In March 2016, Glamour magazine held the first Glamour Beauty Festival. Being a beauty junkie, I couldn’t pass this event up, so headed off to the Saatchi gallery to see what I could see. There was lots to do including various beauty brand stations, but the main draw was the excellent speakers.
Liz Earle, Jo Malone and Thea Green need no introduction as some of the foremost beauty business leaders of the last 20 years. This blog shares some of the best snippets of business advice they gave during the panel.
On starting a business…
JM: It’s 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. Passion, resilience and creativity are the keys to success.
TG: Entrepreneurs never tend to think they’ve done a good job, but in a really positive way you can see the negatives and fix them.
LE: My ethos is crawl, walk, run. You always need solid foundations to build your business on.
JM: The product has to be great… create the world in which your product lives.
LE: Product is everything, the core of the business is what is in the bottle. Create the perfect product, then go for it.
TG: Don’t be pressured to create new products by retailers, trust your instincts. Spend as much time on nurturing your core range as bringing out new innovation.
On wearing many hats:
JM: Failure is the doorstep to success. You all see our successes but you don’t see what is happening under the water; we all have mishaps.
TG: You want to understand an element of all of the areas of your business, as you will have to multitask.
On running a team:
JM: I have a ‘pizza boardroom’ where you get 12 people whose opinion you respect round a table with pizza and wine and ask them 20 questions about your business. Their opinions are invaluable.
JM: I ‘red dot’ things when I have approved them. My team know that if it hasn’t been ‘red dotted’ it cannot be progressed.
TG: Trust and respect are important, and if someone leaves then you have to let them go. They might be back within a week!
TG: Start ups and entrepreneurial businesses aren’t 9-5 so you have to be able to get on with your team. I always ask myself if I would enjoy a long train journey with someone before I hire them!
On routes to market:
LE: The beauty company started as old fashioned mail order, but was ideal as we got to know our customers. Now the opportunities are endless, and it is important to be omni-channel and retail through the best routes for your customers.
TG: The opportunities are huge now, as you can start small with a website and a tiny range but be well known through social media.
LE: Word of mouth is so important, as your customers are your biggest advocates.
JM: Brands fail because they forget to understand their own heartbeat. Build your voice and know your tribe.
Hope you enjoy reading these useful and inspiring bites of advice, written as I noted them during the session.