Establishing yourself for a long and fruitful business life is not an easy thing to do, and entrepreneurs face a constant barrage of adversity in thei
Establishing yourself for a long and fruitful business life is not an easy thing to do, and entrepreneurs face a constant barrage of adversity in their efforts, which can be disheartening at the best of times. Nicky Felix began her business incarnation in 1982, with a single outlet located in Brighton where she sold quality clothing.
In 2000, Nicky identified a major gap in the market for clothing in larger sizes and now runs a successful online shop with a range of clothing items and accessories for sizes 12-34. Box 2 quickly developed a nationwide customer base and in 2005 the launch of the new website brought the Box 2 brand to its widest possible audience offering the full range of clothes and accessories to ladies across the world.
Today, her company Box2 is worth over £3 million and has a customer base around the world.
Over the years, she experienced her share of difficulty, but often her unshakeable attitude was the key to her success. We asked her for five valuable business lessons we can take from her journey.
Dare to Take Risks
“Going into business takes nerve, and often the riskiest choices pay off the most.”
When Nicky started her business venture, she was recently divorced and returned to the UK having lived in Italy and gained a knowledge of the industry from working in her former husband’s clothing boutique. Newly back on home turf and with only £2000 to her name, she took a risk and put everything she had into opening her own boutique shop, certain that her love and expertise of fashion would distinguish her on the high street and gain an enthusiastic following.
Use What You Know
“When looking at going into business, look at your skill set and consider what you know best. What would be your Mastermind subject?”
Nicky’s passion for the clothing industry and knowledge of the fashion retail landscape made it the direction for her to take. Prior to the high street domination of major chain brands, small independent boutiques were the main fixture of fashion retail, which is where Nicky found her calling. Her love of fashion ultimately and understanding of her customers made her store a continued success.
From a generalised retail concept, Box2 evolved over the years to cater to a more specialist market. With her thorough knowledge of fashion retail, Nicky sought to deliver high-quality Italian designs in a full range of women’s sizes, in order to offer her unique service and wares to as wide a customer base as possible, and in recent years has entered the highly profitable plus size fashion market. Although niche markets present their challenges, they are often holding untapped potential and can be worth exploring.
Avoid Excess Investment
Much creative control that Nicky has retained throughout her years in business can be put down to her lack of third party investment. HSBC – who she has been banking with for decades – matched her initial business investment of £2000, and she has never had to receive any further financial assistance. Although this has meant being resourceful and avoiding unnecessary expense, it has allowed Nicky to maintain her own style and values for her business in the long term. Make sure to fully explore all financial options before signing huge chunks of your company over to others – you may be surprised at how much can be done for so little.
Expand Your Reach
“30 years on and still loving it!”
Operating from a single outlet in Brighton, Nicky had her work cut out reaching out to a wider client base on whom she could rely for loyal custom, prompting the development of her mail-order arm of the company. Word was spread by collecting the details of customers visiting from other places, who could then be kept in the loop about the store’s latest offerings. From here, a robust mail-order grew, eventually developing into the e-commerce chapter. Making sure customers knew that the store and its products were available from afar allowed Box2 to become a permanent fixture in customers’ shopping lifestyles, regardless of their location, giving the company the widespread reach it needed to survive in the 21st century.
Find out more: https://www.box2.co.uk/.