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For International Women’s Day, I want to acknowledge female entrepreneurs who create jobs in the economy. In recent years many women have started and grown businesses however less than 20% of those businesses employ people.
Making the leap to hire someone can be daunting move; it’s not only a commitment to train and manage a team, but it’s also a commitment to spend tens of thousands of pounds and take on additional complexity.
There is a common myth amongst startups that going it alone is an easier path; experience tells me otherwise. “Solopreneurs” dilute their value by juggling high-value and low-value tasks. Without a team, they are forced to mentally and practically take on every aspect of a business.
In most cases, a self-self-employed person has the downsides of a business without the upside potential and the downsides of a job without the benefits of security.
I encourage entrepreneurs to build a boutique team of 3-12 people in order to achieve a lifestyle business. With a small, self-organising team each person can focus on their strengths – the salespeople can sell, the technicians can deliver value to clients and the entrepreneur can work on the business rather than just in it.
If a boutique team succeeds, an entrepreneur might set their sites on building a perforce team of 40-150 people. This larger team, with strong leadership and management, can have a powerful impact in an industry and can become quite a valuable asset.
Here are examples of women in my network who have employed a team in their business and are thriving as a result:
Christelle Nganhou is the Co-Founder of Grass Fields. Grass-fields produces high quality and ethically made African inspired fashion. The modern ranges of clothing for women, men and kids are all sourced and made in the UK and Cameroon. She leads a team of 12 full-time employees and has over 500,000 followers on Instagram. The website is: http://bit.ly/2XKCSsC;Leanne Spencer is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company that creates total solutions to optimise mind, body and wellbeing. She is the author of two best-selling wellness books. The business uses the latest science and technology to take the guesswork out of health. Leanne leads a global team of 10 people including three full-time employees. The website is www.bodyshotperformance.com
Joy Zarine is the founder and CEO of The Hospitality Agency and the author of “The Five Star Formula”. This marketing and guest experience company specialises in developing hospitality businesses into an award-winning, five-star experience brands. She leads a team of seven designers, content writers and consultants. The website is www.thehospitalityagency.co.uk
Jacqui Mann is the Founder, Managing Director and HR Expert of J Mann Associates. She is also the author of “Recruit, Inspire & Retain”. Her company specialises in creating great places to work. They support businesses in developing a company culture which has a positive impact on employee engagement and business performance. She has a team of five full-time staff. The website is www.jmassociates.org
Hattie Hasan is the founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers. She heads up the only national franchise of female plumbers and has a team of six covering areas of the UK from the south coast to the north of England. She created the only annual conference for women plumbers and gas engineers and is the author of ‘The Joy of Plumbing’. The website is stopcocks.uk
Danielle Chiel is the founder and CEO of KOCO which stands for Knit One (garment), Change One (life). They are hand knitting experts and hand knit for fashion brands around the world. She heads up a team of 200 women, 90% of them never having formal eduction past age 10. They learn to read English, to do basic Maths and to become expert artisan hand knitters. The website is: www.koco.global
Kim Newman is the founder and Managing Director of PML. Her consultancy business specialises in business improvement for public sector clients and outsourced service providers. She heads up a team of six full-time consultants as well as an associate network of 5 regular contractors. The website is www.pmlgroup.com
Elena Lavagni is the Founder and CEO of Neville’s hair and beauty salon in Belgravia, London. She has built a team of 75 world class technicians and has popup salons all over Europe. Her award-winning salon works closely with London Fashion Week and counts A-list celebrities amongst its regular clientele. Elena is most proud of their approach to professional development; seeing her team grow and thrive in the industry. Her website is https://nevillehairandbeauty.net
Jo Miln is Co-founder and Director of Soundgas. Soundgas specialise in sourcing, restoring and supplying vintage studio recording equipment to leading studios, producers and musicians worldwide. Jo heads up finance and HR for a team of 12 full-time employees. The website is www.soundgas.com
Stacey Kehoe is the Founder of Brandlective Communications. Her digital marketing agency specialises in creating bold marketing campaigns that help her clients to stand out from the crowd. She heads up a team of eight full-time marketing account managers as well as 6 regular contractors 12 freelancers. The website is www.brandlective.com
Jeannie McGillivray is co-founder and Managing Director at Remote, a bespoke software development company focused on helping purpose-driven organisations make a greater impact in the world. She heads up a team of six software engineers and a UX designer. The website is www.remote.online
Justine Priestley (my sister) is the co-Founder and CEO of Really Bright Media. Her film production company specialises in making films for businesses to communicate with their employees, stakeholders and clients. She heads up a team of five full-time filmmakers as well as a network of regular contractors and two apprentices. The website is www.reallybrightmedia.com
Barbara Khattri is the founder of elements lifestyle salon and Elaworld an award winning Culture Consultancy. They empower Small Business Owners and their teams to have the strategies, skills and confidence to grow and be part of Global Giving initiatives. She employs two team members with 24 people on the wider consulting team. www.elementslifestyle.co.uk
Vicki Wusche is the Founder and Director of Wusche Associates Limited a property investment and training business. Vicki’s growing business helps clients to plan and implement retirement plans. She is the author of five books and named one of the top 25 Most Influential People in Property by the Telegraph. Vicki employs one full-time member of staff and an international team of seven female contract staff, all women from across England, Slovakia, Norway and Australia. Her website is: www.VickiWusche.com
Lucy McCarraher is the founder and CEO of Rethink Press. Her fast-growing business is an innovative publishing company specialising in books by leaders and entrepreneurs. She is an author of 12 books and heads up a team of six full-time as well as a network of over 15 who regularly contract to the business. The website is www.rethinkpress.com
The rise of virtual teams is a trend that many women entrepreneurs embrace.
Many women entrepreneurs are developing virtual teams over traditionally employed and managed teams in an office environment. The flexibility and access to a diverse range of talent is making this an attractive option.
Here are several examples of women who have scaled their businesses using virtual teams:
Shola Adegoroye is the Founder and Director of Reach Up Consultancy. After a 20 year career in healthcare management and leadership, and running £100m+ health budgets, Shola started this specialist healthcare management consultancy working alongside a team of 7 associate consultants, with a mission to improve cancer services across the country and eliminate the unnecessary waiting times patients experience on their cancer pathways. Her website is https://www.reachup.co.uk
Sarah Carroll is the Founder of Grow Global. Her pioneering company shows businesses how to grow globally using digital channels to increase online sales worldwide. She has a virtual team of four women including contractors in Belfast and Nairobi. Her website is www.growglobal.com.
Sara Milne Rowe is the Founder and CEO of Coaching Impact: an award-winning Performance Coaching Company working with leaders at some of the UK’s largest companies. She is also the author of “The Shed Method” which is being adopted by schools to offer teenagers practical ways to lead themselves. She has a virtual team of 4 who run the business day to day and a wider team of expert Coaches – including Olympic Gold medalists, TV presenters, ex-Royal Marines and exceptional teachers. Her website is www.coachingimpact.co.uk
Jane Frankland is an award-winning entrepreneur, international speaker and best-selling author. She has spent over twenty years in cybersecurity, built and sold her own hacking firm and has been actively involved in leading industry accreditations, schemes and forums. She is the founder of Cyber Security Capital and regularly trains and advises executives at indexed companies and fast-growing start-ups. She is also the Founder of the IN Security, a movement to attract and retain more women to work on cybersecurity. Her website is: http://jane-frankland.com
March 7, 2019 at 10:03AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs