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Why a 'No' in business doesn't mean 'No' forever with Sapphire Bates, Founder of The Coven

Running a business can be really isolating, and when Sapphire Bates when through that sense of loneliness herself while running her first business she decided to do something about it and start The Coven.

It’s an online community for female founders and freelancers, where you subscribe to a monthly plan that suits your budget and gets you access to workshops, events, online resources and a highly engaged support network so you don’t have to do it alone. Right now she has around 1000 paying members and another 2500 on a waiting list to join. She’s also just launched an amazing course on how to start and grow a membership driven platform and it’s full of the good stuff.

We chat about what it’s been like to build her business from the ground up and the importance of community, taking learnings from her previous business to create her membership based venture and the ins and outs of running a successful platform.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

This is Sapphire Bates for Female Startup Club. Do you want to tell me how you got started with The Coven and what the idea kind of came from and a bit about your background with the florist business. Yes. So, I originally had a flower studio before I started the coven and I did that for several years. That was like my first business. That was the first sort of exploration into being a business owner. And I purely went into flower arranging and flores tree, because it's the only thing I really had any skills in.

00:03:39Edit I didn't have any background in anything else. It was the only really option of a business for me. So I did it. But I never really loved flowers. I find actually making flowers quite boring. So I got tired very quickly. I you know, loved the business side of things, but just absolutely hated being stuck in the studio making things all day long. I wanted to be at my laptop growing the business. So for quite a long time I was really aware that I wanted to move on and that, you know, I needed to keep a good idea of good sort of list of all of my ideas and keep saying if any of them were profitable and tangible kind of ideas. So the idea that I kept coming back to was like a pain problem for myself. So whilst I ran this business I was just incredibly, incredibly lonely, I worked by myself, we had freelancers come in and out, but essentially I was the only member of staff, so I was in the studio all day long by myself, I go home and be by myself. It was just so much alone time and that was actually quite difficult.

00:04:46Edit Yeah, so I wanted to be able to bring people together, but equally, there's so many events you can go to and so many great things and although there still is and there was at the time that I launched, well not come up with the idea for this and and started launching it, but the problem was for me was that I didn't have the time. So, you know, I could understand and appreciate that these events were amazing and you could connect with loads of great people if you could go, but I was working every single day of the week and I didn't know what time I was going to fish work and if the work wasn't done, I couldn't leave it to go to some event to meet people, I just didn't have the time. So I wanted something that was virtual and that could bring anybody from anywhere together and you could literally check in whilst you're working or in between work or after work when it's like midnight and you're shattered. And I imagine as well it's a hard business to scale the flower business compared to what it is for a virtual business. Right? Yeah. I mean it's doable. The the first was making money like good money.

00:05:48Edit Um Not as much as the coven makes, but it could have got there but it's a much slower progress and it needs much more investment. So essentially the point that I got to was that really I needed to invest about 50 grand into it to take it to the next stage because we had all the people there had so many inquiries for the following years. I was turning work away. Um But I didn't have the capacity or the space or the staff to fulfill it. Um And what I really needed was a cash injections that we could get a bigger space straight away, we could get staff, get them trained and then move forward and work out. I could take on like a studio manager, I could sort of move everything forward and work on scaling it. So it's I don't know that it's harder to scale, but it's just a totally different ball game. It takes a lot more cash to scale it. And that wasn't something because I didn't love it and I didn't like doing it. It wasn't something I necessarily wanted to throw that money into. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yes. And then I just decided I'd give the company go.

00:06:53Edit I did it at the same time as I had the florist. So that was like a very stressful eight months um worked every single day and I'd literally finish in the studio at like 10 PM at night and then go and work on the coven and try and get that off the ground. Uh Yeah. And then I ended up just doing the cover full time. And so in the early days when you started the cop and how did you sort of Ghana your initial kind of audience and your initial or community really? And like did you know these women already that you kind of brought in or did you just start talking about it on instagram? Yeah, I started with nothing. Um, I think a lot of people presume because I had about 12,000 followers on our flower studio account that I'd just be able to shift people over. But that's not unfortunately how it works because it's a totally different industry. So I also naively in the beginning, the first kind of month or two when I got the idea, I was thinking, oh, like maybe I can just shift people over. But then in actual fact, these are all people that want wedding and event flowers, they don't, you know, they're getting married, they don't have any interest in starting a business and they don't want to follow this venture.

