Empowering Women In Business
I was recently included in the panel for the Follow Your Arrow event alongside Sara Orme (Girl Undiscovered), Mandy Duncan (Noah & Bowie) and Latesha Randall (Raglan Coconut Yoghurt).
I thought I'd share some of the insights I spoke about, in the hopes to inspire other women in business.
SIX INSIGHTS THAT I’D GIVE BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE OF RUNNING MY OWN BUSINESS
1. I owe so much to social media
There's no way we would be where we are today without Instagram, and to a lesser extent, Facebook. It has allowed our brand to become international and has allowed me to become a social influencer.
2. Managing staff is the hardest but most important thing you will have to do
It took me a long time to become comfortable with handing over responsibility to my staff. It wasn't until I realised there was literally not enough hours in the day for me to do everything, that I began to delegate and give away some control. My life changed entirely when I did this, and it allowed me to focus on growth instead of the day-to-day running of the business. In saying that, finding the right staff and managing them to make sure they're happy and effective is a huge amount of work, but so crucial to the success of The Caker.
3. Real growth is going to happen outside of New Zealand
NZ was a fantastic place to start a business and I don't have a single regret about doing so. Being a big fish in a small pond is much easier than being a small fish in a big pond, which would have been the case had I started this business in a more populated country. However, after almost 7 years of being established in Auckland, it's time to set sights on international expansion, and having a presence in places where demand is much larger.
4. Originality, innovation and a strong brand is the only way to succeed
Having these assets is the only way to keep your head above water in a field where competition exists. These are things which can't necessarily be taught, but having the expertise of a talented brand advisor has certainly helped us.
5. Money isn’t everything - but it is something!
I originally started The Caker with no real intention of making money. I just did it because I loved it. I didn't take out a loan or invest any personal savings into the business, which meant I had barely any risk, allowing me to focus on my art and not worry too much about how much revenue I was making. Several years on, things are very different. Now I have a team of 8 staff who I pay well and huge overheads, so I stare at the P&L and balance sheets almost everyday. So basically, I'm glad money wasn't the focus in the beginning, but at some point it has to become a large part of the focus, or your business will go belly up.
6. Follow your instinct
The saying follow your gut exists for a reason. Your instinct is a super valuable asset, and must always be listened to!