1. Before we get started, please introduce yourself.
My name is Claire Culley. I am 29 years old and live in Brighton. I currently have three businesses, one which I run with a friend called Super+Super, another is a digital marketing consultancy and the third is The W Review, a positive, honest community for women.
2. Where were you when you decided to create this platform?
I was actually on holiday with a group of friends – having been working so closely with small start ups guiding them through the process of creating an online presence and starting a company; I started to think how brilliant it would be if there was a similar portal to that for all aspects of a woman’s life. A place you could go to for questions about parenting, careers, relationships and more.
3. What is your USP?
The majority of the content on the website is written by real women, about their very real experiences. A website like The W Review enables women to ask questions, offer advice and feel supported without being judged. We’re not telling people how to behave or how to feel, we are simply sharing experiences. You don’t have to be a qualified journalist to contribute to the site, we welcome anyone to come and have their say.
4. How have you funded The W Review so far?
So far we have been solely funded by myself however we are currently looking for investment and we’re also in the process of applying to the Virgin Pitch to Rich scheme.
5. Being a young entrepreneur – what do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
The best thing about running my own business is having the freedom to make it whatever I want it to be. I’ve always had the mentality that all businesses should be flexible and susceptible to change. If something doesn’t work, you can simply change it to something else and I think this is a key factor to ensuring success and also taking the pressure off what can be a very stressful task to undertake.
6. What is the best business decision you’ve made so far?
Not to run before I could walk. With any business it’s tempting to go in all guns blazing and burn out, I am living proof that unless you have a huge budget, slow and steady wins the race!
7. What is the worst?
Taking on too much at once. At one point I was working full time with two businesses on the go. It was too much and although I worked so hard to ensure I didn’t let anything slip it did take its toll on me personally.
8.Think back to when you’d just started out – what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
I wish I’d known that keeping your overheads low at the very beginning is key. You can forecast until the cows come home but business is futile and can change at the drop of a hat so it’s always good to keep them low or have a very good contingency plan.
9. As you are a young female entrepreneur of many talents – do you have any other businesses in the pipeline?
I’m constantly having ideas for new businesses although they are all under wraps for now and may never amount to anything. I’m very lucky that my businesses all compliment each other currently so that helps massively.
10. What is your favourite cheat snack to have and why?
I am a sucker for a packet of crisps. I’ve been addicted to crisps since I was a teenager and have been known to polish off a big bag or two in an evening.
11. What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs?
Be dedicated - if you want something to happen bad enough you will make it happen. A bit of drive goes a long way so stay committed to your ideas.
12. What plans do you have for The W Review in the next 12 months?
Other than growth, we are planning on integrating an interactive forum so people can post their own conversations and we are also planning to launch a jobs board advertising brilliant jobs for brilliant companies.
PLEASE VOTE for The W Review to win the Richard Branson Pitch to Rich Competition - copy and paste this link > http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/start-up/the-w-review/