00:07:59Edit And even if they followed across and followed, they're not going to purchase because they don't have a business, they don't want a business That's not what they do. So I essentially started from scratch. I think I had about 800,000 followers go over from the 12,000 and the rest was built through. Um, just hard graft on instagram, lots of connecting with people. So I, you know, had so many honest, genuine conversations with people almost like what people use bots for now. I was genuinely doing day to day through the night, trying to meet people and chat with them, go for coffee, helped them get to know them and build up these kind of relationships with people. So that when I launched, I had these people that not necessarily going to buy the product but cared and wanted to support it and engage with it and tell other people about it. Yeah. And really like shout about it to their friends and pass on that word of mouth, which is obviously key to launch your business as well. And when you were in that sort of early days, did you have to invest any money into growing it or we just kind of like doing the flower business, seeing how this would grow and then kind of waiting until it was big enough to take the jump out of the flower business.

00:09:08Edit Um, no, I, yeah, I was investing money, any money that I made from the flower studio that I didn't need to put towards eating or paying my bills, went into the coven. So it's self funded, which is month by month, whatever I could put in, I put in to grow it and that went into everything building the platform, creating a brand, advertising, um everything all just sort of bit by bit with what I could, which was essentially my wages and the extra profit that the flower business made. And then from then, when you kind of started the business with growing the community on a smaller scale, at what point were you like, I'm gonna, did you always have the idea that you would launch the membership site or did that kind of like evolve as you went along in the process? That was from day one, so day one we launched as a membership platform. So in the lead up, I had a free facebook group that people could join, but even since the eight months before that I created it, it says in the intro, this is going to be a paid part of a paid membership very soon. You're welcome to use this as much as you want up until that point, but just so that we're totally transparent and everyone is totally aware this isn't going to remain free forever.

00:10:16Edit This is part of a platform and physically building elsewhere, but I want people to be able to use it whilst whilst I do the other stuff, so that was always the plan. I am very business minded. So I wasn't, I don't, I think, I think it's fine if you depends what you want from a business, I wanted that business to support me and to grow and be profitable and for me to have an income from, so I went into that, knowing that when I came up with the idea, I did a business plan, I did on my financial forecasting, I spent a lot of time doing all the market research and really planning everything out um I took everything that I learned from my first business and use that to make really knowledgeable decisions and kind of really thought through, there's always a risk but kind of very thought through risks so that, that was always gonna hopefully be something that worked, I mean it could still, you know things can still fail but I went into it with as much planning and foresight as possible and around the launch period when you first started how many people came onto you as like a paying member in the beginning 250 Holy sh it, that's so cool, wow, amazing and I've been reading some things like about you in the press, like with your article and Forbes and I saw that on your website, you've had press with brands like the Huffington post and that kind of thing and was that all from you, just going through and reaching out and getting to know people or people coming and knocking on your door straightaway being like, hey I saw your platform on instagram or facebook, About 80% of all of our press is natural.

00:11:53Edit So they come to us um 20% is outreach. So initially I did it myself, then I took on a pr manager and gave that to somebody's role to do that. And then they have since moved on to focus on their business full time and it's kind of back in my hands again. Um and that's basically reaching out and pitching to people. So knowing how to write a good pitch, how to write a good press release and using that. It's not something that I would spend all of my time on, but I might spend an hour a week nurturing those relationships that might get me press and doing like a little bit of outreach to editors and what have you. Mm So, cool. And do you think presses a big contributor to you, getting the new community members coming in and joining up to the membership now, or it's word of mouth? What do you think the biggest driver? Because I know you have now 1000 members, but you have a huge wait list. How do you think the people are coming to you marketing? Just word of mouth? Good. Being clever.

00:12:54Edit Uh No, I don't think it, I think it's planned marketing. So it's having a really good marketing plan and strategies in place that bring people to you. So press doesn't get you the coverage. You think it's going to, I think you imagine that when you get mentioned on Forbes, for example, that that's going to bring thousands of people in front of you or hundreds of thousands of people. That doesn't happen. I think from any of the press, we've had, the most we've ever picked up is about 100 followers and usually it's way less, you know, we might get five or six followers from, say, the Forbes piece. It raises awareness. So if those people come across you again and see see um maybe like a paid advertisement or they see uh an influence are talking about you and your brand, then they might be like, oh yeah, I think I read about them in four, but then you kind of already warmed them towards your product, but it doesn't essentially bring people to you, especially if it's print, like if its print press. So if you're in things like magazines and national newspapers, most people don't take enough interest to look, read about you, say on the train and then actually go and look you up on their phones, they more need to bump into you again and then be like, oh yeah, I know who these people are, it's kind of like Cody ross Yeah, I think they say it's like six, you need six touch points before someone can buy your product.

