What I wish I'd known before I started: Yvonne Brady
Yvonne Brady, founder and CEO of EVB Sports Shorts
Published 08/06/2014 | 02:30
AT the very beginning, all I had was an idea to provide women with the kind of support sportswear that they need to allow them to start or stay running.
I began to work full-time on this soon after getting the idea – but I definitely lacked the confidence to tell the world what I was doing.
It was nearly a year before I was brave enough to describe what I was doing as "running a business". Even close friends and family would ask how my "project" was coming along.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have called it a business (which it absolutely was) from day one, acted accordingly and shouted from the rooftops. The amount of support and help I get from my colleagues has been invaluable. I would have accessed so much of the support I eventually got much earlier on had I spoke out about it from the start.
Another important lesson I've learned is that patience is not only a virtue but an absolute necessity when starting a new business.
If I'd known the level of perseverance required, I might not have started – so it's probably best that I didn't know!
Our product is new, and it took so much longer than I anticipated to connect with the right manufacturer and to test prototypes – all painstaking work but fundamental to the success of our business.
Maybe it's an Irish thing, but nobody wants to be seen to have made any mistakes, and this is something I'd change if I were starting again.
I definitely procrastinated too much early on and was afraid to make mistakes – probably allowing my own pride to influence me too much.
Mistakes should be embraced as an essential learning technique. I made some with various 'consultants' who kept putting counter positions before me when instinctively I knew what the right thing to do was. This delayed me and often led me off on tangents.
Now I do seek advice when necessary, but ultimately I trust my instincts much more now.
Our products address a problem relating to the need for pelvic support when exercising that I myself suffered from – so I understood the issue well. The one thing I got right from the start was that I listened to our customers. We made design changes early on in response to customer feedback and we have ended up with a far superior product. The customer is always right, and if you can keep your customers happy, you will be too.
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