#0001 - Justin Hunter of Daily Fruit

Civitas Team

11 ideas from Justin Hunter of Daily Fruit on early-stage sales, fundraising and enterprise sales

Justin Hunter is the founder of Daily Fruit. Founded in 2010 they have been delivering fresh fruit to offices to help keep employees healthy. Currently they supply over 500 corporate clients delivering more than 150 000 pieces of fruit a week. They are the industry leader in providing fresh produce in South Africa, and the team at Civitas sat down the Justin to hear his story on how he built the business. Below are the best bits of advice we gleaned from the discussion.

Summary of the best ideas from the discussion

  • Get early clients through telephone calls and door-to-door selling 
  • Grow slowly and methodically 
  • Grow organically and avoid fundraising if possible 
  • Sell to enterprise clients with land and expand strategy
  • Sell to enterprise clients with telesales via the receptionist

On Early-stage Sales

1. “When I say hit the road, we walked the streets of Joburg selling our products out the back of our cars, walking into offices, knocking, knocking on doors and literally phoning hundreds of people a week.”

On Growth 

2. “You had to build up as much capital as you could to put back into the business, to grow the business. So there were times that you had to slow down on sales because we just couldn’t service them in terms of vehicles and staff.”

3. “So we just slowly saved. The age-old thing of the build to last takes time. Easy come. Easy go.”

4. “Just keeping the same philosophy of one foot in front of another. You crawl before you walk, there’s no need to sprint. This is a long-term game. 

5. [We are looking at] “Bolt-on acquisitions…”

On Fundraising 

6. “We had this idea that we would take our time to do it properly. We wouldn’t go in for finance and we wouldn’t take on investors.” 

7. “There is no need to go out there and get a million rand worth of funding… when you can do it over time.” 

On Landing Enterprise Clients 

8. “We had some mates who worked in this big corporate and a lot of them said, Jeepers, this idea is great. I'll get you the business…” but you learn very quickly that there are no short cuts and no one is going to do it but you, so get off your butt and make that call yourself.

9. “We picked up the phone, spoke to the guys at the reception, identified who the person was to get hold of, phoned him and just pitched our idea. Just hardcore cold call sales and that's it.” 

10. “I think once you get an initial foot in the door and you use that, it's quite easy to leverage. We got corporates that were one little team in a building and we delivered as they ordered. Yes, it cost us money to deliver the smallest amount of products to that team, but we saw the bigger picture there with the guys at the building seeing it being delivered to a particular team and want to get it for their own team setting. It grows within their culture.” 

On Mentors 

 11. “You need a bit of the push in the right direction or someone to bounce ideas off.” 

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