Posted: Mon 7th May 2018
We have regular online business masterclasses delivered by one of our Adviser members.
This week, Catherine Erdly hosted: Five key elements of a successful product business.
Company: Future Retail
Company founded: 2018
Describe your business in a tweet.
Future Retail: A consultancy creating a new landscape for modern retailers. Industry expertise with a genuine passion for all things retail.
What is your favourite business book and why?
I love Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It's a classic, but still as relevant today as ever.
It's really thought provoking and a great way to remind you to focus on what you can control rather than stressing about what you can't.
Who is your business hero and why?
Someone I really look up to in business is Meg Lustman, CEO of Hobbs.
Not only is she one of only a few female CEOs on the high street, she managed to turn Hobbs around which is no mean feat in today's climate.
On top of that, she's a wonderfully warm and generous person and I know for a fact she's a mentor to other women in retail - something I really admire.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Making the adjustment from full-time work to being self-employed definitely takes some getting used to!
It's a very different mind-set, putting yourself out there all the time rather than sticking to a defined role. But it's exciting and every day is a new challenge, which I love.
What has been your greatest success?
Getting my first clients was a great feeling.
I also really enjoy the events that I host for retailers of all sizes. At our last event we had over 60 people, and a speaker who had flown in from Canada especially to give the keynote speech!
I love the fact that I'm creating an opportunity for retailers both big and small to talk about the changes to the industry.
What piece of advice do you wish you had known when starting out?
You're going to spend a lot of time doing things you aren't very good at, at least to start with.
Also, I have a mentor which I highly, highly recommend. You need an outside perspective who understands what you are trying to do.
Why do you consider long-term strategic advice important to business success?
Often people start businesses, especially product-based businesses, because they are creative and have a natural flair for creating great product.
However, it can be overwhelming and many entrepreneurs struggle with building their business in a scaleable way.
Getting advice from someone who is experienced in the industry can save a huge amount of time, and money. It can save you from re-inventing the wheel and making costly mistakes along the way.
If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Flying. Who wouldn't want to be able to soar above the rooftops?