Annika Bosanquet founded Wrapology, the market leader in luxury packaging, in 2001 with her brother, Tom. Her business now works with some of the best brands in the world, has concessions in Harrods and Selfridges, and employs 18 staff with offices in London, China and Europe. One of the five female entrepreneurs up for the title of Stylist's Business Ambassador, here are her five secrets to put you on the path to business success.
1) Focus on your weaknesses
Every year 270,000 new businesses start and 220,000 fail. You’ve got to go into business knowing your biggest weakness, then address it before someone else does. I knew funding and finance were mine, so I sought out an angel investor and did a course in cash flow and business plans to be prepared before we registered at Companies House.
2) Big ideas come from everywhere
You can’t afford to be too niche in your expertise. One of my biggest selling products of all time came from something we’d seen in the mobile phone market. We produced an inflatable case for a lipgloss that we called ‘Pout Plump’. We were commissioned to make 7,000 units and ended up making over one million.
3) Success needs passion, and demand
Identify an area you’re really passionate about, but don’t just run with it. Some passions are best kept as hobbies. You might love food and cooking, but you need to really think, would you want to do it all day every day? Keep your business ideas separate from your personal interests.
4) Network beyond your business peers
I’m a trustee of Enterprise UK and am always giving advice to new start-ups; it means I can give something back and be more critical and objective about my own business. Keeping an eye on the next generation of business also helps you evolve, you can meet them at the Supper Club, speed network at Angels Den, join your local British Chambers of Commerce and lend a day a month to a charity/community group, either on the board or as a champion ambassador. As a result you’ll meet other like-minded people who could prove valuable to know.
5) Hire in pairs
It sounds strange, but bringing a new employee into a small start-up can create a boss vs employee dynamic. Employ two at once and they bond, there is less competition, they can coach each other and it makes your life easier as most of the time they can answer each other’s questions.
Want more advice from an inspiring entrepreneur? Read fellow finalist Sophie Cornish's tips for business success.