I have previously blogged about an Inspire and Mentor session with Liz Earle and today I headed off to another Marie Claire Inspire and Mentor talk with Thea Green (Founder of Nails Inc),
I find Thea an inspiring business women, for a myriad of reasons, but largely for being an independent beauty brand in the vast ocean of massive companies (the few top dogs who own most of the smaller brand identities).
Thea Green set up Nails Inc in 1999, after finding a gap in the market. Thea was the fashion editor at Tatler magazine, and flew around a lot. She realised that Nail bars hadn't made their way over to the UK, and was sure she was onto a good thing. Interestingly, she always knew the brand would reach further than offering a service, and knew that it would also grow into a brand/product outside of the shop locations.
She started the business with £200,000 investment, and she found that although she has got to where she wanted to be, it took a lot longer than she had realised.
Here are a few of my quick notes that I summarised as she spoke:
- Tell everyone your idea. Don't worry too much about people stealing it. You never know who may know someone who may know someone who could help.
- Hire people as soon as you can to fill in your weak areas.
- Write a good business plan. Don't be concerned if your reality ends up differing from the plan. Just keep writing new ones.
- Get as much free advice as you can before you start. People are less helpful once you've actually started.
- Network (see bullet point one)
- Try and be unique. Offer something unique.
- Build the best team. Upgrade your team as you earn more money. Great staff are expensive.
- Constantly come up with new ideas.
- If you can afford to lose it, you can afford to do it.
- If you don't like tough, you shouldn't be in business.
- The best is yet to come.
A lovely surprise for me was how many women wanted to speak to me at the end (I had asked a question during the Q&A section explaining what I did). It was also a pleasant shock to have three women say they knew who I was already. Interestingly, one knew my brand from a magazine, one followed me on twitter, and one had seen my videos on youtube. It proves the need to spread your marketing efforts across multiple channels I guess!
The goody bag was definitely better at the Liz Earle event, but I really would have come without one. I love hearing successful women talk, and meeting other ambitious and motivation business people. Always refreshing for the soul!