Donna Burke is the Managing Director of PRTCL Products, the only collection of sports nutrition supplements formulated for women. Donna was brought on to create a new company in the supplement market and used her own experiences with sports nutrition to narrow down the market and find an underserved niche. PRTCL launched in March of 2021 as the only true women’s brand in the category.
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Before we begin, our readers are interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to be where you are today or was it something you were led to? Share with us your journey.
Donna Burke: I have always been an entrepreneur, and come from a family of entrepreneurs. I was given the opportunity to build a new brand from nothing with PRTCL, and it is the perfect blend of everything I have studied and built to this point in my journey. It’s an exciting moment to be able to become a disruptor in a saturated industry!
Tell us a bit about your current focus. What is the most important thing that you’re working on and how do you plan on doing it?
Donna Burke: Right now, we are focused on growth both in sales and in the company, in general. I’m lasering in on the data from the first nine months to listen to the market and our consumers about our next steps. We’re currently working with e-commerce consultants to comb through our analytics, lean heavily into the avenues working for us, and drive new product creation.
Some argue that punctuality is a strength. Others say punctuality is a weakness. How do you feel about it, please explain.
Donna Burke: Punctuality is a strength, and it shows that you are in control and respectful of those you are doing business with and responsible. Those who are consistently late to work functions are typically unable to handle pressure or manage people effectively.
How important is having good timing in your line of work and in the industry that your organization operates in?
Donna Burke: Good timing is essential in the supplement space. It takes great organization and skill to be able to coordinate a launch, it takes greater organization to ensure that it launches at the perfect time.
Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, states “Timing is everything in life, and it’s particularly crucial in entrepreneurship. People often equate success with luck, but it usually comes down to impeccable (and carefully mapped out) timing”. Do you agree with this statement? Please answer in as much detail as necessary.
Donna Burke: Timing is power in entrepreneurship; it’s almost like surfing. It’s important to be early, but not so early you’re floating just waiting to be eaten by sharks. You want to have studied the industry and trends to see the waves coming. Building as the waves are small and the early adopters are jumping in is crucial to work through the processes and set up for success. Then you can ride the waves and build loyalty and excitement that keep people paddling back out for more.
As a leader/entrepreneur/CEO, how do you decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to take a break? How do you time the key moments in your career?
Donna Burke: When the excitement wanes, it’s time for a break. It’s as simple as that.
Branson also states “If you’re starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions and losing sight of why you started, it might be time to take a break”. But how do you decide when to take a break?
Donna Burke: For me, it’s pretty easy. If I find filling my day with mundane tasks instead of accomplishing major items towards my goals list, it’s time to take a break.
“When you’re thinking of starting up, ask yourself: ‘Is the community I want to serve ready for this idea?’ It could make all the difference!” Would you like to add anything to this piece of advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Donna Burke: Talk to everyone you meet about your idea. You’ll not only find your target market, but you’ll also find out if it’s too soon or too late very quickly.
COVID forced many businesses to adapt fast, some did so successfully, others failed, it was a lot due to good or poor timing. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Donna Burke: Timing is everything during a pandemic. Without having a schedule set from the start, this brand could still be in the process of launching. From manufacturing delays to staffing problems, we were able to communicate timelines in the beginning and allow a margin for delays which ultimately led to success and an on-time launch.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Donna Burke: Our biggest obstacle is regaining trust from the consumer. For over 40 years, women have dealt with major side effects from the sports nutrition market and were told these products were “for women”. We now have to gain the trust of all women who were burned by the industry and educate them on how these products were reformulated to have all the benefits, but none of the side effects.
Your insight has been incredibly valuable and our readers thank you for your generosity. We do have a couple of other bold questions to ask. What fictional world would you want to start a business in and what would you sell?
Donna Burke: I’d love to create a clothing store in the metaverse where women could try on anything that exists in reality and purchase in the metaverse and it would arrive in the real world.
Before we finish things off, we would love to know, when you have some time away from business, what is one hobby that you wish you could spend more time on?
Donna Burke: I’d love to perfect my cooking and baking. I think I’d be a great candidate for The Great British Bake Off, but I’m not British!
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Donna Burke for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Donna Burke or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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