Cinzia Cozzolino is a registered Nutritionist and Founder of Nutrition Darling and Smoothie Bombs, which produce a range of delicious health-food products.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
My business, Nutrition Darling, rose out of necessity. As a health practitioner in a clinic, and with my own teenage children at home, I began to realise that, essentially, people weren’t taking time to have a healthy breakfast. This really bothered me. Initially, in response, I started making Smoothie Bombs for my family and friends and my business grew from there.
How did you get your business started?
I didn’t start Nutrition Darling with any capital. Instead, I made sales where I could and kept putting the profit back into the kitty, so to speak. I was working part-time at the local gym, so at least I had some outside income. Yes, the first year was tough and I worked long hours, but things progressed well. Now, I’m able to focus all of my time and effort on my business and I’ve started to reap the rewards.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
You can’t be afraid of hard work! Running a business is not for the faint hearted, especially in the beginning with both Nutrition Darling and Smoothie Bombs I had so many aspects to learn. It was definitely an eye-opener. I’m really glad I completed my Certificate IV in Small Business Management with RMIT, as I wouldn’t have been able to come this far without that knowledge.
How important is it to have a business mentor?
It’s been vital to have a business mentor: I have several! I’m lucky to know a few business owners in the hospitality industry, as well as in production and marketing. Their words of advice and wisdom have been immeasurably helpful and have saved me a lot of time with Smoothie Bombs. Even my mentors have mentors! Everyone needs a sounding board from an experienced person in their field.
Cinzia Cozzolino - Founder of Nutrition Darling and Smoothie Bombs.
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
1 – Get your systems in place at the beginning so that when it takes off the processes are easier to manage.
2 – Do your research. Make sure you are speaking to your target market in the ways that they want to connect.
3 – Don’t give up. The going can get pretty hectic and sometimes it seems too hard. But persevere: it’s worth it!
Cinzia Cozzolino is a graduate of the RMIT Certificate IV in Small Business Management
"I didn’t start Nutrition Darling with any capital. Instead, I made sales where I could and kept putting the profit back into the kitty. Yes, the first year was tough and I worked long hours, but things progressed well." - Cinzia Cozzolino