00:14:17Edit And so what is the biggest driver for your new subscribers then? Is it through like paid advertising on instagram or is it through an email database? How do you think you find the new audience members mainly through social media, but that's about we everything is, is strategic, everything that we, I say we do, it's like me and my assistant, but everything is planned, you know, we, everything that we post, everything that I talk about on their, you know, all the time that is spent on there is spent strategically with a marketing plan, everything has been thought out in order to get people wanting to sign up and then just talking about what we do, like I talk about what the membership is and I post content that people engage with and want to read or watch or listen to and that brings people, but it's essentially social media as a main driver. We don't do a whole lot of paid advertising because I don't like to put a lot of money in. It is quite expensive per person to convert, but we do a little bit of that just so that we know that we're bringing in a little bit of a new audience with that and just extending our reach a little bit, but most of it is natural engagement through social media.

00:15:31Edit Yeah, that's cool, like community that you've got that, it's really easy for it to kind of be nurtured will not easy, sorry, but it's easy for people to come in and be like instantly engaged and want to stick around. Um And with the podcast, did you launch that in the beginning or was that kind of a bit later on that you added that into the mix? We launched that last april or may I think so just just under a year after we launched, we launched that. And again, that for us is another marketing stream and another revenue stream through podcast sponsorship. Um So it just seemed like a good natural progression. It's something that I liked doing and thought would be quite fun, which is always quite important to me. I don't want to be too tired to doing things that I don't like if I don't have to. So it's just sort of a natural kind of progression and I saw you just started a new podcast as well. Yeah, so that's just something I'm doing with my friend um which is just quite nice to do is sort of the only thing I do a bit of writing on the side for people like courier magazine and then this is just something else that I get to do that is non coven related.

00:16:42Edit That's just quite fun. Yeah, it's a pleasure. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I love that and I guess it was well like as the audience picks up there, they'll be interested in you as a person and what what else it is that you're doing and you're working on, which is also quite nice. Um We're talking the last time on email about your magazine that you just launched. That's so cool. Do you want to talk a little bit about that and how that came about and then how you go about producing a magazine? Um So we, I decided in january this year that I wanted to do a magazine, it's something that had come up in kind of november december time last year as a potential idea and one of our sort of staff meetings and it kind of stuck with me and I really liked the idea, but I knew that print magazines are notoriously difficult to make profit from and it can be quite tricky and it's something that I was toying with because to be honest, normally in the business we wouldn't launch something that isn't going to be profitable.

00:17:44Edit Um Everything we do is normally really fought through and the idea is that everything we add will only add that extra work and that extra effort if that's going to bring the return to the business, otherwise we could just focus on the things we do already that make profit, but it's something that I really wanted to do, like, as I just said like earlier, I love writing anyway, and this would mean that I got to play editor, which is something I've never done before and basically couldn't stop thinking about it. So one day in january before it even like really told any of the team or anything, I just put it on instagram that we were gonna do a magazine um chose the name of it and kind of went with it. So yeah we decided to do it um we did it and yeah just under like three months I think it came out with 2.5 months, we did it from like idea to print arriving at my house um so it was very very quick, it was like a very stressful few months, it's a lot more complicated to launch a magazine than I potentially initially expected but it was fun.

00:18:46Edit Um we did make a profit from it, I mean we didn't make much of a profit from it because obviously we're in a global pandemic and that's massively affected what sales I expected. So I am currently in my flat and there are honestly so many magazines there um but yeah, it's been a really interesting one, it's been really interesting to take something that is notoriously difficult to make money from and kind of try and examine it. So a lot of what I was doing in the weeks when we came up with it was working out all of the numbers and thinking okay because print is just so expensive and then looking at all and just being like okay how how can we do this like how can we make this an affordable product and how can we do it, the main aim that we decided we would be happy with is if we cover costs, so if we cover all of our costs in producing it, and that includes paying writers, paying my editorial assistant designer, everything included in that they possibly could be included as a cost covered, then we'll be happy because yeah, because essentially that's for us, another marketing avenue.

