In this interview, we talked with Kristina, one of the co-founders of Biodami, who provides insights into her experience working together with a Minite High-Flyer for almost a year. Read on to learn more about Kristina's journey and how working with a High-Flyer has helped her grow her business and gear up for activation in the German market.
I'm one of the co-founders behind Biodami, the Bioceutical Lab on a mission to unlock the potential of the gut microbiome. Biodami is not your typical food supplement company. We're passionate about the incredible power of the gut microbiome, our body's age-old companion. Long before humans roamed the Earth, the microbiome was there, shaping our immunity, metabolism, and food digestion. These tiny microorganisms have been our silent partners for ages, intricately linked to various aspects of our well-being. Our journey at Biodami is fueled by a deep-seated fascination with the gut microbiome and its intricate science. Together with my co-founder Sophie Cochez, we bring a wealth of experience from the world of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and pharmaceuticals. Our scientific backgrounds encompass regulatory affairs, marketing, research, and development as well. Drawing from our combined expertise, and having successfully launched multiple brands and products during our time at the same company we finally decided to launch Biodami together. It's this extensive knowledge that forms the foundation of Biodami, as we strive to provide innovative solutions for better health. Our journey started with a core principle –probiotic strains that serve as the cornerstone of our offerings. Initially, we introduced three distinct products. One of them revolutionized iron supplementation to combat iron deficiency. Another was tailored to the needs of those on gluten-free diets, aiding in gluten breakdown to address gluten sensitivity. We also designed a product targeting gut discomfort, often linked to stress, honing in on the gut-brain axis. These three products are just the beginning, as we have a multitude of exciting products in our pipeline.
Starting a venture as a startup with just the two of us, my co-founder and I, came with its unique set of challenges. Despite our experience with larger companies, we recognized that some tasks needed to be delegated from the very beginning to allow us the time and resources to execute our plans effectively. Considering our startup status, we had to be mindful of our budget, speed, and other constraints. Hiring full-time employees can be a significant expense, and we aren't at that stage yet. Our journey began in October, with a focus on launching our products in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, a key market for us. When it came to languages, we had a solid grasp of most, except for one crucial language: German. Given the preparations we had made, we decided to dive in and ensure we had the necessary German language skills. The question then was, how could we accomplish this remotely without a network in Germany? That's when I stumbled upon Minite. It was particularly attractive because it entailed relatively low risk for us. With Minite, candidates are vetted both from our side and theirs, helping us find a suitable match for our needs. It was a chance worth taking, a way to see who we could find, knowing that a pool of highly skilled and motivated individuals was readily available in the e-commerce industry. So, we dipped our toes into this new approach, starting with a trial position. We hoped for the best and embarked on the journey with cautious optimism. It turned out to be a good move, as we've been working with our hire since September, marking roughly a year of collaboration that has been nothing short of successful so far.
With Minite, candidates are vetted both from our side and theirs, helping us find a suitable match for our needs.
Our High-Flyer specializes in the field of digital marketing, which plays an important role in our company's operations. Her responsibilities contain a variety of tasks, all aimed at optimizing our presence and impact. One of her key roles is overseeing our content translations. This entails not only reviewing translations but also taking the lead in translating our content into German, her native language. Her proficiency in English further adds to her capabilities, ensuring that our content aligns seamlessly across languages. Where our High-Flyer truly shines is in her excellent marketing skills and structured approach to her work. As any startup founder can attest, the entrepreneurial journey can be a whirlwind of chaos. That's where her structured mindset becomes invaluable. She not only assists with our translation needs but also brings order to our processes. Primarily, her role revolves around translation work. Gradually, she transitioned into more substantial responsibilities, including copywriting. As she became more involved, we noticed her keen interest in our products. We're working on gradually introducing her to our systems, explaining our thought process behind various aspects like CRM management and blog creation. , she has proven to be a dependable resource when it comes to content creation began assigning her more copywriting tasks and eventually delved into technical aspects, particularly the backend of our websites and CRMs. Her creative yet structured mindset has proven to be fantastic in handling these tasks. Being a remote company, we needed someone who is self-resourceful and a proactive self-starter. I'm mindful of her status as a student, so I tend to assign tasks that don't have stringent deadlines. However, when necessary, I do communicate harder deadlines. Regardless, she manages her time effectively and ensures there's always work to be done. Her self-starting attitude and structured approach make her a valuable asset to our team.
