OVERWHELMED? IT COULD BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED.
Rachael Warner is the Owner and Senior Designer of Spratters & Jayne. We asked her for a little Expert Advice:
What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Your competition sometimes feels overwhelmed too. A certain amount of that feeling can be healthy if you use it to challenge yourself.
What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? The Internet never forgets, learn from everyone, and everything you do will be viewed in light of your brand.
When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? People who are passionate, informed, curious, kind, genuine, and have a distinctive take on everything.
Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices: Sometimes it’s better to hire based on personality rather than resume. When it comes to firing, be decisive but merciful.
Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? Accounting, order fulfillment, and PR.
What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? Ha! Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
What are your thoughts on raising capital? Angel Investors are called just that for a reason. Realistically though, starting up will mean incurring some debt. Don’t fear it, but do manage it. There are so many more opportunities for makers to sell their own goods than there were just a few years ago, which can mean you’re up and running quickly. Strategic partnering can be important to raise your visibility, though that may mean putting less in your pocket in the short term.
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? Sometimes you have to say “no” to say “yes.” In other words, distractions may masquerade as opportunities. Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Just focus on the overall goal and don’t let anything hold you back. Just go and do!
My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Keep your thinking flexible. If obstacles come your way, run like water and find a new path by which to achieve your goals. You’ll learn so much more and be better for the experience.
What would your advice to your younger self be? In hindsight, there’s something to be learned from just about everything. But I would probably tell her to wear earplugs at more of the rock concerts she attends!
Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:
- Always research for opportunities to broaden your knowledge – business incubators, classes, workshops, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pick the brains of people who have experience.
- Work hard at making your product the best, whatever it may be, and stand by what you do.
- Set budgets and stay within them.
- Be strict with yourself and work every day – this is your job, after all! There’s no room for laziness or procrastination.
- Get your banking in order, and keep your bookkeeping very organized.
Image: [Ivonne Loyola]