00:19:56Edit So it's another way that we get in front of potentially a wider audience is something that people can enjoy and consume whether or not they want to sign up to the membership. Um But it's also spreading the word about what we do and getting people aware of our brand as a whole, which is obviously one of the things we constantly want to be doing is reaching new people and wider audiences. So yeah, it was really interesting. It was quite tricky. What were the challenges that you hadn't foreseen with producing the magazine um or the unforeseen costs that you hadn't really factored in, and then you were like, sh it more expensive than I thought. I think when it's things like the pure cost of having something printed is very expensive. So that cost us thousands of pounds. Um It adds up staff costs to, you know, like, I can't do everything myself. So I've had a designer designing everything, I had an editorial assistant who would help me with proof reading, everything would be fact checking everything, we'd be um editing everybody's articles and submissions and etcetera etcetera to make sure that everything was perfect.

00:21:05Edit That really adds up. So again it was thousands of pounds on staff costs and just the amount of time I think it takes, everything is going to be checked and checked and checked again and fact checked and proofread by numerous people because you can literally, you'll be going like the night before we went to print, we noticed one of the pictures which was only a small square on one of the pages was upside down and nobody had noticed it and like four of us have been through it so many times and I just happened to be going through again before I went to bed and I was like funk this picture is the wrong way around. How has no one noticed this And it all has to happen in quite that stressful bit. All happens in a really short period of time once you're writers are given their deadline, once they come back um and hopefully have come back on time of the deadline. But most people don't um you've then only got a limited amount of time to get that edited to get any changes back to them that you need edited again, proofread checked by numerous people over to the designer so that the designer can create the layout on the page and make sure it all fits, then it might come back to you or your editorial assistant to cut it again if it doesn't fit the layout that you wanted or adding to it, which then has to go back to the writer.

00:22:20Edit If you need more, it just goes on and on. Then finding the right pictures. Sometimes the pictures that you supplied with aren't good enough, not high res they're not a good enough quality and you've got to go and find more. So then it's like do we as a stock image or have we got time to go and shoot something? It's all quite a lot of stuff. Um That happens in a very small amount of time. And yeah, it's it's just Quite stressful. I think the initial period as well. Um where your money is really going to come from a magazine is through advertising. That's what's gonna bring you in the money. The magazine, we sell it for £5 And over 50% of that as our cost. So we make very little parish you, which is quite normal. So your money comes from advertising, but when you're just starting out and you don't know how many you're going to sell. Getting people to pay the money that you need for the advertising is like the tricky bit and that's kind of where you're profit we could like or not. And do you think are you going to keep doing the magazine? Do you think you'll do another issue.

00:23:23Edit Yeah, I think we're gonna do it again. We really liked it. I loved doing it. Um it was well received despite the current climate. So I think we definitely want to try again when things are on more solid ground and see how that works and how that compares. Um Yes, it's a good one essentially for us. We're just going to go with it for as long as we cover our costs, costs. So sort of easily covering costs in the sense that it's not this panic, every single issue that we haven't made enough and that I'm going to have to sub thousands to cover it from the business. Then I'm happy to keep going with it. It doesn't need to be a huge money maker, but it's just something that we like doing and again, it's part of that marketing plan and that sort of overall strategy. So I'm just trying to think about all the different revenue streams that you have going on in the business. You have the membership site, you've got the podcast, you've got the magazine now, you've got coaching as well. You do want to ones Yeah, you also host events.

00:24:25Edit Do you get money through the events as well with sponsors? Yeah, that's amazing. So many different avenues. What else have you got going on? Yes, it's sponsored with the events as well. It's like sponsorship and ticket. So the events aren't free, they're discounted for cover members and higher price for the public, but they still bring in money and then yet any sponsors that we get um as well. And then we do a lot of advertising as well. So we do a lot of B two B. So obviously our membership, well, our membership technically is B two B. Because it's um other business owners or startups. But essentially we look at our membership members as our B two C. And then we do a lot of advertising with other companies and brands that want to either advertise to our members or they want us to advertise to like our audiences and things like that. So that can look like event sponsorship that can look like advertising in our newsletter. That's like private and goes out to our members. Um That can be like social media campaigns. Um I kind of more influence advertising.

