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These days starting a business (or a side hustle) is like owning a little black dress, everyone seems to want one! The hardest part of creating a business is starting, what are the first steps you need to take? A question we sometimes ponder on for so long that we eventually take no action. Or maybe you’re new to the entrepreneurial journey and need more confidence and practical advice on how to build a brand.

For Working Ladies brought together four amazing female founders who have built global brands.  Lana Elie (Founder of Floom Offical  ), Florence Adepoju (Founder of MDMflow), Christine Sotiriou (co-founder of SILKE London), Maria Sotiriou (Co-founder of SILKE London). They shared practical advice on how to successfully take your idea and make it into a profitable business or brand.

Some tips below:

We opened up the discussion on the importance of business plans and if they are needed from day one. The panel had mixed opinions on this topic but all agreed that business plans help you to devise a long term strategy.

“Having a business plan is important because it forces you to do the deep research you need to have an understanding of your industry and business” – Lana Elie

(From L-R) Elizabeth Ogabi (Founder of For Working Ladies, Florence Adepoju (Founder of MDMflow and Beauty by Flow), Lana Elie (Founder of FLOOM), Christine Sotiriou (Co-founder of SILKE London) and Maria Sotiriou (Co-founder of SILKE London).

When creating a product it is important that you spend time understanding the strengths and the weaknesses of your product before taking it to market. SILKE created their product and studied it over a year long in order to get it near perfect. 

“Get customer feedback and listen to what they are saying. The negatives should be seen as a positive as they are the things you can work on.” – Maria Sotiriou

When launching a business you can start by creating a community first. Build a social following or create a landing page for where people can sign up. 

“I posted a picture of a stem a day followed by an explanation of the flower, people wondered what I was building. They signed up for the newsletter on our landing page to get the notification of the launch. 6,000 followers, 6,000 emails plus a demo of the site validated my idea to investors.” – Lana Elie

Put time into speaking to your community, they are who you are building for, take time to understand them and relate with them.

“I reply most DMs, the engagement on my business page is so high because people know we want to hear from them and will take time to message back.” – Florence Adepoju

The crowdfunding scene has evolved over time and it’s no longer as easy to crowdfund. However, it’s good to note that according to research, women are the most successful with crowdfunding because they are deemed, great storytellers.

“I did my first crowdfund because I wanted the community to back my idea and pre-order. My second crowdfund a few years later was not as successful because it has gotten harder and I never invested much time into my community, a lesson I have learnt is that community is everything.” – Florence Adepoju

Food by Bord Food

We will be focus our panels this year around building your business, sign up to our newsletter to stay updated.



Elizabeth is a Brands and Communications specialist with a passion to support females in reaching their full potential.

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