With the world looking so different now it is looking likely that many people will need to pivot their careers. Steph Douglas outlines here how she built a £2 million turnover business through social media and community. This is possible on a small budget and you really can bootstrap your way to success.
- I first had the idea for Don’t Buy Her Flowers after having my first baby. I didn’t set the business up straight away but the idea of a business that focused on thoughtful gifting, originally for new mums, wouldn’t go away. After I had my second baby, I knew the time was right and gave myself the push I needed to launch. I was terrified, but knew that if having my own venture worked, then the benefits this would have for family life (and my own self purpose) in the long-term, were worth the leap and risk.
- I asked people with entrepreneurial experience for advice. Even if I didn’t know them personally, I contacted them and asked questions. I put myself out there and got over the fear of speaking out loud, that I was launching a business. I also read books and devoured content around starting a small business.
- I had started a blog when I had my first baby and through this, I saw the power of connection and community online. I knew it was crucial to build a loyal and engaged social community and that this could take my brand very far with little investment. We built this business through that community and we continue to grow through word of mouth. I know social media is still crucial to our growth and has been more prevalent throughout 2020 than ever before.
- I did all aspects of the business myself in the early stages and actually this was the best learning. I am now able to understand each function of the business, and although I need to outsource this now, I still have a fundamental understanding of our customer and the needs of all processes and requirements of the business.
- Slowly over time we have started to invest more in marketing, operations and workforce, plus extending our package range for all occasions. From building packages on my own in my spare room, to today, we really have come a long way. The pandemic has seen us grow even more and I remain so thankful that we have had an incredible year when others have had a huge challenge; we always give back to charities and causes and this has become a company value. We are 300% up in revenue YOY. We just remain true to our objectives and this won’t change as we scale. I want every package to feel unique and special to each customer. The way we make somebody feel, sets us apart, and is at the heart of the brand.
Where you can find me
About your author
Steph Douglas founded Don’t Buy Her Flowers in 2014, leaving her brand marketing role, to pursue an idea she had following the birth of her children. After receiving eight bunches of flowers when she had her first baby, Steph realised the well-meaning bouquet soon lost its shine when you were the one filling vases, all while juggling a newborn and feeling overwhelmed.
You can find out more about Steph and her business here.
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