Emma Scrivener spoke to Express.co.uk in an exclusive comment to share not just the secret to weight loss, but helping this family-run business become a seven-figure competitor. “We started the business with £10,000. Now we turn over in excess of a million pounds a year and are growing year on year.”
Losing weight is not quite as easy as gaining it, and after years of failed slimming plans the family decided to try out their own weight management program, devised by daughter Katie Thomas – who saw remarkable success.
Inspired by her two stone weight loss, her husband Shaun, mum Emma and dad Tony Scrivener took to the plan, losing a combined 15 stone and starting the million-pound business The DA Group.
“We started the DA group in 2012. As a family we had tried multiple diets and after not having much success we realised that we could do it better and called on our own experiences.
“Luckily, we had a wealth of knowledge to start with,” she commented.
“I feel we have made a significant difference to people’s lives and not many businesses can say that. We love hearing all the success stories and how their lives have been improved since starting with DA.”
Both Mr and Mrs Scrivener had run other companies before, with a deep awareness of the intricacies of business and what pitfalls could see the company tank.
In fact, from a business operations perspective, every founder had the ideal mix of skills to help the business succeed. Mrs Thomas had prior experience working with diet companies, Mr Thomas specialised in logistics, Mr Scrivener works as a chemist and Mrs Scrivener had extensive business knowledge from working with high street companies.
Most importantly, all of them had personal struggles with weight loss.
“We know how soul destroying it is to battle to lose weight. It impacts your self-confidence and we know how obesity is a problem that is leading to multiple health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure and we really thought we could make a difference.”
The business began using the infrastructure and premises from one of Mrs Scrivener’s existing businesses, and the dream team got to work doing everything on their own.
“We did everything ourselves from marketing, sourcing products, speaking to potential customers, packing boxes, devising our diet plans and anything else that needed doing.
“I don’t think we would have done anything differently but maybe we underestimated the demand for our products and help. We ran out of stock quite a few times as the company grew so fast and we hadn’t estimated how quickly it would take off,” Mrs Scrivener added.
Mrs Scrivener in particular had difficulties running the DA Group, mainly because she was still running another entrepreneurial venture which was providing the income to keep DA Group afloat.
“We have had some setbacks with Covid as people didn’t feel the desire to lose weight, but this is changing now especially as obesity is linked to hospitalisation with Covid and people realise that losing weight really does improve your health, as we have found, talking from experience.”
Despite their stock inconsistencies and difficulties managing the exploding growth of DA Group, the founding four soon realised that social media was where their business could thrive.
“We used Facebook to connect with clients that we might not have found otherwise. We are now sitting with over 500,000 members in our groups and 500,000 likes.”
The founders aren’t intending to stop anytime soon, and are actually looking to extend their customer base and product line even further.
“We are working on a state-of-the-art menopause supplement as this has been very ignored in the past. We feel that women need assistance to get through this phase fitter and healthier and mentally stronger.
“We are also formulating some great products for improving our immunity defense, vitality, skin, destressing and sleep to name a few,” she added.
Mrs Scrivener has had her own fair share of business ventures outside of DA Group, and shared some advice for budding entrepreneurs:
“My advice for budding entrepreneurs is realise you are going to work harder than you have ever worked before. When you run your own business there is no such thing as nine to five and weekends can be a thing of the past.
“Realise, that setbacks can and WILL happen, but they can be resolved and problem solving becomes a great skill to have. Most new businesses fail in the first year of trading so be prepared during this time to be earning little or no money until the business can afford it. It is hard but if you don’t try then you will never succeed.”
She continued: “If you are taking in a partner realise that if it is a close friend, then this friendship will be tested to the limits and could be the end of that friendship. We have found a family business has really worked for us as we all want the best for each other.”