Anna Bance shares her top tips for a successful start-up, drawing on her experiences of co-founding GirlMeetsDress.com

Startup Diaries: Top Tips For A Successful Start-up

Anna Bance shares with TheNextWomen her top tips for a successful start-up, drawing on her experiences of co-founding GirlMeetsDress.com, a disruptive eCommerce business which provides millions of women the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price.

Back in 2009, my co-founder Xavier de Lecaros Aquise and I started Girl Meets Dress with a clear vision in mind: to provide millions of women the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price, allowing them to look and feel beautiful for all of their special occasions. We are now growing and have exciting plans ahead.

I knew it was just a matter of time before I started my own business. It was something I had always wanted to do when the right idea came along. Launching a business is always going to have an element of risk, but I believed in the idea, my co-founder and the market potential.

There will never be a perfect time to leave your secure job, risk your salary decrease or take a chance on an idea which might not work. When launching a start-up, I recommend choosing an area that you know something about.

There are exciting ways to pioneer every market, whichever field you love. Of course, you can learn about any new topic, but will you be able to compete with people with years of knowledge and expertise?

The very first steps in setting up the business are very simply putting a basic website live and confirming demand for your product. Once you know the market potential exists and customers are excited, you can build on that and expand further. The early days are all about testing. The trend for fast fashion phenomenon over the past few years has been fueled by trend-led low cost retailers and celebrities, so we have ended up consuming at such a rapid rate that women now buy four times as much clothing as they did thirty years ago, and the average woman now has twenty two garments in her wardrobe that she has never worn.

One of the most important and impactful skills to have is the ability to promote and market the product and brand to get that all-important traffic through the doors.

PR for us was a huge element in growing the awareness of Girl Meets Dress, so I couldn’t have wished for a more suitable previous career (I was UK PR Manager for Hermes).

Also, find a co-founder with different skill sets to you. This is a brilliant way to launch without needing to hire a full team on day one.

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