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Business Ideas - 3 Business Lessons From Anita Roddick


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Today we're going to look at how a mother of two was forced to start a business when her husband left her to travel the Americas. Having no formal training, her survival instinct kicked in and she built one of the most trusted brands in the world. This is the story of the Body Shop's Anita Roddick and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from her success.

"Whatever you do, be different... If you're different, you will stand out." - Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick (born Anita Perella, 23 October 1942 -- 10 September 2007) was a British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism. She was born into a hard-working immigrant family and her mother ran a successful cafe which kept the young Roddick occupied for most of her childhood. In addition to a strong work ethic, her mother also taught her the concept of recycling and how valuable it could be for businesses. After graduating school she took a trip around the world and eventually wound up in Johannesburg, South Africa where she disobeyed the laws of apartheid by attending a jazz club on 'black night' and was sent back to England. Upon arriving back home she met Gordon Roddick and felt she had an "instant bond" with him. The two married and opened up a restaurant and hotel together.

After three years of running the two businesses, Gordon decided that he wanted to fulfill his life-long dream of riding a horse from Buenos Aires, Argentina to New York City. They sold the restaurant business and Anita stayed home with their two children. While Gordon was away on his adventure she decided to create her own cosmetics store that would sell natural and environmentally conscious products. She started off selling 15 cosmetic products that she made in her garage and packaged in recycled bottles to reduce the cost. She soon opened a second location and by the time her husband had returned from his trip, people were already asking about franchising rights.

By 2004 the Body Shop had almost 2,000 stores and served over 77 million customers around the world. It was also considered one of the most trusted brands in the world. On March 17, 2006, L'Oréal bought the Body Shop for £652 million ($973 million). With the sale Roddick became more involved in charity work and began giving away her money to causes she believed in. When she died in 2007 she left her estate to charities.

Action Item #1: Get Past Survival

Action Item #2: Use Your Business to Do Good

Action Item #3: Learn by Doing

True Story

Anita Roddick's first location was next to a funeral parlor, giving a whole new meaning to the Body Shop name. When she began franchising she had little experience and decided not to charge startup or royalty fees. However, before she would accept franchisees, they would have to interview with her. Roddick asked off the wall questions like "What is your favourite flower?" and "How would you like to die?" to get to know her candidates on a more personal level.

More Quotes

"Crazy people see and feel things that others don't. But you have to believe that everything is possible. If you believe it, those around you will believe it too."

"To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito."

What Do You Think?

How did you get past the survival stage with your company? Do you think entrepreneurship can be taught? What part of Anita Roddick's message impacted you the most? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!

Автор: Evan Carmichael
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