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How to run a business successfully in a recession: Women Unlimited TV

How to run a business successfully in a recession: Women Unlimited TV

In 2010 at the Women Unlimited Conference one of our keynote speakers was an amazingly inspiring woman, Liz Warom, the founder of Temple Spa.  During her presentation she gaves us loads of nuggets that we could take away into our own business.  I know this video is long (38 minutes), but I promise you it is worth every moment of your time to watch.  It will give you inspiration, ideas and a bit of a push to really help you decide what to focus on in your own business.  Below are some show notes, but they really do Liz’s presentation no justice.

Also, later today we will be putting up the sales page for the Thrive 2013 conference which promises to be our best yet.  Make sure you check it out as it really is an absolutely amazing day that will keep you motivated for many weeks after.

Liz Warom, the Founder of Temple Spa

Liz Warom is the founder and owner of Temple Spa – the company produces skin care, hair care and toiletries ranges for retail sales. They also offer Spa services in hotels nationwide and have a team of 500 franchises offering “Spa to Go” direct sales.

Business Background

Liz started her career at 18 years old when she took up direct sales with Jafra cosmetics to supplement her income as a dental nurse.  She discovered that she was good at selling cosmetics and by the time she was 20 she had recruited 2,000 consultants into Jafra.  The company was owned by Gillette who pulled Liz out of direct sales and eventually promoted her to be national sales director.

She went onto a new job with a cosmetic/skincare manufacturer. At the interview she gave the impression that she knew Anita Roddick (although she had only seen her from afar at a business lunch)– she got the job as the manufacturer was impressed with her contacts!   Once she had the job she learned that she had a target of £2 million turnover to achieve from The Body Shop.  She achieved this, and then eventually went to work for them managing the Colourings brand.

Her husband Mark also joined the business and they took the British brand global.  They improved turnover from £3 million to £124 million in 4 years.

Creating the Virgin Vie brand

Whilst working for the Body Shop, Liz and Mark had an idea for a new brand called Vie. It was created with “grown up” (i.e women over 30) Body Shop customers in mind. When she talked to people about the possible new range she was told that she couldn’t do it – the task then become a challenge!

Moving from a well paid secure job was scary. Liz decided that they needed a power brand to work with to launch the range. They thought of Richard Branson and Virgin and within a fortnight she had managed to get in front of Branson and was presenting the concept. The brand became Virgin Vie and was launched within 18 months of that meeting and took  £10 million in the first year of trading.

Developing the brand was a lot of fun, but very hard work.  She didn’t enjoy the financial/business end of things such as  raising finance, meeting ‘suits’ etc and realised that she was more of a people/product/brand person.  They called time on the business but it was a great testing ground for their next business venture.

Launching Temple Spa

Liz says “Without an enemy, your present becomes permanent”. So unless something negative happens, you will stay in the same situation. She moved on and started a company at home called Temple Spa with her husband.  Didn’t want partners or venture capitalist – wanted to be sole owners.  Initially, they did everything with the business themselves. The company now trades in 9 countries and has a mulit-million turnover.

They had name of the brand, ranges and lots of other ideas within 10 minutes of their initial brainstorming.  They also had a business plan but didn’t follow it!  They had a strong sense of what they wanted to do.  As they had created brands for other companies it was important that their own brand embodied them.  After 3 years perfecting the brand they eventually launched in Harrods,  Selfridges and spa within a hotel.

Temple Spa have  celebrated their 10 year anniversary  in 2011. Figures show business is up 100% year on year. How have they managed such healthy figures during a recession

Tips for running a business successfully during a recession

Recession – the word exposes any weakness in your business but it also exposes excellence. Excellence is recession proof.  It focuses mind on choice – consumers will choose the excellent business rather than the mediocre one.

  • Be excellent - Look at you; look at your business and do a health check. Is your business excellent? Make sure your team focuses on what they do well and what they can be outstanding at. There is a real opportunity to shine.
  • Make a personal stand for excellence  – be disciplined!
  • Tighten belt where it wouldn’t be noticed – loosen it where it would. Temple Spa incentivise franchisee sales and also provide small ‘extras’ in parcels such as chocolates and other unexpected surprises. Costs more but allows them to build relationships with their consumers and encourage repeat sales.
  •  Don’t assume that people won’t pay for your product – they will if it’s good. People buy from you and if they like you they will buy. 
  • Watch your words – be positive. Don’t be negative as by law of attraction negative things may happen
  • Don’t be mediocre – it will bring your company and business down.  Look at what you do and deliver on what your marketing promises
  • Quality control – check on your business messages. Make sure you match up what you say and what you do. Be realistic – relations hop on how you earn.
  • Ensure you have charm in your business.  Answer phone correctly, talk to your customers, be seamless. Do we sound fabulous and professional?  Details make the difference.
  • Don’t waste time thinking – whilst important it doesn’t put money in the bank. Make sure you’re doing the things that earn money.
  • Examine and understand why you do what you do. Be a customer again. See what you look like to the outside world.  Examine what you do and how it looks.
  • Shake out inherited values and actions. Re-invent yourself/your business.

Liz’s final piece of advice is to dream bigger. Be courageous.  A bible saying is “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”.  Liz feels it better to believe for a lot and get half then believe for a little and get nothing.

You can find out more about Temple Spa Products here http://www.templespa.com/

Share this article if you found it useful! And leave a comment in the box below. We hope to connect with you soon.

About Julie Hall

Hi, I'm Julie Hall, the founder of Women Unlimited. I have been running my own businesses since January 2000. For the last 9 years I have owned and run a new media agency, called Springmedia, in south west London, creating customer focused websites for small and medium sized businesses. I hope you find the articles and stories on this website useful, and feel free to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

One comment

  1. Liz Warom’s story is inspirational. You can tell she is made of business steel and focused discipline. I have taken so much away from her wise words including aim for excellence, and keep driving forward. Thank you for sharing.

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