Today marked the beginning of a new adventure and another chapter for my business Butter Nut, my first day on Hatch Enterprise’s all female business accelerator.
Only 3% of businesses that get funded are owned/run by women. Hatch is on a mission to change this. The Accelerator is a 4-month programme designed to give women who have already succeeded in setting up small businesses the skills, knowledge and tools to scale and grow their ventures.
Over the last few months I have put my head down and got on with the business. This was necessary to get through our first Christmas at Borough. I faced so many challenges there was no time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. But I got too close. Too lost in the nitty gritty and sweating the small problems.
Four months in to Borough and I am still struggling to find reliable part time sales staff to help me on the stall. Even though Hatch’s sessions take place on a Friday, clashing with one of my busiest days and compounding the staffing issue, I have chosen to attend because I believe it will make a long-term difference to the business.
It would be easier to keep my head down and just keep going hoping that opportunity will come knocking at my door. There are businesses that have been successful this way but they are the exception and not the rule. Whilst I love the stage I have gotten Butter Nut to (all organic and ethically sourced ingredients, Great Taste Awards, and a pitch at the world renowned Borough Market), I know that the business has so much more potential.
Everyone talks about how hard it is to start a business, very few talk about how hard it is to scale. The founder cannot be in all places at once, cannot be all things to all people, and cannot do every role within a business to an expert level. Building a team of talented hard working individuals who believe in my business, value its ethos and are game for the adventure is a mammoth challenge. But I know that if Butter Nut is to ultimately be successful this is what I have to do which is why I joined the Female Founders Accelerator.
Friday morning was spent meeting the other women on the course. We are a multicultural and diverse group ranging in ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and businesses. We work in hospitality, publishing, public relations, communications, tech, toys, the arts and food. Some of the business are self-funded (and intend on staying that way) others are going for their first or second round of investment.
The afternoon was spend with Jess and Nat from Five Years Time who in two hours took us through blow by blow what we can expect should we venture down the investment route. I am not sure if investment is the way I want to take Butter Nut but I think it is important to keep my mind open to all options. It is the best way to spot new opportunities.
Thoroughly looking forward to what the next 10 sessions will hold.