Coral Turner looks at why startups are rarely 'overnight successes' and what to do if interest in your business is more of a trickle than a flood.
This is the latest in the series of Coral's Startup Diary entries about the challenges of being a fashion entrepreneur. To see her previous blogs, click here.
I’ve been meeting with a lot of my fellow female entrepreneurs recently who have been talking to me about the frustrations of their businesses, how the work they have been putting in has not been converting into the sales they need to sustain their business, and some are actually thinking of giving up.
Jessica Huie explains how her daughter was the inspiration for her line of multicultural greetings cards and how she negotiated high profile partnerships with retail chains in the UK and USA.
If you’d have told me I’d be running my own greeting card and gift business ten years ago I’d never have believed you. I was working full-time in the media and enjoying a very successful career in public relations and journalism in 2007, working with clients such as Simon Cowell and Peter Jones and writing showbiz stories for the national press; my daughter Monet who was seven at the time was going through a tough period.
Beatrice Bartlay tells us how she founded 2B Interface, a recruitment agency initially specialising in manufacturing, which now provides a broad range of personnel from both the UK and abroad. Here Beatrice explains the highs and lows she encountered along her path to success, and shares her top tips for startups.
I started 2B Interface to provide a reliable source of staff for UK manufacturers in 2005, when I moved to London and helped a friend who needed a source of specialist workmen. At a stroke the proposition removed the concerns of prospective employers who wanted good, skilled workers but needed to be able to tap into a labour pool that was both organised and within the traditional, legal employment framework.
From the beginning, 2B Interface provided woodworkers, metal workers and construction trades people for the UK shop fitting industry, broadening the range of skills to meet increasing demand. From first supplying individual staff, we grew as employers began asking for complete contract teams - with 2B Interface taking responsibility for maintaining team numbers.
Vicky Brock's company, Clear Returns, which enables online retailers to boost profitability by reducing return rates, was a winner at IBM's Smartcamp, part of the IT giant's Global Entrepreneur Programme. Here she shares her top ten takeaways from the experience.
I’ve always been a terribly ‘difficult’ shopper, but also felt that we could live our fast-paced urban lives more sustainably. As an entrepreneur, I’ve found that I can harness these contradictory characteristics in my latest start-up venture, Clear Returns.
I’ve been that demanding shopper, and on occasion, the ‘customer from hell' in Britain’s high streets. Despite having limited time to really hit the shops, I would be the one taking shoes back to the retailer or returning that box to the online store. I wanted the shoes to be a perfect fit; and I knew from commercial experience that things could be made better.
Andrea Fragata Ladeira shares the story behind her not-for-profit company Care2Save, which provides a sustainable and long-term source of fundng for charities across the UK.
I spent my early years in Nepal, first in Kathmandu and then amongst the farm huts of Pokhara, where my parents were doing missionary work. I look back and I think my experience in Nepal has certainly shaped my character and outlook on life as I was only three when my parents made the inspirational decision to go out there to help people.
At that time, Nepalese life was all I knew. We were conscious of rabid dog attacks, the toilet was a hole in the ground and I walked to school with my brother along a dried up river bed, which in certain months was impassable.
I may be 40 now but the sights, sounds and especially the vivid smell of the moment we stepped off the plane in Nepal will never leave me.
While I did witness the very worst of abject poverty, open sewers and families living in squalor, I also encountered incredible human kindness and compassion.
As the summer holidays draw to a close, in a post which struck a definite chord here at The NextWomen, Alexandra Anghel shares what went wrong when she tried to take some much needed time away from her startup, and looks at the importance of making time for yourself.
This hot summer seems like the perfect time to write about something that gives many entrepreneurs the creeps.
Among many other problems that we battle every day, taking some time off from work seems to be at the top of the list. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you’re not willing to make sacrifices for your startup, or put in more work than the usual employee, but how much work is too much?
Young entrepreneur Dara Huang explains the steps she took in her journey as a Harvard graduated architect, to gain the experience she needed to establish her own unique architectural business.
I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. It most likely runs in my family because my mother did too. She owned a restaurant, amongst other ventures. I've always admired female entrepreneurs. Especially because I know what it feels like to go to a meeting and be the only woman there. Being a woman in a male dominated industry, such as architecture and property is tough, but the challenge is also part of the appeal.
Adele Woodthorpe explains how she came up with the branding for her PR Company and shares the lessons she learned along the way.
My father has been my business mentor since day dot. I have run almost all of my thoughts, silly and serious, by him. It’s great to have someone who has had several businesses, and who cares, to discuss ‘business’ with. So when my father asked me on my 25th birthday what my plans were, I replied: “climb up the PR ladder, get married and have children”. He said “why don’t you set up your own PR agency?”
Needless to say, I barely slept that night thinking about how I would do it. My thinking at the time was “why not? I am good at PR, have great contacts and understand it inside out.”
Skyler McCurine explains how she felt upon leaving her corporate job; what she learned at a strategic planning workshop; and her plan to get the First Lady’s attention (we hope this article might help!)
I created my business in a Starbucks four years ago. I was sitting in my usual corner table, chugging Chai Latte in the hopes that a caffeine induced haze would help me with my final project for my graduate Business course.
My final project for this class consisted of a business proposal. I had a vision of creating a company to help individuals craft their personal brand and message through style. I realized the excitement I felt whilst writing it and wondered if I could really create a business.
Krissy Charles-Jones explains how being adaptable and evolving her business plan in response to changes in the market enabled her to grow her online training company from 4 to 70 staff in 2 years and her turnover and profit by 600% in the last year. See Krissy’s first Startup Diary entry here.
By the end of summer 2011 Bright Assessing had settled into the Alcester office and 4 new staff members had started. Sales were improving each week and the marketing for the company was really coming together.