Self-Starter Stories: From Marketing Director to founding an award winning gifting service
This week's #selfstarterstory features Caz Taylor, founder of Taylor'd Bundles, an award-winning gifting service.
PickYourself UK caught up with Taylor to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: Marketing Director.
Looking back, what lead you to be where you are today?: I wanted to get more job satisfaction - I had always wanted to work for myself, use my drive to benefit my family and to be creative.
I created a business that had all of this included and more. It also gives me flexibility which wasn't the main driver, but now having kids it’s definitely an invaluable quality.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Confidence - putting yourself out there. What if after all the planning and announcing I was leaving to do my thing, it didn't quite go to plan?
What I have learned is things very rarely go 100% to plan, that’s life, but by changing and going with the flow the business will grow and evolve. We need to all be agile - we don't know it all so need to listen and adjust accordingly.
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: I’m a bit like that - I like to go for things when they are presented. I will take a risk and go for it. It’s got me where I am today.
What did you learn from your worst boss?: How NOT to manage someone. She hated people who were better than her and squashed any opportunities for them. I am hugely about nurturing talent - why wouldn't you want people to do the best they can?
I like to encourage all who work with me. I have benefited from people nurturing me and I’m hugely appreciative. If I can help someone achieve something, I will.
What is your favourite business book and why?: Giftology by John Ruhlin. A hugely successful businessman who created the theory behind successful gift giving to help grow relationships, business relationships and encourage retention.
I use his theory in all I do and owe a lot to his direction.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: What do you outsource? I'd say that I do 75% of the business day today, however, I am a huge fan of outsourcing.
My makers and suppliers create the gifts for me (any exclusive designs are created together) which are then supplied to me, which I then gift and send out. I also outsource hosting/website management and PR - I know nothing about these areas so outsource it to professionals who do. The rest is down to me. I get out what I put into the business, so like to put a lot in.
What is your productivity secret?: Turn off social media and email alerts on my official working days - I get so much more done not looking at my phone!
What is your favourite marketing tool ?: Google analytics - I love the insight it gives me. Traffic, time on site, bounces, referrals. It has helped shaped my website hugely and also helped me plan for the future too.
How do you market your business?: A number of ways; email newsletters to our customers, social media (Instagram has been a huge success for us - we get 45% of our sales from IG), word of mouth and direct mailing to our key contacts and businesses.
We spend the time finding out about these people and where they work and then gift them with something that really stands out. This approach has won us some huge accounts and really supports what we are about as a business.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: Social media - I pushed everyone to the website when we launched and then offered promos for the first six months for a range of the bundles. Word of mouth helped to drive traffic too.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Do it. Provided it’s a calculated risk, it's worth doing. You don't want to be left thinking what if, and if you saw someone else do what you're planning, how would you feel?
Its the most satisfying feeling ever working for yourself, it also helps to keep your identify especially once you become a mum.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Probably John Ruhlin as mentioned above, what he's achieved with sending gifts to his clients absolutely blows my mind!
Caz Taylor has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.