The win-win-win of mentoring start-ups
As well as working with established businesses, I love to mentor start-ups to help them set themselves up for success. Labyrinth is an Artisan jeweller making organic jewellery from ethical and sustainable materials. The business founder is a self-taught jewellery designer with a background in interior design and an ambition to develop an ethical and sustainable brand. I loved the product and her drive and sense of purpose. I helped her to develop her vision for the brand, her role within it and build a business plan.
I also advised on business development and how to develop her own website and social following (in conjunction with The Retail Practice) and how to approach retailers and third parties and understand the costs of doing business. We also worked on costings and pricing to ensure the products are placed commercially but will be profitable. I am enjoying seeing the brand develop and build.
It is of course a win-win-win where founders gain valuable expertise and advice, the customer experience improves and I stay aligned to rapidly changing retail, wholesale and Direct-to-Consumer environments.
The learnings from start-ups and small business also complement my NED and advisory work for larger enterprises. I often see opportunities where agile, start-up thinking could speed up change in established organisations.