She has been an invaluable asset in preparing us for the German market. Over the past year, we've been working hard to acquire clients, primarily as an online business. This effort involved ensuring our website was available in five languages, which required translating everything we had into those different languages. She played a pivotal role in accelerating this process. With everything ready for the German market, we can now hit the green button and launch with confidence. Her contributions have been undeniably helpful in this regard. Furthermore, when it comes to content creation, she has proven to be a dependable resource. There have been instances where she grasped the content well enough for me to entrust it to her. Her ability to bring structure to our operations is commendable. She has been excellent in creating Excel spreadsheets, Google Sheets, and various dashboards, adding significant value to our business processes. It seems like a perfect fit. I have a scheduled call with her this week to discuss how we can further support her. It's not just about finding a part-time job; it's also about understanding her interests and what she wants to learn. Our aim is to guide her towards her future professional career, and I hope she has gained valuable insights from her time with us.
Being a startup, our growth path isn't set in stone. We have to remain flexible. Some days, we realize we need assistance in various areas like supply chain management, technical support, marketing, and sales. Growing a startup encompasses numerous facets, and we don't want to rigidly adhere to a specific hiring profile. As we evolve, our needs change. For instance, last week was hectic, and it seemed like we needed someone with expertise in supply chain management. However, this week, the requirements might be entirely different. While we have our insights, we believe it's beneficial to explore working with freelancers before making a permanent hire.
Working with flexible students allows us to maintain flexibility in our operations and optimize costs. It definitely offers us the agility required by a startup.
I've had experience working with students before, and it varies from person to person. It's often about finding the right match; it's a matter of individual motivation, whether they work remotely or elsewhere. In our case, we're fortunate to have a highly motivated High-Flyer on our team. It's encouraging to know that you're content with your team members. Indeed, it's important to understand their interests and motivation levels. If they're enthusiastic about a particular aspect of their work, it's wise to capitalize on that enthusiasm. While we hire freelancers for specific tasks and support, it's still a transaction where they are compensated for their services. Therefore, they are expected to fulfill their responsibilities. However, I always approach it with a positive mindset, seeking to uncover where their motivation lies. In a startup environment, like ours, it's essential to leverage their strengths and help them grow for their future benefit. This is why they can be such a joy to work with. Their diverse skills and motivations make the collaboration enjoyable and mutually beneficial.
Their diverse skills and motivations make the collaboration enjoyable and mutually beneficial.
We've made our first official hire, which is an exciting milestone. While we're keeping our High-Flyer, it's a significant step for our growing company. As mentioned earlier, our expansion plans are focused on pan-European growth, although not everything simultaneously. We've made considerable progress in expanding across Europe. We started in Belgium, and we are on track to enter the Netherlands. Spain is also in our sights, given that one of our co-founders resides there. Additionally, we're gearing up for expansion into Germany and France, including the Amazon marketplace. With our team of two and a half individuals, we've positioned ourselves well for these endeavors. Our first hire represents the addition of a crucial third team member who will fully integrate into our operations. This, alongside our High-Flyer, will help us manage the growing workload as we accelerate our activities. Our next step is to have a conversation with our High-Flyer. We need to assess if her goals and aspirations align with the current role or if she envisions a different path. It's essential to explore her interests and potential contributions based on her experience and capabilities.
We wanted someone who had already been vetted by another organization, preferably with experience in larger corporate settings. While we value individuals with student-level roles and experience, we also consider Minite as an option due to the practical experience it offers. This is particularly beneficial for a remote company like ours, where delegation and trust are key, as we are not inclined to micromanage. We believe that individuals with a self-starter mindset are well-suited for our organization. If Minite can source such candidates, it would certainly provide value to companies like ours. Additionally, having a pool of multilingual individuals is advantageous, as we specifically needed someone proficient in German, even though our company is based in the Netherlands. This diversity in language skills has been a significant asset for us. Overall, we find Minite to be a valuable resource, and it's highly accessible.
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