Everyone knows that you need resilience and determination to run your own biz, as it’s a bit like being on a roller coaster. In all the years I’ve had mine, the same common few ‘issues’ abound, so I thought I would focus on them for a moment. I hope it encourages anyone with a business or thinking of setting one up to keep going.
This is the biggest one, cash flow is everything. It keeps my biz open, stocks my shelves, puts my products in production and pays the team. Sometimes people don’t pay on time or it’s been a slow month, or there’s been some emergency or expansion that requires a mad scramble to cover all the basis. All I can say is be super-detailed and drill into every penny going in and going out of your biz. Get reports daily, weekly (a must) on what you’re taking and if it’s slow take steps to get more cash into the biz. Run a promotion, do more social media – just don’t rest on your laurels basically.
KEEPING A BRAVE FACE
The outside world cannot know any concerns or reservations you have about your biz, you have to have a brave front and quite frankly, it can be a bit lonely. I’m lucky in that I’ve got Gem and we discuss everything, otherwise I think I would feel really isolated. It’s a big downside of being an entrepreneur and it’s hard to prevent. If you have an inner circle, use it as much as you can!
Lots of people replicate us – it used to bug me, but now I’m so thankful. Someone once said to me that when you innovate its guaranteed that the copycats will start creeping out of the woodwork. However, the best thing about people copying you is that it makes you want to be better and innovate even more. There is no way I would have started our own label if we hadn’t been so copied. I would never have got onto a plane to Asia with Gem and started what now is the most successful part of our whole business!
Our new wholesale arm of the biz holds the most amazing opportunities from venture capitalists wanting a stake to some seriously amazing retailers stocking us. We also have some exciting retail opportunities up our sleeves too – I can’t say what, quite yet, but I see it as nothing but positive. Who would have thought, a?!
It’s quite easy to burn out working tirelessly for 7 days a week – it can take its toll. You get resentful, your grumpy, moan and mope – not great look. Quite recently I was feeling down like that, I felt so tired and a little bogged down. I couldn’t relax on a day off. I would stress out about having even 2 hours off on the weekend. It became this crazy cycle. I suddenly realised two things:
- We needed more people. 2. I needed down days. I now have new team members (including my fabulous Personal Assistant) yayhay! Which means, I can come away from all the noise and concentrate on the higher strategy for the biz. Let’s see where that takes us!