00:25:27Edit There's quite a lot that goes on within advertising that brings us in. Um I mean, it doesn't currently because nobody's spending money on advertising but usually pandemic aside, that's a large proportion of our revenue. Do you think is the membership site the primary source of the revenue, or is it the sponsorship At the moment? The membership is the main one. But that if you look at projections is likely to change, it could very much be that as we grow, they kind of feed each other, the bigger the membership gaps or the more well known it gets, even if you don't necessarily aren't taking on loads more members, the bigger the advertising will and revenue streams from that will grow, because the more brands will pay and the more that they want to advertise to your audiences and work with you. Um so I would imagine in the future that that will grow to equal a similar amount of what we make from the membership, but at the moment the membership is the leading revenue stream, but obviously having multiple is a really sensible thing in a business.

00:26:33Edit Do you think for anyone listening and also myself included, do you think in the beginning, when you're sort of just starting out and you have sort of a smaller audience, how would you go about pitching to get brands, partner shipping, partner shipping, partnering with you either from a marketing perspective or like through like monetary funds perspective, do you have any advice on kind of the steps you would go about, is it just out just general outreach and putting yourself out there? Or do you have any advice you can share, it's learning to pitch and learning to pitch well, quite often a pitch can make or break an opportunity. Um If you write a really terrible pitch, a brand will write you off before you even finish your email and a really good pitch can get you much further, then you think it can um you know, you might get that conversation, whereas if they just looked at your figures alone, that conversation might not happened.

00:27:34Edit I do think in the beginning in the beginning we didn't have that much advertising, it wasn't a huge revenue stream for us and it wasn't my focus. I kind of think you need to really nail The main thing that you're doing initially. So before you try and split off into all these different revenue streams, make sure you're really nailing each one, um, it's far better to do one really well than six kind of half heartedly. So that might look like really growing that product really working and spending a long time on your marketing to ensure that that grows are definitely the first, Like 3/4 of the first year, but obviously we've grown quite quickly. Um, we haven't yet, it's been like quite a big growth for us. Um, so it's happened quite quickly, but the first three quarters of the year, that first year there was definitely no advertising and no sort of revenue streams outside of events and the membership and what do you think when you go into, when you were ready to start pitching brands, what do you think went into a good pitch versus something that you felt or maybe that wasn't, they didn't work short and sweet, the best pictures, like obviously I've also been on both sides of this.

00:28:44Edit So I had people pitching to me to be in our magazine and I pitched to work with brands and I pitched to other magazines and newspapers and stuff to write for them. Um, so a good pitch is short and sweet. It's to the point, always presumed that the person that you're pitching to doesn't have very much time and they don't want to give you very much at the time because they don't know if you're worth it yet. So you always want to say the most in the least amount of words a pitch really should be about what you can do for somebody else as opposed to about you. People can get very sidetracked by giving people the whole breakdown of their business and all this bit of information. This is our story, this is our founder, this is the founder's story, this is where now, this is, this is all the great stuff we do and you've already taken up so much of the email you really want to get it. It's almost like your, your elevator pitch, you're really short snappy, this is what we are. The coven is a worldwide online membership platform for female founders and freelancers, so it's like really short snappy, who we are. Um, it's what I'm asking really, really openly what I want from you, that's usually in my title.

00:29:52Edit So it might be like podcast sponsorship question mark. It might be social media advertising question mark. It's to the point, you don't, sometimes you people don't want to say it because you don't want to put people off and you don't wanna be like, oh, I don't want to be too brash, but actually I'm very much, I mean, I'm a very blunt person anyway, so my pictures tend to be quite blunt as well. I'm very to the point like this is what it is. Um you obviously want to be convincing and also importantly is building relationships with the people you're pitching to, So getting in front of the right person in the first place and understanding that person you're pitching to you, whether that's the individual or the brand, So who are the brand, what do they usually do? Who have they worked with previously? All these different things can help you to know how to pitch and how to angle it. I think just practice, like not being afraid of saying no, and remembering that the brands that say no initially could say yes in the future, it's all about maintaining that relationship. If they say no, you can ask for feedback and you can ask to stay in touch with them. That doesn't mean emailing them every month, but it might mean that in a year's time you go back to them with a fresh pitch that is, you know, that you've learned from all these other pictures and all these successful pictures and you try again and you might then be the person that actually they want to work with.

