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An hour with Karren Brady: tips for a small business owner

2-minute read

Catriona Smith

29 June 2022

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Seeing the big picture and planning for growth is as important for small businesses as it is for big companies.

We caught up with Tina Cox to hear about her experience talking to Baroness Karren Brady CBE about what’s next for her small business.

Tina is a visual merchandiser and greeting card maker. She was the lucky winner of the mentorship opportunity, as part of Simply Business's Empowering Women in Business initiative.

Simply Business research shows 38 per cent of women business owners wanted one-to-one mentorship from a business expert, while a third wanted to hear tips and advice from leaders in their industry.

On 22 June, the Bristol-based entrepreneur spent an hour on a video call with Baroness Brady sharing her story as the founder and owner of Dapple pop studio.

How to see the big picture

Baroness Brady has long been a champion for women in business and was awarded a CBE for her services to women and entrepreneurship in 2013.

Although initially nervous about meeting such a prominent business leader, Tina says Brady “instantly put me at ease” when they started talking about her business.

Brady helped Tina by breaking down each area of her business and working out which is the most successful, from earning potential to opportunities to streamline for growth.

Tina said: “The experience has made me look at my business in a completely different way, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.”

‘Karren’s views are invaluable’

Going into the session, Tina was keen to understand how she could overcome her fears straight on because she had to “continually overcome low confidence and a worry of judgement from others”.

Speaking afterwards, Tina said: “Karren's views are invaluable and definitely made me think in a large-scale way.”

The pair even had time to talk about future ventures and put practical thought into how this could work.

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‘Persistence is key’

When it comes to advice, Brady told Karren “persistence is key”. She encouraged Tina to keep reaching out to people she wants to work with, keep moving forward with plans, and to make a noise about it.

Excitement for what’s next

With a new product range and the launch of creative workshops on the horizon, Tina is “super excited” about what’s next for her business.

She told us: “I know the next few months are going to be extremely busy (I’m also getting married in September) but instead of feeling fear and worry like I have in the past, I feel excited about what the future holds – and that's thanks to Karren!”

She added: “I knew how much the session was going to sculpt my work. Thank you Baroness Karren Brady and Simply Business for giving me this opportunity!”

Are you interested in having a mentor for your business? Read our guide to finding a business mentor for top tips.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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