Amelia Priest established Just Snacks in 2012 with the aim of bringing healthy snacks to Australian consumers from suppliers across the country and US.
We sat down with Amelia to find out more about her thriving venture and the technology that is helping her save time, increase productivity and grow her business.
Can you tell us about Just Snacks and how you got started?
Just Snacks is a small, wholly family-owned business and our goal is to simply find healthy snacks that are 100% natural, gluten free and delicious!
In 2012, I discovered Matt’s Munchies which are products made from organic fruit puree – a perfect healthy snack. At the same time, I was also looking for a business to start or to buy, so I decided to promote Matt’s Munchies in Australia and see where it would go.
My background is in sales, marketing and business development so the work was a natural fit and I was soon introducing new brands to the Just Snacks offering. We sell directly consumers via our website and to wholesale outlets across Australia.
What type of technologies do you use to help support and run your business?
As a large proportion of the business is with US companies, the freedom of email and Skype helps me keep my communication costs very low. And I really love Evernote because it’s such a simple and easy way to create and keep notes.
Today there are also so many free marketing avenues that I’m able to use to promote the business. Social media platforms including Facebook, Google , Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram all allow Just Snacks to effectively reach out to potential suppliers and customers.
In terms of the nuts and bolts, I use Intuit QuickBooks Online to manage my sales and inventory processes, plus the general financials.
What are some of the key challenges you think small business owners face?
I think for small businesses, the key challenges are time and financial management. It can be really easy to get caught up in trying to grow the business and then neglecting things like keeping your records in check, lodging your BAS (Business Activity Statement) on time, getting line of sight on cash flow.
I’ve chosen to use cloud-based software to help with this because it provides not only great functionality but convenience as I can log in to accounts any time, any where.
With QuickBooks, for example, I always know what stock I have, what I need to order and pay for, and where my money is. When my stock arrives, I use the inventory function to enter the quantity – say, 1000 of an item - in stock. Then when an invoice for 200 items is created, the inventory automatically shows I have 800 left.
The integrated banking function helps save a lot of time and the software also integrates with PayPal which is perfect for me because many of Just Snacks’ sales are online, as well as my warehouse service and website to simplify the order process.
Any advice for other small business owners?
Today there are lots of opportunities to use technology to automate cumbersome tasks so I say use these wherever you can because it frees you up to spend more time on building your business!