00:31:05Edit Yeah, absolutely. I want to talk a little bit about obviously what's going on now with the current climate, and we spoke a little bit about this before we got started, but kind of how it's impacted your business, what you've sort of noticed in the community especially, and, and if you had to innovate and come up with new ideas to keep bringing money in, basically, it's obviously a very short time. We have definitely seen an impact. We've lost thousands of pounds. I've cut people's hours down. I've had to cut back on expenditure, but ultimately we will survive this. I mean touch with, but as far as, as as things currently look, we should come out the other side, but we are obviously having to do damage control on that. And it's ultimately just something that I've had to accept that we're not going to make that much money um, over the next couple of months. But what we do need to do is keep our heads above water. And the main thing for us right now is to be as useful as possible to those members that are able to afford to stay and want to remain.

00:32:13Edit We just need to be helping them as much as we can because that's really what they need. So going above and beyond, there's lots of things we've added for free as extras over the next few months purely just to help those people and to try and get people through the situation. Um, I can't really speak for other businesses, I know that people are struggling, but whilst people are struggling, there are businesses that are thriving and I think that's the way in any kind of situation, anything like this, there's always gonna be clever people that are able to profit through things in a way that hopefully works and is nice, which is always good to see. I think it's important that we keep spending money where we can to keep obviously the economy sort of moving. But yes, it's a pretty crap time. We we aren't pivoting as such, but things like our issue two of the magazine that we would have been working on now has been delayed into a time when it's a little bit financially safe for us to throw thousands at it and yeah, just things like luckily a lot of my team are really lovely and understanding and are happy to have that I was cut a little bit, which means I can keep everybody um and ensure that nobody has to be let go.

00:33:23Edit But there's not, yeah, we're not pivoting as such. It's just given me the head space and the time to focus on getting them done. Normally, I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to keep up with everything and I'm trying to embrace everything, being a little bit slower to do these new things that we talked about for ages, but haven't been able to make happen. Yeah, yeah, I think when I speak to people that's like the recurring theme that I'm hearing from everyone and including myself as well. It's I've found it's quite nice to just slow down a bit and take the pace to a different level. And I think for me my actual inner introvert is really thriving, not having to be super social and busy and doing all of the things and the pressure to do all of the things. So yeah, I found it's been quite quite nice actually in that regard. Yeah, I agree. And I imagine like there's obviously people who would be listening who are in the opposite boat where they're really struggling to be for sure, alone and inside and not being able to be in touch with friends and family as much as they would usually be.

00:34:30Edit But for me it's been it's been quite actually nice. It's really difficult. I mean like I am starting to struggle a little bit like I'm isolated by myself. So I've been on my own for nearly a month and that's quite a long time to not have sort of, it's a physical connection, but like to not just, you know, physically met anybody else in anybody or chatted to anybody in person feels like a really long time. Um But so I totally know if anyone's like listening and they're like, oh my God, I'm I'm struggling and I know that a lot of people are struggling in many other ways, like mental health can be playing up, it can just be struggled financially right now for a lot of people, which just puts a really horrible strain on things and lots of people that might be ill. So yeah it's basically a really crap time but I think that as individuals we just have to, like you said, you know if you can find the good in your own personal situation, whatever that might be, however small that might be then that's quite important to just kind of lean into that and embrace so like I'm slowing down, I'm trying to watch lots of tv and things like that which is stuff you don't normally get time to do um and and kind of yeah sort of see that as a positive and what is overall a pretty shit situation?

00:35:48Edit Yeah, absolutely. Um so I usually ask every woman that I speak to six quick questions, it's like a quick fire round but before I start that I just want to ask if you have any advice you'd like to share for other women who might be wanting to start a new project or a new brand, especially focusing on the community and on that side of things. Okay so I think preparation is key in starting anything. You want to take risks, you have to take risks as an entrepreneur but you want to take really calculated risk, so this is like doing all of the boring prep work which is things like your business plan um nobody has to read the business plan, you don't have to take it anywhere, but you need to do it so that you personally really understand how your business is going to make money, how long that could take, what the costs are going to look like. So that if it doesn't start making that money, you know what the money you're going to have to cover is going to be um what just every part of your business is going to look like, what your brand is going to be like because that's so important. And then other really important things like market research, I did so much market research and people kind of shy away from market research.

