Katie Powell, 33, married to Anthony with one daughter who is 19 months
Before becoming a Mum to Molly and MD of Mama Jeanius, I spent over a decade ‘in the city’. At 23 I became the youngest ever Director at Cable & Wireless. In 2004 I joined Thomson Financial as Head of Strategy, Europe before becoming Head of Marketing, Europe and Asia in 2005. In 2007/8 – 2010 I played a key role in the merger of Thomson and Reuters as Global Head of Brand and Marketing, I orchestrated the launch of the new brand which is now ranked 40th in the world by Business Week.
Making the transition to running your own business has not been easy, but you have to organised, focused and very determined (and be prepared to put in the hours). I am a full time Mum too, so I run the business to a certain degree around the routine of Molly. Running your own business is very different from being part of a large corporate business – you do everything on your own, with only a handful of people to bounce ideas off.
We launched February 2011 – so from leaving Thomson Reuters in August 2010 and launching February 2011, I have worked my socks off to achieve it! The business has been self funded. I did loads of research, built a business plan and tested the product strenuously before investing. Promoting the business is done in a number of ways (it is early days for us) but we are implementing search word optimisation on our site, the use of social media (facebook, you tube, twitter etc), viral marketing is the best, but this takes time, press coverage (both on and off line), independent product reviews, product placements, trade and public shows (including direct marketing at those events).
The two most exciting things so far about the business is firstly the product, which is game changing (and this is not from me but our clients) and secondly the brand which I will look to develop and evolve. Biggest challenge so far? Humm there have been many… getting the products spot on, getting them shipped and delivered on time, getting all the intellectual property paperwork completed, getting the business basics in place, getting the ecommerce system to be perfect… I could go on….
My advice for wanting to start your own business is try to fix a problem that exists and do it better than your competitors. Be prepared to work hard and fully investigate before you invest and write a plan! Finally, make sure you work with great people, if you don’t have the skills in a certain area, find experts that you can build a relationship with.
Mama Jeanius is offering a promotional discount on our products until end March 2011 – use the code MJBSE on the website for 10% off www.mamajeanius.com. For more information or how to contact us, please visit http://www.mamajeanius.com/about/