Theo Paphitis and Sara Davies

Double dragon: Theo Paphitis and Sara Davies at this yr’s #SBS Small Enterprise Sunday occasion in Birmingham

Sara Davies, 35, is the most recent – and youngest – dragon to affix hit BBC present Dragons’ Den.

Davies started her entrepreneur journey whereas nonetheless on the College of York, the place she graduated with a First in enterprise administration. She based Crafter’s Companion, a crafter’s provide firm, as a pupil. Throughout a placement at a tiny craft firm, she noticed a niche out there for a software which might create bespoke envelopes for handmade playing cards. With assist from her retired engineer father, she designed a product known as The Enveloper, going to a TV procuring channel to promote it. She bought 30,000 models inside six months. By the point she graduated, her enterprise was turning over £500,000.

 As we speak, Crafter’s Companion turns over £35m and exports to greater than 40 nations globally, using over 200 folks worldwide.

 Along with showing as a dragon, Sara Davies continues to run her enterprise along with her husband Simon and has two young children.

>See additionally: Piers Linney: ‘I used to be one of many first to do actual tech on Dragon’s Den’

#1 – Don’t let emotion drive your enterprise

Certainly one of my greatest learnings was after we have been turning over £2m a yr and stationery big Helix copied my product. I instantly reached for my solicitor and what I then realised with regulation was that after you’re in, you’re in. Our authorized prices rose to £250,000 giving me sleepless nights and, in hindsight, we might have misplaced your entire enterprise due to an emotive resolution I made. Finally Helix settled out of court docket and withdrew its product. However the factor it made me realise was to not be so emotional about issues.

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#2 – Realise your limitations

My husband Simon stop his job as an accountant to assist me run our enterprise, and the very first thing he mentioned was, ‘You’re to not look over my shoulder. As an entrepreneur, you have to realise you’re not good at every little thing. Realise your limitations and delegate to people who find themselves higher at particular components of your enterprise.

#three – Provide a style free of charge however don’t minimize costs

For those who’re a freelancer providing a service, give your potential shopper a style free of charge after which cost them the total value if they need. Don’t provide your self on a budget from the beginning. It is advisable give them a pattern of what they’re going to get.


#four – Don’t be shy to ask for recommendation

Each enterprise has the identical issues and folks love to speak about their experiences. Don’t be unconfident in asking for recommendation.

#5 – Champion your positives

As a working mum, I do get overstretched typically in terms of, say, attending the children’ college occasions. Fairly than beat myself up about it, I compartmentalise my life in order that when I’m with my kids, I’m 100-per-cent with them. The e-mail will get switched off. And should you do miss one thing, slightly than give attention to the negatives, you have to champion your positives. Don’t chastise your self. What I don’t do is smush work and household collectively – in any other case you received’t do something very effectively.

#6 – Don’t let being a lady outline you

One thing my fellow dragon Deborah Meaden on Dragons’ Den informed me was, ‘If anyone talks to me about being a lady in enterprise, I inform them, no, I’m in enterprise.’ Don’t let your self be outlined by your gender.

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#7 – Try to develop your organization utilizing your individual cash

The place potential, at all times attempt to develop your organization utilizing your individual cash as this manner you’re assured to remain in management. By taking over fairness traders you lose this management and can inevitably find yourself making compromises.

Sara Davies was being interviewed by fellow Dragons’ Den panelist Theo Paphitis as a part of his annual #SBS Small Enterprise Sunday occasion in Birmingham, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this yr.

To participate in #SBS comply with Theo Paphitis on Twitter and tweet him about your enterprise each Sunday between 5-7:30pm. Theo retweets six companies every week on Mondays at 6pm, giving them a free advertising increase.

Additional studying

Entrepreneur Q&A: ‘Happening Dragons’ Den fast-tracked enterprise development’