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The entrepreneur helping plant lovers find their roots

The entrepreneur helping plant lovers find their roots
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Fri 8th Jan 2021

No garden but love plants? Never fear. Finding Roots can help!

The plant subscription business aimed at people with balcony gardens is the creation of Lilidh Matthews.

She used her experience working for a large garden centre chain to create the brand and is now brightening up balconies across London.

Lilidh shares her story and how the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme has boosted her skills.

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in 218 bitesize videos.  
 
If you're already an Enterprise Nation member, log-in to your learning dashboard to access the e-learning. If you're not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

How did you come up with your business idea and turn that idea into a business?

Having worked for the largest garden centre chain in the country as a buyer of vegetable and herb plants, I noticed the trend for small space urban gardening increasing including the love of edible plants. I also wanted to find a way to garden on my one metre by two metre balcony without the mess from compost, the hassle of having to hide plants that were out of season and a sensible way of watering my plants especially when I wanted a weekend away!

By combining my horticultural knowledge and love of plants with my desire to introduce as many people to gardening as possible I founded Finding Roots, a seasonal subscription delivering micro-gardens to your door.

What start-up challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

One of the main challenges was building the right entrepreneurial skillset for building my business. By joining programmes such as the Amazon Small Business Accelerator hosted by organisations such as Enterprise Nation, I have not only built a stronger skillset, but also built an amazing network of other entrepreneurs who have been willing to take virtual coffees, brainstorm and share strategic advice!

I have also been lucky to work with some amazing people who have helped to advise, build and develop the business.

What tips did you pick up from the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme?

The video series that stands out for me is marketing and building your business online. It has never been more important for businesses to have an online presence and in the world of plants many have had to entirely pivot their business models in order to respond to the challenges they face, Finding Roots has been no exception.

With insights into building your presence and SEO, making sure that you provide value to your community through fresh content and also ensuring that you are keeping track of what works by measuring the impact you have, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator has guided me through different scenarios with bitesize video resources.

In this new world, we quickly realised that we could encourage our community to subscribe to our email list where we now share our knowledge of small space gardening. If you are interested in finding out more and seeing our learning in action, visit the Finding Roots website and subscribe to our newsletter to see it for yourself!

Finding Roots micro garden

What are your plans for the future of your business?

Winter is a very quiet time of year for horticulture as many people are thinking about staying indoors rather than looking to improve their outdoor space.

Finding Roots is currently in a strategising period ready for the launch of a new website and excited to anticipate what 2021 has for the business.

Plans include building some partnerships that work to help as many people as possible realise that gardening can be easy with our subscription. Whilst Finding Roots is currently only available in London, I am working to offer the subscription on a national basis to bring seasonal micro-gardens to front doors, patios and terraces across the country! I am excited to help others find their roots.

Which other entrepreneurs inspire you and why?

I have so many entrepreneurs who inspire me every day, and when you can learn and work with those that you admire it is even more exciting! Three entrepreneurs who really inspire me are Harry, Ed and Izzy:

As well as being a lawyer specialising in social entrepreneurship, and a passionate conservationist, Harry Wright is the CEO and founder of The Conservation Project International, a platform dedicated to supporting and mentoring young conservationists and future leaders. He not only works on conserving our planet but also works with businesses who want to make a positive impact in our world and society.

Another incredible entrepreneur is Izzy Obeng from Foundervine who is on a mission to change the global face of entrepreneurship. I have learnt so much from Izzy and her coaching has enabled me to not only be a more successful entrepreneur but also grow as a person.

Ed Hopkins, founder of Dark Green PR, works closely with purpose-driven brands who want to make a positive impact on our environment and humanity. It has never been more important to look for businesses that not only offer great products and services, but also feel a sense of responsibility in their actions and want to have a positive impact on our world and Ed champions this!

Each of these entrepreneurs have not only achieved great things in their careers, but they are now using their skills to have a positive impact on the world and our communities. Such phenomenal entrepreneurs to look up to empowers me to not only have a positive impact on the world and our communities, but to also be the best version of myself.

What are your top tips for business success?

I have three top tips for anyone looking to build a successful business and each of them are centred around people. If you know your product and have done your research, then these are the next things you need to think through carefully.

1. Talk to friends and family regularly. Ensure that your support network is there to follow your journey. You need their support to celebrate the little achievements and help you to work through the sticky moments. They are your advocates and cheerleaders, always ask for advice and feedback and use this alongside your market research. If your mum doesn't understand it then you need to think of another way to explain your idea!

2. Find experts in your field. Build a network of experts and don't be afraid of asking for a one-to-one. Make sure you have plenty of questions and do your research beforehand - don't waste their time by asking them something that you could have Googled. These are people who can provide you with introductions and feedback on your idea and may even become a business mentor. Treat them with respect, but remember they are people too and many will want to help you however best they can.

3. Your customers are the most important people in your world. Make sure that you listen to their feedback, understand their problems and work to constantly impress them. Under promise and over deliver, be honest and think about the next way you can offer your customers value. They will be loyal if they know that you have their best interests at heart.

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in 218 bitesize videos.  
 
If you're already an Enterprise Nation member, log-in to your learning dashboard to access the e-learning. If you're not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

 
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.
 

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