00:37:01Edit People have a bad habit of believing in their own idea, which is great. But it's so important to check that other people care because you can really imagine, especially if you solve a pain point for yourself. So like with me feeling lonely with the coven and thinking, oh my God, this is something someone else might want. It was so key for me to make sure that that actually was something else that people wanted as opposed to just presuming putting all the money into it, putting my heart and soul into the branding that I wanted and not checking any of this aligned with the people that I wanted to sell too. So that was super important. And I think the prep is actually the most important bit, I'm really understanding what you're going to be doing and as you're going along doing all of the boring stuff. So after you launch, always keeping an eye on your figures, how much money have we made, How much do we spend? Because you're always spend more than you think you will, you know, what's our marketing plan, is that working? What's been the return on me spending all this time on x platform or what was the return on investing in paid advertising?

00:38:03Edit Always really watching and observing the results of everything that you do is really key. And I just think don't shy away from the boring stuff, even if you're not that confident with it, just sort of get stuck into it and yeah, give it a go. I mean, I don't obviously, I don't know when the podcast is coming out, but I do have, if you're someone who's looking to launch a membership platform that I do have a new program coming, I can't say that much about it yet because it hasn't been announced anywhere. This is probably the most I've said. Um, but if you keep an eye out on our instagram or our website, I do have something specifically which is taking everything that I've learned and kind of expanding on basically what I've spoken about this podcast. Um, how we've made money, how we made six figures a year, how all of this stuff has happened. Um, we've kind of taken, Well I've taken that and I've put that into a new kind of, I'm calling it a program because it's kind of a nice mix of coaching and learning and things, but that's coming out soon. So that might be able to trust sounds fab book market in the diary.

00:39:07Edit Okay, so six quick questions. Number one is, what's your, why to help people grow profitable and scalable businesses. Number two is what's the number one marketing moment or strategy that made your business really pop and kind of drove bulk revenue, bulk customers, whatever you'd like to, I think knowing our branding, so knowing exactly what that looks like in terms of the words that we use the colors that we use absolutely everything. We are very strict on that and that makes a huge difference. And then secondly, showing up on our social media and our marketing channels, I'm not afraid to show my face. I'm not afraid to talk and be honest and connect with people and that makes a huge difference. Number three is where do you hang out to get smarter all over the place? Head in a lot of books. I have a business coach, I have a life coach, I go to kind of classes and courses and all different things that I can when I can fit it in, essentially.

00:40:14Edit I run with the idea that I never know, you know, I'm never gonna know everything and I can always learn more and just knowing that anybody that you meet can always have the opportunity to teach you something good. Number four is, how do you win the day and that's around your am and your PM rituals to keep productive, feel successful, feel happy. Oh, I don't know um get stuff done I guess. Um and the key is never to have it too long to do less. If you put too much on your to do list, you're kind of screwing yourself over before you even start. Um I will never put more than I can complete in a day on a to do list and I always start the day nice and slowly a podcast and some nice breakfast number five is if you only had $1000 left in your business bank account, how would you spend it or allocate the resources, all my staff, they got something but we'd be screwed like a little something and last but not least how do you deal with failure? And it can be either like personal experience or just general mindset and approach my approach in life to failure is just to get back up and carry on.

00:41:25Edit I failed more times than I can possibly explain to you And it's just the way I've always been as a kid, my parents tell me stories of being like a really young kids and always wanting friends to play with, you know, anywhere we go, I'd walk up to any kids I could find and ask to play with them and there were many times those kids would say no and I would go away for 10 minutes and then I feel a little bit sad and then get back up and go back and go, no, but guys, really, I really think you'd love it if you let me play with you, you know, like that idea of just not quitting, just carrying on, I've made so many failures and I've learned from all of them and you've got to understand that if you want to be successful and that success might mean different things to different people, but if you want to be successful in business, you're going to fail and you kind of have to take both. You can't have one without the other. So it was kind of like embracing that. Amazing. Well, thank you so much for anyone that's listening, where can they find you on your personal channel and also the business?

00:42:27Edit Um so on instagram, I'm at Sapphire J bates and the coven is at the Cover Girl Gang or you can go on our website which has all of those details which is W W dot the Cover Girl Gang dot com. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.



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