After 23 years in the corporate world, as a chartered accountant-turned IT specialist, and finally a general manager, Fiona Stander stepped off the ‘corporate’ hamster wheel in search of a world with better balance and more quality time with her husband and three sons. A year later she founded Juice Revolution, the first cold pressed Juice Company in South Africa to produce and provide home delivery of juice cleanses, lifestyle and athlete juices to customers across the country. Stander’s passion and dedication combined with a health product which offers excellence in quality and convenience has seen the business explode from a concept to a significant force in this growing category in South Africa.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
I am an ordinary girl with an extra-ordinary God. My journey has taken me through a range of careers spanning auditing, sales, finance, IT and general management. I have worked in 12 organisations in 7 countries as an employee and a consultant. Three years ago I became an entrepreneur and I realise now that God was preparing me through all those careers, industries, countries and roles for what He has placed in my hand now.
You are busy with some very interesting projects. Please tell us a little more about them.
We are busy with an exciting New Product Development project, and four internal projects focused on building the business capabilities that are foundational to the next phase of growth for Juice Revolution.
How did Juice Revolution come about?
Juicing chose me the day my husband came home in 2012 and announced he was going to do a juice cleanse. At first I was a little doubtful about living on fruit and vegetable juice for a week but I decided to join in and show my support. A week later I felt amazing. We had tried other ways to improve our lifestyle and get healthier but nothing compared to the honesty and purity of raw juice. I threw myself headfirst into understanding the world of juicing and soon realised that home delivery of cold pressed juice was not available anywhere in South Africa. I enrolled for an internationally recognised Natural Juice Therapy Certificate and utilised my extensive business experience gained locally and abroad to develop a sustainable model for a juice business.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about solving problems! I love the relentless pursuit, and joy and satisfaction of implementing solutions that touch and improve people’s lives.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Without a doubt, my savior, shepherd and sovereign Lord, Jesus Christ. He saved me 9 years ago and changes, guides, protects, mentors and loves me daily. Luckily He exemplifies grace and patience as I am often slow to ‘get with the program’, a seriously challenging work in progress!
What is your personal motto?
I will not trust in riches but in Him who richly provides.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
You have to believe you can do anything you put your mind to.
Be prepared to work hard and roll up your sleeves.
Don’t ever ask someone to do something that wouldn’t do yourself.
Once you have peace in your heart about your dream don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
What are your top 5 business tips?
- Establish your moral compass:
- What is your business really about, what is its ‘heart’?
- The heart is not ‘the money’.
- Your moral compass will guide your non-negotiables.
- Your moral compass will keep you steadfast when times are tough.
- Start small but think BIG:
- Consider whether the approach you start out with is scalable.
- Will your branding work when you are 20 times the size?
- Manage your cash flow from the outset of your business:
- Never pay your suppliers late; this builds your reputation which will stand you in good stead when you need trade references.
- Be creative, for example, trade exchanges work wonders and save your precious cash.
- Study your business intensely and ensure you sweat your existing assets before investing cash in new capabilities.
- Set up systems and records from day 1:
- It will save you hours down the line.
- It enables you to capture the rich history of your business.
- It protects you from making growth decisions in the dark.
- It supports good governance.
- Never lose your focus on service excellence:
- No matter how busy or big you get.
- Your customers are special, always treasure them.
What would you say is the secret to your success?
My willingness to work really hard and my unrelenting passion for doing thinks the best way possible. I give 110% every time, all the time.
Your favourite quote:
“Good excuses rarely collect dust. We use them, and use them, and use them.” ~Andy Stanley
Your favourite daily affirmation:
You have to believe that the hand of the Lord is upon you for good. So every morning I declare Psalm 80:17 over myself – I place my hand on my head and pray “Father God let your hand be upon the daughter of your right hand whom you have made strong for yourself. Holy Spirit carry me out and set me down.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
Invest more time in seeking God’s will for my life.
Which book are you currently reading?
When the Enemy Strikes: The Keys to Winning Your Spiritual Battles – Dr Charles Stanley
What book can you read over and over again?
One general piece if advice you would like to share:
Don’t be tempted into taking short cuts to speed things up in your business. Doing things right the first time will take longer but it will save you tons of time and energy later on down the line.