What were the first things you did to progress Sheerluxe when you had the idea of creating an online directory? At what point did you start employing people to help?
I started with a business plan (my husband was a huge help), as a side hustle and gave a web developer I knew equity to build the site. I got it off the ground with no capital other than sacrificing my salary. It was also the very early days of my husband’s career but we managed on quite a low salary and lived very frugally in the early days. But giving away equity to a developer without having to part with cash made it viable for us. I really believe in getting a minimum viable product to market as quickly as you can - it’s only really then that you can test and work out where to invest - especially in the digital world. It’s incredibly fast moving and is multi faceted, it’s data driven and requires you to be nimble, fast. As for employing people, the first member of staff at SL was Laura Black who worked for equity in lieu of salary for about 6 months. At that point via a VC and friends/family I raised 60k to test marketing. After that, we did a second round of around 100k and that was to employ two members of staff, an editorial writer and somebody on the commercial side so we could start to monetize the business. It really is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. You need to build an audience, create the best content and only then can you monetize. Hope that helps, gx
Thank you so much Georgie, really helpful and inspiring! x
We’re at the stage where we are living extremely frugal and looking for VC. It is all encompassing, demoralising at times and the hope of the pay off keeps us going. Thanks for this insight Georgie.
We also wrote this for our Gold Edition which has some of the practical steps covered.