By: Alisha Sedor
This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Small Business Summit hosted at The Wing in partnership with American Express’s Shop Small initiative. Topics included building an influential brand, how to create a buzz about your business, and venture capital. The slate of presenters/panelists was great, and I wanted to share my favorite quote or take-away from each of these badass women.
Sarah Levey, Founder of Y7:
When it comes to brand partnerships and collaborations, it’s essential to know the “why.” Why does this partnership exist? What’s the story behind it? Does it make sense? Don’t just partner with another company because you can, make sure it resonates with your brand.
Shilpa Shah, Founder and CXO of Cuyana:
“If you truly, at the core, believe in your product, you have to do whatever it takes” to get it in front of people and, “sometimes that means being shameless.”
Mollie Chen, VP Brand and Customer Experience of Hungryroot:
“The best thing you can do as a small business owner, or a big business owner, is to care about your customer.”
Grace Kang, Founder and Chief Buyer of Pink Olive:
On social media, integrate what your life is like or what you want your customer’s life to be like, interspersed with your product or offering. Tell as story and create feelings, no one wants to engage with product shot after product shot.
Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter:
“You can’t [just] focus on the numbers” you have to focus on engagement. It doesn’t matter if you have 47 million followers if only 4 people buy. You have to engage with your community to keep yourself top of mind for them. This doesn’t mean selling all the time, this means telling your story as a brand.
Alex Daly, Founder of Vann Alexandra:
When you’re looking at great brands and sitting in awe of their amazing follower base on social media, remember: “Every brand actually has to start from zero” and “build a following from scratch.” Take it one follower at a time.
Sutian Dong, Partner at Female Founders Fund:
Raising venture funding isn’t about asking for money, it’s about building relationships. Think about how you’re building the relationship, and start early. Reach out to potential investors before you’re even ready to ask for money. Seek advice from them and build those relationships so that you’re not coming in cold when you do need to make the ask.
I hope these tidbits are inspiration for you to get out there and build something that’s yours, whether it’s a business, a passion project, or a side-hustle. When you’re ready, Poros is here to help build out next steps and move you forward.