Paula Short is the co-founder of Beauty Boulevard, an exclusive online beauty store and home of the popular Glitter Lips product range.
What inspired you to start a business?
My parents had their own business and encouraged us all to work hard and instilled a strong business mindset from a young age. I think it was always inevitable that I would work for myself as it was all I knew growing up.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
I adore being my own boss as you have the freedom to try new things and grow your business as you want. There are never enough hours in the day and having to switch hats between all the different elements that a business demands (R&D, accountants, HR, stock control etc) can be a juggling act. Obviously when things go wrong like deliveries or orders, the buck stops with you and it’s up to you to think fast and turn the situation around. Time is a luxury you cannot buy, so as a business owner you make decisions quickly to keep things moving, normally good decisions, but not always. My business partner Rachel and I work well together and I am glad that I am not on this journey on my own.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all beat ourselves up about not achieving enough or maybe set our goals
too far ahead. Be happy, keep a business growth scale that reinforces that happiness. Don’t grow just for growth’s sake. row because you want to. If you could go back and show your 18 year old self what you have achieved today, you would probably be quite chuffed with yourself.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
Paying all the bills and overheads can be quite a headache but having a good accountant is key. It
frees you up to work on what’s important like generating new leads and sales.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
With the help of UKTI we have been able to start exporting which is going really well. The information and backing they can provide gives to the confidence to enter into new markets with up to date guidance and information.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
Both Rachel and I adore meeting other businesses and the people behind them. I strongly believe that no matter how good your products are, people like to work with people. We have met some fantastic people over the years and continue to collaborate and support each other whenever we can.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
Listen to your customers feedback and take on board what they say. It’s the best market research you have as they have already bought your product and tested them. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel, just continuously improve your methods and products to offer the best you can to your customer. Sales and growth should organically grow from there. Taking on the right people for your team is key.
What does the future hold for you?
Lots more fun I hope. I am having a ball. When you do a job you love, you don’t really think of it as work. I have a great business partner and friend in Rachel and am delighted that I have such a bad influence travelling this road with me.
Visit the Beauty Boulevard website here.