15 #BizTips From Enterprise Nation’s Festival Of Female Entrepreneurs

31 October 2017

Posted in: Events

The Festival Of Female Entrepreneurs is an annual event put on by Enterprise Nation and a host of other commercial sponsors. This year it was held in the new Bristol Harbour Hotel, which proved to be an uplifting setting for this inspiring event about women in business. Mixing small-scale entrepreneurship with enterprise level strategy, the entire day was filled with insights about digital transformation, customer experience, and just generally women being kick-ass in business and in life! Here are some of the key takeaways from the festival.

Solve a problem

A lot of the founder stories followed a similar pattern: a (potentially reluctant) entrepreneur found a way to solve a problem (sometimes accidentally). This ‘accidental solution’ catapulted them into developing a product or service, and eventually, running a business. It’s a great reminder that successful businesses primarily:

  1. Solve problems for people
  2. Come from a great idea
  3. Respond to a need.

Go for smart money

Funding is not as easy as it looks. Some business funding comes with significant strings attached, and as your business grows and matures, you need to learn to walk away from opportunities that aren’t right for you. It’s all about finding ‘smart money’.

(Shout-out to Bristol business success Trunki – no idea they were local).

Use tech to grow fast

POS systems like Square have changed the way in which small businesses sell. Just by using such a simple, basic product, entrepreneurs can reach customers no matter where they are. Having an all-informed sales system at your fingertips is a startup lifeline, and entrepreneurs should make the most of new tech in order to grow and scale.

Make the most of Facebook

Helen Smyth from Facebook shared her knowledge about how to make the most of Facebook’s 40 million active users. Her handy visual/personal/global mantra is a great reminder that brands have the amazing ability to find fans and customers in the four corners of the world. Small scale social media ads are a great way to expand your reach cost-effectively. By investing in visual content and personalisation, you’ll ensure that you’ll get maximum campaign ROI.

[bctt tweet=”#WinFacebook by being visual, getting personal & going global #socialmedia #SMM” username=”seekerdigital”]

Build a community

Aaron from Bloom & Wild came on stage during the event and positioned Bloom & Wild as a female-friendly business. He described their entire business as a “female to female gifting company”, which is a great slogan!

It was reassuring to hear from such a passionate entrepreneur who had a clear vision for his company (with women playing a central role).

  1. Create a community: Bloom & Wild have been very astute in building a community of gift-givers and receivers
  2. Go mobile: Bloom & Wild have put a lot of thought and effort into their mobile app
  3. Expand: they’ve recently launched in France and Germany.

[bctt tweet=”Communities sell products. Build one. #ecommerce #entrepreneur” username=”seekerdigital”]

Dream big, and big things happen

Don’t have small dreams for your business! The wonderfully ambitious Mel from ThisMumRuns (who won the startup contest last year), came back to the Festival to share how her business had grown and changed since she won the award last year. From battling pitch nerves, to figuring out how to launch across different cities in the UK, Mel’s advice to plan, think, and do big things was eye-opening.

Data, data, data….oh and more data

The importance of data cannot be overstated in today’s business landscape, and the panel featuring Facebook, O2 Business & Directline were very quick to explain how data helps them create better customer experiences. All businesses need to get comfortable with data capturing & analysis!

Mobile is THE remote control

Being mobile-first is an absolute must! Mobile is how people organise their lives, and it’s increasingly how most of us spend our time. Not to be ignored.

“Be the thing”

Daniel Korski had some great advice on pitching to big organisations (like the government)! He had some good tips on how to live up to your pitch by actually ‘being’ the idea itself. An interesting way of looking at things that highlights the importance of passion and self-belief.

Don’t do digital ‘just because’

A great reminder that brands shouldn’t just jump on the latest bandwagon – but that we should instead seek understand how and why customers interact with our products and services.

[bctt tweet=”Invest in a new channel because it’s what your customers want” username=”seekerdigital”].

Social media data is where it’s AT

Social media data is something that we should be harnessing more says Edwina Dunn, who invented the Tesco Clubcard! (Such a cool claim to fame). It’s definitely true that social media data is a really valuable asset, and it’s a very revealing lens into our lives.

Don’t be perfect

Avodaco Social made some great points about improving social media content through sharing real, honest, and ‘less than perfect’ stories. Lift the lid on your life and business, and bring people along for the journey.

Be disruptive and don’t necessarily court influencers

Getting celebrity endorsements might come easier…if you don’t actually court them?! Sometimes, just letting the product do the talking, and entering into mutual partnerships is a better way to go. You don’t want your brand to be known for ’empty’ paid endorsements, but for real, genuine brand ambassadors. (Playing in the celebrity world can be tricky when agents and PR people muscle in).

You need to ‘give’ to your business

Carolyn is doing big things for women in football, and her role as CEO of Mansfield Town FC means that she has to spend a lot of time encouraging and supporting her team. She was very quick to champion the importance of the ‘leader mindset ‘when it comes to creating a positive atmosphere in your business. It’s definitely true that when you come to your business, you have to be ready to make great things happen every day.

Nurture young talent

Two amazing young female entrepreneurs who have developed an app for fridges, designed to deal with food waste and warn people when their food is about to expire. It’s great to see what young talent and vision can achieve. We wish them all the luck in the world at the Palace!

Days like the Festival celebrate the diversity and talent of women in business – an important reminder for us all that there is still some work to be done.

 

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