‘A day in the life’ of…Coconut Bowls Founder, Jake McKeon

Posted on 24th August 2017 in Business

Written by James Marren

Whether you’re a business owner struggling with the hustle or pumped with life, it’s always helpful to look at the world around you for inspiration and motivation. This feature gives you a window into the lives of exciting entrepreneurs from varied industries and shines a light on how they are changing the world for the better. In this blog, we chat with Melbourne-based Jake McKeon, Founder of the awesome brand, Coconut Bowls.

Of the billions of coconuts harvested each year for the coconut oil, water, and flesh industries, 99% of their shells are discarded and burned as waste. Coconut Bowls‘ genius solution is to upcycle these shells into beautiful eco-friendly bowls made from real coconuts. With billions of plastic containers also ending up as landfill every year, it’s important that society starts to consider other solutions. By purchasing Coconut Bowls’ plant-based alternative you are actively supporting global sustainability. The fact that they are also durable, unique and quite beautiful means that everyone, and the planet itself, wins. 

1/ My alarm goes off…

I grab my phone, turn off my alarm and pretty much immediately swipe right, not on tinder, but to get all my overnight sales data across my four Shopify stores. These are all Coconut Bowls store websites localised for each target market. After that, I usually do a 20min transcendental meditation and go to the gym. I come into the office and have some natural muesli and almond milk – in a coconut bowl, of course!

2/ I’m responsible for…

Looking after our team at Coconut Bowls and checking throughout the day with them to see if there are any pressing issues and that they are comfortable with what’s coming up. I oversee most of the operations of the business including order fulfillment, wholesale inquiries, accounts and driving all the strategy of the business across social media and other forms of marketing.

3/ My typical day…

I start by exercising both mentally and physically and then go straight to the office around 7.30am. I try to make sure I only check emails twice a day, first thing and at 4pm and I use my morning coffee as a motivation/reward for getting through my first session. I’ll then spend an hour with my team making sure they are on top of what they need to do for the day, before jumping into Shopify stores and our warehouses. We have four, in Sydney, London, Hong Kong and LA and I scan for anything that needs my immediate attention. The bulk of my day goes towards marketing initiatives and business development that will help us grow, including building partnerships, checking all our marketing PPC, setting up new ads and trying to extract the best possible value. As for lunch, I don’t have a typical time of day that I eat but usually have a pre-prepared salad whenever I feel like it.

4/ I track the following KPIs…

The essential metrics I look at most, are the customer acquisition cost and the average value of the Australian Dollar. We can pretty much drive all our marketing decisions based on those key numbers. Our gross profit margins and how they vary across different markets are of course key, for example, our Australian store is our least profitable due to the weak Australian dollar compared to our UK store which has historically been our most profitable.

Then there’s also our online retail orders, our wholesale order numbers and checking our margins continue to be sizable enough to cover our costs and make a profit – all while helping to solve a major ecological problem I should add! Other KPIs I check include:

  • Add to carts conversion metrics
  • Revenue
  • Site traffic
  • Cashflow to sustain growth
  • How quickly we can ship – we try for next day shipping
  • How quickly we respond to any issue our customer has

5/ I communicate…

I always let my team know when we have an exceptional day and when we well and truly exceed expectations. For example, last month was our biggest month by 20% which was a great morale booster to be able to share with the whole team. Communication with customer’s and their feedback is the main motivator though because people really believe in what we are doing. Seeing how much our customers live and breathe being eco-friendly, plant-based etc. has rubbed off on me and the sustainability aspect of the business has grown as a result. We launched an initiative in July called ‘plants not plastic‘ which aims to raise awareness about plastic consumption by helping companies replace their plastic containers for a day.

6/ The best and worst part of my job…

The best part of my job is that I could honestly do this from a cafe, beach or wherever I want to be in that moment. This is not something I take advantage of on a daily basis, but having the flexibility to do that is something I absolutely love. Seeing the customer reviews coming in daily, our social media accounts growing exponentially and all the positivity that’s around us is also hugely rewarding. In terms of the worst part, I would have to say emails or the daily commute and I hate having to interrupt my day to leave the office for a meeting. Oh, and parking near the office – it’s a nightmare!

7/ My most memorable work moment…

When this really big and popular Instagram foodie ordered some bowls and then prepared an incredible looking meal and shared it with her audience of over half a million followers. We had about sixty orders in about three hours directly after she posted which was fantastic. So that was pretty cool. In terms of social media and outbound marketing we typically send out ten products to people we want to support. We don’t ask anyone to share a post, we just say we love what you do and think your food would look great in our bowls and it would be great if they could send us a picture.

8/ After work…

I love to cook and healthy fresh veggies are a big part of my meals – a shout-out to my girlfriend who makes incredible cauliflower rice! To sum up my style, I’d just say lemon and pepper on everything! After dinner, I don’t watch much TV, especially during the week. I’ve started vision boarding and a gratitude journal which are cool things to do and help keep you in the right state of mind.

To be honest, outside of work hours, there’s not much organisation to it. It’s a case of whatever is going on, be that catching up with friends, yoga, gym, surfing etc. I think downtime and switching off is crucial, though, luckily, I do what I love as working super late is sometimes unavoidable.

9/ Top tip for entrepreneurs…

If you have an idea and you believe in it then take action. Investigate in depth and then do whatever you can to allow your ideas to materialise into something tangible. Resilience is also key, this is my fifth business and only the second that’s been financially successful, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Your mind attunes to opportunities the more you do it.

11/ Plan B is…

If I could do anything in the world it would be a professional surfer, though if I were to choose a career I would’ve chosen to be a teacher and to work with kids. I love the energy of kids and would love to be able to positively influence their lives in some way.


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