Meet Inna Kiner, founder of InnaMuse. Inna creates premium handcrafted nutritious and delicious mueslis. Inna told us how much she dislikes anything to do with numbers and finances despite being an economist by training! She says she just doesn’t enjoy accounting so has grown her muesli business with help in the finance area and says it’s made a massive difference to her cashflow and focus.
Inna is a caring and committed foodpreneur and we admire her approach to growing her business by getting the right help she needs, both on the personal and professional front, to enable her to expand from markets to grocery stores. This is her start up story.
How would you describe the business you are in?
Whilst InnaMuse is an artisan muesli business, I believe I’m in the business of feeding families nutritious and delicious breakfasts to kick start their day. With a range of flavours to suit every dietary requirement or taste bud, I see InnaMuse as feeding everybody.
What do you love about your work?
I love getting into the kitchen! Knowing that my food is free from any nasties and is going to part of someone’s nutritious and crunchy meal gives me my drive. And seeing the smile spread over someone’s face when they first try InnaMuse – that’s what drives me every day.
My favourite part is also the creativity that goes into creating a new flavour, whether it be to solve someone’s dietary need or just a new mix and flavour.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
Anything to do with numbers and finances! Despite being an economist by training, I just don’t enjoy accounting. So that’s what I got help with, and it’s made a massive difference to my cash flow and focus.
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
Back yourself and cover your behind with every. single. distribution. client. No matter how big or small. Have an agreement in place from the start, in writing, and don’t falter in getting it signed.
Women start businesses 41% of the time to solve a problem. Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with eg. money saved, business premises, business partner, and how long before you started paying yourself?
I’ve been running InnaMuse for a while now, and we’ve been bootstrapped from day 1. I’m so lucky to have an amazing, supportive husband that believes in me and our business, for letting me invest our personal savings into the business. And it’s taken a (long) while, but we’re about to start paying ourselves come 1 July (according to my accountant).
As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.
In the last twelve months, I’ve sat down and faced the music on my finances and numbers. And the result pointed to what I secretly suspected all along – I needed to review my pricing approach. I was petrified of doing so, knowing the crowded, competitive space I play in, but I also wasn’t willing to lower the quality of my product. So I did it, and realised it was the right price point for the premium, clean product we were offering all along.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
Social media marketing. I’m not as proficient or comfortable with putting myself out there, and really using social media to my full advantage. I’ll shortly be developing a plan to combat this though!
The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?
I wish I could say something really cool here, like Zapier to automate my workflows. But truth be told, I couldn’t do without my Outlook app. I live on email, and feel it’s such an easy way to get something across quickly and (relatively) painlessly to someone else.
I get shy with phone calls, but never on email.
Why did you decide to become a member of the Foodpreneurs Formula®?
I knew I needed help a while ago, because running a solo game is hard. Over the past few years, the idea of a mentor kept creeping up on me in different ways. So when Chelsea launched her Foodpreneurs Formula® program last year, I jumped at the chance to join and become a member. And honestly, this group is a god-send!
We love to celebrate our successes. Can you give us an example of how joining the Foodpreneurs Formula® has positively impacted your business?
Being a member of Foodpreneurs Formula® has given me the wake up call I needed to figure out exactly what I need to fix for longer-term success. It’s made me accountable to myself and my husband in a way I hadn’t felt before – it’s matured me as a business owner.
Thank you Inna.
Want to read more about another successful member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with Gilava Pour, Middle Eastern cooking sauces and spice creator.