspiration on getting your business started, we’ve listed 36 cash-generating side hustle ideas. Be sure to check them out and make note of which ones feel most personal to you.
Shaping a Category
It may feel frustrating at times to have other businesses ‘muscling in’ on your territory, but reposition this stance in your mind. Competition is healthy.
The more people there are in your category the better. It means customers quickly become aware of the growing category. For Spencer, this meant non-alcoholic spirits weren’t an unusual offering, but rather a product that was fast becoming a staple for consumers.
Having competitors also means that everyone is pushing each other to refine their products, making them the very best they can be.
“We couldn’t do it without others trying as well. The more people get involved in this booming, exciting category, the better. The stronger the competition, the better. The better the products, the better.”
But you can’t rely on a growing category alone to help seal the deal with your customers. Your messaging and business proposition needs to resonate too.
Spencer and the CleanCo team found that the average person in the UK spends 252 hours hungover each year. From this, they changed their messaging to reflect that fact. They’re not simply selling non-alcoholic spirits, they’re selling time. More time and more clarity to achieve things, start side hustles, strengthen relationships or try new experiences.
They’ve further expanded on this too, with part of their marketing activity having been to ask people what they would do with an extra 252 hours a year. This kind of emotional, thought-provoking messaging really hits home with consumers.
When it comes to your side hustle, try and test new messaging that sells beyond the product alone. See what resonates with your customers and don’t be afraid if it takes a while to find it.
Remember, the Osome Business Library is jam-packed with business tidbits like this and it’s free to use.
Dealing With Doubt
As well his father being a successful entrepreneur, a family tragedy of losing his brother while climbing Mount Everest, set the wheels in motion for Spencer to want to do great things.
“I’ve always had high goals and high expectations of myself, and wanted to drive myself through walls to be the biggest and best thing I can be. And that was only possible through sobriety.”
This fire is in no doubt the reason why CleanCo has grown and achieved great things in only three years. However, no matter how driven and goal-orientated you are, it doesn’t deter from the fact that sometimes doubt and uncertainty can creep in. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s par for the course.
So what are some ways to steady the ship if you’re feeling confused or full of doubt? Spencer says quite simply to trust your gut. You can often, understandably, turn to people you think know better. However, not all advice is good advice. Particularly when they don’t know your business, customers, or product as well as you.
Don’t run before you can walk. Slow everything down and work to a reasonable timeframe. You’ll achieve a greater level of consistency in product and experience when you take time to think before acting. And this slower, steadier growth is far healthier for your business in the long run.
Watch The Full Masterclass
Feeling inspired? There’s plenty more where that came from. Check out the full six-part mini masterclass with Spencer over here.