Three key ingredients to scale a business
As we look ahead to this year’s Festival of Female Entrepreneurs, it is striking as to how many of the speakers in the line-up have gone for growth in their business. From Edwina Dunn and her success in launching Tesco’s Clubcard programme to Joanna Morgan who is building a British marmalade empire, these female founders are proof that women can scale!
Alongside a solid plan for how you’re going to work (see how flexibility can help your business grow) and technology you can trust, growing a business requires a few base ingredients:
1. Quality product: this one sounds obvious, but you’ve got to have something that people want to buy to build a sustainable business where the sales keep flowing. Joanna Morgan of Radnor Preserves started out by selling at local markets and food fairs to build a trading track record and profile for her range. This experience provided the time to build Joanna’s confidence and cash flow in the business. She’s now selling everywhere from the shelves of M&S, to festivals in Dubai. She is an entrepreneur who grabs every opportunity, regardless of whether the immediate value can be seen.
2. Talented team: no entrepreneur is an island – you need help to realise your business vision, and that often comes in the form of a quality and talented team! It’s not essential to have this team on your own payroll – many businesses I see growing successfully focus on the core of the operation and outsource other elements. Ice cream maker, Claudi & Fin is one such example. Started by two Mums, Lucy and Meriel, the company has outsourced production and fulfilment, to focus on product development and brand. This choice has helped these two kitchen table entrepreneurs scale at pace with their product now available in most of the major supermarkets.
3. Access to advice
With technology presenting such a significant opportunity to businesses owners, yet changing at pace, and with finance potentially being a requirement, yet so many options available, one thing entrepreneurs need is access to advisers who are specialists in their field. This is the precise route taken by many of the entrepreneurs speaking at Festival of Female Entrepreneurs, including Trunki founder, Rob Law, who needed leading legal advice to fight a case to protect his intellectual property. There’s also Mel Bound of This Mum Runs who embraced advice from joining a start-up accelerator when she got going, followed by Facebook training and expertise to build her fast-growing community of runners online. When you’ve got a question (and you’ll have many as the business grows), it’s handy to know a trusted expert who can help.
These requirements are the same, regardless of gender. Add to them some grit and determination, and you’ll be on your way to building a strong and successful business.