Managing Director of Invoke PR & EventsWhat was your biggest fear launching your own business? For anyone setting up their own business, their biggest fear is failing. I started off just me and my laptop. No clients. The first couple of weeks were torture and then the phone rang. I literally haven’t looked back. Did you seek any advice before starting out? Yes, I was extremely lucky. My dad and brother are both solicitors, so they were able to give me great advice about the legalities of setting up. I was amazed with the advice and support I got from all corners, people really want to see people do well. When did you realise you wanted to go out on your own? I was looking for a career change as I had been in the same job for seven years. While I was effectively my own boss, I knew I had reached as far as I was going to go in that company. It was a bit of a light bulb moment and was definitely not something I thought about for months! What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial career so far? Running a business, succeeding, employing people and being able to do it. We are six years old this year, and it’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve no regrets and have enjoyed it all, albeit I’ve aged 10 years! What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned? You’re only as good as your last job and that reputation is everything. Most of our business is from referrals and I am hugely aware of this on every level. Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about setting up their own business? Listen to it all. Take advice, good and bad. Don’t rush into it and have no regrets!
Owner of Andrea Roche Model Agency,
www.armodelagency.comWhat was your biggest fear launching your own business? Obviously there is the fear of the unknown with any new business. You simply can’t tell if a business is going to take off or not but I think a certain amount of fear is a good thing. It drives you to work as hard as you can and to be the best at what you do. Did you seek any advice before starting out? No I didn’t but I do think advice is a good thing to get whether you use it or not. I had ambitions to open a modelling agency for a number of years and was waiting to commit 100% of my time to running it. This meant I’d plenty of time to plan out everything relatively stress-free. What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial career so far? I think for anyone to open and successfully run a business during a recession is an achievement in itself. Things are still tough out there for everyone and I’m just happy thingsworked out for me. What are you most proud of? I feel proud every time I turn on the TV and see one of my commercial models in an advert, or when I open a magazine or newspaper and see my models. Clara McSweeney opened some shows in London Fashion Week this season and I was so proud of that! What’s the biggest lesson you have learned? I’ve learned not to stress about problems, just try to find a solution. Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business? If the business is something you’re passionate about, then definitely go for it! Stay positive and calm and expect it to be stressful. Keep your costs down as low as possible – you really don’t need a fancy office and a few staff until the business can afford that. Learn about social media; it’s very important these days.
Brand Manager of Inglot Cosmetics IrelandWhat was your biggest fear launching your own business? Inglot opened nearly five years ago in the height of the recession. Although it was a very exciting time, there was of course the worry and risk of launching a company, but thankfully the risks are paying off! Did you seek any advice before starting out? Yes, my mother has been my partner and rock from the get-go; she has a wealth of knowledge about the retail business. We both worked in retail for years and thankfully had a lot of connections within the industry. When did you realise that you wanted to go out on your own? After a number of years working for some well-established retail brands the drive to achieve more kicked in. I have a great support network in my family who gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial career so far? There have been quite a few as we have a fantastic team at Inglot who are just getting better and better, but the opening of our flagship store on South Anne Street last September was a very proud moment. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned? A happy team is the key to a successful business. I listen to staff and take everything on board as they are the eyes and ears of the brand. Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business? Be willing to put in the hard work and dedication particularly at the start and with a little bit of luck it will pay off!
Owner of Carter Beauty, Blackrock and creator of Cocoa Brown TanWhat was your biggest fear launching your own business? Failure – no one buying or liking Cocoa Brown. I think fear of failure is what drives most successful businesses. The day I stop caring what people think of my products will be the day I stop making them. Did you seek any advice before starting out? I didn’t seek advice from anyone in particular but I’ve always attended business conferences and enjoy listening to other entrepreneurs speak. I’ve always been most inspired by people who tell the truth about the difficult parts of their journey. When did you realise that you wanted to go out on your own? I was 21 when I decided that I wanted to open my own beauty salon, Carter Beauty. I was totally oblivious to the difficulties ahead and felt I‘d nothing to lose so in one way, I’m glad I did it then. The older you get, the more responsibilities you have and the more difficult it becomes to take risks. What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial career so far? The highlight so far was being invited by the organisers of the Pre-Oscars Luxury Suite in the Beverley Hilton Hotel to be their exclusive tanning partner in February. The Cocoa Brown team will be heading to Los Angeles in February to tan the stars! Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business? Audit your business plan with someone who will be brutally honest. I’ve found that people who love you, like your friends and family, will always try to be kind and not hurt your feelings instead of telling you the truth!