S

ophie Baron worked for Vogue at Condé Nast’s glittering global headquarters in New York. These days, every morning she goes to an industrial estate in Staples Corner – on London’s idyllic North Quarter – and she has never been happier. That’s because she runs her own business, Mamamade, a direct-to-consumer brand specializing in infant and toddler nutrition, offering organic meal kits home for parents.

Making the leap is never easy, but for Baron, it’s the experience of a new mother that drives her. “To start a successful business, you need to feel purposeful in what you’re doing because it’s really hard to build something from scratch,” she says.

That’s the message she’ll be driving home to at next month’s Standard SME XPO evening, where she’ll appear alongside a group of fellow entrepreneurs to share keynotes insights. important, discussions and networking for two days.

Seeing opportunities that others don’t have is also important. Like Baron, Amy Williams embraces the changes that have been accelerated by the pandemic. Her startup, Good-Loop, is an “ad technology for good” that provides digital advertising while also sponsoring charities. “I had an idea and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to use the brands’ newfound sense of purpose to create a purposeful advertising business,” says Williams, whose revenue has doubled since shutting down and now has 28 Staff.

THAT IS

“There is so much potential in this new world. Young employees are looking to work and consumers buy from businesses with purpose and brand. We all want to be proud of what we do in the nine to five years and how we consume, so if you have an idea that you think would align with those new values, it never was. Now is a better time to act. “

Accelerating technology when locked down has been very helpful for entrepreneurs. Zoom has made it easy to build relationships – Williams launched his US business on Zoom – while reducing costs. Social media, especially Instagram and TikTok, and online retail services, such as Shopify, have also become more powerful tools than ever – as Brodie Meat can attest.

They have helped the businessman – who will also work at SME XPO – transform Top Cuvée from a small pub/restaurant in Highbury with an annual turnover of around £400,000 into a £3 million-a-year wine retailer . “After the shutdown, we moved almost 100% to online retail overnight and set up domestic and national distribution faster than I could have imagined.” He has also benefited from social change.

“Lockdown tempts people to find value in exciting new products,” he explains. Much of the wine that Shop Cuvée sells is British, organic, and minimally processed. “Consumers are also looking to local suppliers like us.” His impressive turnaround convinced him that businesses should “think bigger than you think possible”.

At the same time, it’s important to avoid burnout, says Baron, who says to “take care of yourself.” “Allow yourself to be comfortable sometimes. I definitely made the mistake of wanting it all now, rushing everything. We had a period of about three months when we tried to grow the business – and the results were huge. ”

SME XPO, from Evening Standard, in Olympia London. Sign up for free, smexpo.co.uk

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