on Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016
The British Independent Retailers Association’s (bira) membership is made up of a diverse mix of business owners and to celebrate International Women’s Day, some of bira’s most inspirational members have shared the secrets of their success.
One of bira’s long standing supporters, Sadie Chalkley owns J G Banfield and Sons, a hardware shop in Tenbury Wells. Sadie broke a century old all male presidency line at the Association when she became National President in 2009.
Sadie says: “Ensuring my finances are sound is the secret to my success. Keeping a good grasp of your finances is vital to any new business owner, but overall I measure success based on how much I have pleased people.”
Tanya Umpleby from Cooking Fantastic in Harrogate started her business at the age of 25. 12 years on Tanya says: “Watching and listening to happy customers and happy staff, in the environment that we have all played a part in creating is what success is for me. It’s never been about what is in the bank, it’s all about happiness (and happy customers spend more so that helps to pay the bills!)”
Tanya’s advice for women in business is: “Believe in yourself, your products and your prices – my Aunt taught me that in my first year of trading. If you don’t believe the product is worth what you are selling it for then how will your customer?”
Claire Harper, owner of independent boutique IndiaCoco will speak at bira’s High Street Conference at Chateau Impney, Droitwich in May, along with a number of other inspirational women who are looking at the future of independent retail.
Claire Harper, says: “I often get asked what success looks like. I have learnt that success is about knowing your customer. Work out who your customer is and what they really want. It is a process that should be ongoing.
“Starting a business is not for the fainthearted. Know from the start what you are getting into. The other challenge I have learnt is not to be afraid of failure. If you are really entrepreneurial and have the passion and self-belief to go forward, failures will only make you stronger.”
Sarah Golden, Marketing and Membership Director at bira says: “As the first woman to become a Director of bira in 2011 I’ve always been inspired by all the leading women working in retail and owning their own businesses. As an organisation we proactively support women in business and praise their achievements in what still remains a male dominated industry. We have more women than ever as part of our Board of Management and have two incredibly successful women waiting in the wings to take up the role of National President in the next three years.”
bira works to support family businesses and independent shop owners, providing a helping hand dedicated to finding the best rates, deals and offers specific to independent businesses. More information can be found at www.bira.co.uk