Excellent news: we’ve officially launched Season 2 of our podcast, Work.It! Work.It sets out to motivate and inspire curious minds and future entrepreneurs on the mechanisms of starting, running and maintaining a booming business.
Whether it’s securing funding, building a solid company culture or finding a happy work-life balance, journalist and Work.Life member, Angelica Malin, quizzes the smart men and women behind some incredible brands on the highs and lows of life on the business front line.
We kicked off season 2 with not one but two seasoned co-founders of two very different businesses. Angelica sat down with our very own Work.Life co-founder, David Kosky, and his old friend James Gold, co-founder of Skinnydip London, and picked their brains on their business journey so far.
“Naivety was our biggest advantage”
James was 23 and living at his parent’s house when he and his brother Richard, along with their good friend Blitz gave themselves six months to give their big idea a go before finding ‘proper’ jobs: “We just started it. We had no experience… we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into”. The trio’s naivety took the pressure off and after making their way through a telephone list of every retailer in the country pitching phone cases as a fashion accessory, they secured a meeting with a major fashion retailer and walked out of it with a $50,000 order.
Both David and James dole out the advice on maintaining passion for your business. James says the litmus test is whether you end your weekend with the Sunday scaries or not, “I can say hand on heart that I don’t believe I’ve worked a day in my life since starting Skinnydip because I love what I do”.
“Hire for fit, train for skill”
Both entrepreneurs agree that hiring a core team of people who get behind your brand as if it’s their own is vital for growth. Starting a business requires hard graft and the duo explain how they go about hiring people they can trust: “you’ve got to have people with the right mentality to go above and beyond… everyone has to be swimming in the same direction”.
They go on to talk about the ways in which their companies have grown, using differing methods. David says referrals are massively important for Work.Life as a brand, simply because the co-working market is fiercely competitive: “the best way to find new members is for our current members to become fans and refer their friends… Maybe we won’t win on google but we wouldn’t want to be reliant on that”. James found Instagram and social media to be hugely important for the growth of Skinnydip, especially as an SME with no access to big advertising budget: “if you’re able to produce exciting, engaging content… you’re able to reach a lot more people in a very organic and authentic way”.
Their best business advice? Go out and do it, and keep rolling the dice: “there’s never a good time to start a business”.
Click here to listen to the whole conversation and hear much more about going from a good idea to being open for business, building your brand identity and finding your voice.