Monday, 04 November 2019
Before launching her business Niamh was a pharmacist by profession and worked in hospitals and then in the Pharma industry for 10 years.
The Travelwrap Company was founded in 2007 and the signature product, the original Scottish cashmere Travelwrap won The Luxury Gift of The Year the following year. In 2014 the business moved from selling mostly to retail to an e-commerce model and the Travelwraps are now sold directly to a growing global audience.
Other awards include, Best New Business (International Stevie awards for Women in Business) & The Travelwrap Company has been shortlisted for a Queen’s award in International Trade. Niamh was a finalist in the 2018 Natwest everywoman Awards.
Niamh is a champion and advocate of female entrepreneurship & enjoys reading running (on the beach) & meditation (@headspace). Favourite quote ‘Small change = incremental gain'.
The most valuable piece of advice someone has given you
In business - Understand the bigger picture numbers get a good FD on board as soon as you can afford to. My business was an expensive hobby for a few years until got a grip on the numbers and found my FD. Not paying attention to the numbers will be fatal for a business.
In Life - 2 things in life you need to work on: to have a happy fulfilling life, a purpose and good relationships… I love this advice from a chap called Ray Dalio in a book called Principles.
One key piece of advice to someone looking to progress
‘Read for half an hour every day, that's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest’ Warren Buffet
Three burning questions you had when started your business and the advice you would give yourself today
- How do I protect my business idea?
- How do I find customers/ what is my business model?
- How much is it all going to cost before I start to make money
I have learnt a huge amount about business over the last 10 years, a lot of it through my own mistakes and naivety! If I was to start my business again I would do it all very differently, I would certainly advise myself to work out some of the bigger finance issues before I started. I had no idea what a profit margin was for example or how to work out a retail price for a product.
I would also work out properly how to fund the initial stage of getting the product to market bearing in mind it takes a couple of years of trading for most businesses before it turns a profit and finally a marketing plan to acquire new customers.