Dynamic Business recently sat down for breakfast with the League of Extraordinary Women to experience first-hand what the League is all about.
Star of the event was entrepreneur, Lucie Trinco, who revealed the secrets behind her successful business, Il Tutto.
Walking into Sydney’s VIVO Cafe, I was warmly welcomed by Samantha Dybac, Head of the League’s NSW branch. I saw women enjoying themselves – networking over breakfast, discussing current affairs and exchanging business ideas.
Founded by young entrepreneurs, Sarah Riegelhuth and Sheryl Thai, in 2011, the League’s mission was to bring young women together in a friendly, welcoming space and to help them pursue their business ideas and goals – whether they’re experienced or budding entrepreneurs or just those aspiring to start a business in the future.
Every six weeks, the League hosts a breakfast meeting, featuring a successful businesswoman who shares the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey, and the most valuable lessons learned along the way.
Lucie Trinco of Il Tutto
Lucie Trinco, the entrepreneurial brains behind Il Tutto, was the key speaker at the League’s latest breakfast meeting.
With over 20 years of experience in designing handbags, Trinco spotted a gap in the Australian marketplace for luxury baby bags for style-conscious mothers.
After noticing a high demand for baby bags that are both stylish and practical, Trinco decided to design her own range.
Six years in business, Trinco has enjoyed remarkable success, both locally and internationally, with celebrities like Dannii Minogue, Miranda Kerr and Cate Blanchett being spotted carrying her designs.
She acknowledged that her work as Head of Design at Oroton opened many doors for her and helped make the start-up process easier.
Not only did she go into business with extensive knowledge of the retail industry, but also with ready access to supply chains.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The biggest challenge she faces, even today, is managing cash flow.
With Il Tutto growing so rapidly, it has been a struggle for Trinco to cash flow that growth.
The reason for this, she said, was that retailers often send orders triple of what they forecasted, and that manufacturers want money in advance whereas retailers pay 30-60 days after delivering orders.
Trinco’s top tips for entrepreneurs:
- Know your niche.
Clearly identify who your end customer is and how to communicate with them effectively. The consumer landscape is challenging, so developing the right strategy and delivering it in a tailored manner is crucial.
- Know your competitors.
Find out what your competitors do well, and find something that they don’t do so well and make that your point-of-difference.
- Write a business plan and review it regularly.
Make sure your business plan includes your mission statement and a breakdown of how you will reach your business goals – i.e. production, marketing, distribution, etc. Make sure to review your business plan and make updates.
- Have your supply ready.
You need to be proactive about your supply. There’s nothing worse than promising and failing to deliver.
- Use your networks.
Bloggers are an excellent resource for brand advocacy. They provide a more personal and relatable voice and are trusted by their audience.
- Build relationships with the media.
Engaging with media practitioners will help gain editorial coverage and increase brand awareness. This also means you need to have professional photos ready.
- Ask for advice.
Get experts to advise you on areas that aren’t your strengths – you don’t always need to figure it all out by yourself.
- Use celebrity endorsements.
Celebrities are style influencers. Consumers are more likely to try a product a celebrity uses.
- Make sure your staff know about the brand and product.
Big retailers often struggle to provide satisfactory customer service, so it’s important you use that to your advantage and make sure your staff are fully trained about the brand and product and know how to deliver quality customer service.
- Be responsive to customers.
Be attentive to complaints and make sure you are always vigilante in answering questions as quickly as possible.
To find out more about the League of Extraordinary Women, visit their website.